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Track Champs: Welcome to the Mohawk Valley

Hundreds of athletes from around the country making their way to the Mohawk Valley on Thursday. And all of them in search of one thing: A national title in track and field.

Hundreds of athletes from around the country making their way to the Mohawk Valley on Thursday.  And all of them in search of one thing:  A national title in track and field.

High jumps, hurdling and discus.  The athletes from all over, ending their track and field seasons right here in Utica.  And the event isn't just for the them…It also gives Central New York recognition.

Let the games begin.  On Thursday over 600 athletes flocking right here to the Mohawk Valley.  Track and field stars from around the nation are jumping, hurdling and running their way to titles at the National Junior College Athletic Association Finals. 

"This is what we work for all year long.  The kids start in September with this idea in mind of competing in our national championship," says Gary Parker, MVCC head coach.

Hosted by MVCC, there are events at the college, at proctor high school and at Hamilton College.  Teams from as far away as Illinois are using our restaurants, hotels and shops.

"All these extra people coming from around the country to see Utica or Central New York.  Hopefully it's a nice little boost for our economy,” says Gary Broadhurst, associate dean, MVCC.

But whether you're from near or far, one this was true today....this weather was the real trophy everyone took home for the day.

"It's better weather here than it was last year.  I'm just really happy about the weather because if it's good weather we're all going to run good," Uche Oparaku, athlete.

Right now there are four nationally ranked athletes coming out of the Mohawk Valley.

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