In 1997, a small group of children from Los Osos, California made up a youth running team. They responded to a Community Center billboard announcement:
Youth Activities Program
forming Los Osos Jr. Cross Country Team
Orientaion Meeting July 29 7pm
In Old Schoolhouse
The team consisted of in-experienced children that liked to run. The group meshed well and friendships quickly grew. But, we were a team without a mascot or team colors. The team members were asked to think about a mascot and team colors for our team uniform. It was only asked that they choose a mascot that was unique to our area. Several mascots were presented from the team. They included a bear, mountain lion, fox, kangaroo rat and even the Banded Snail; all endangered species from our area. The Kangaroo Rat won as our mascot and royal blue top with black shorts were the colors for our uniform. It was my friend and assistant coach, Mike Lansdon, that shortened the team name to 'Roo Rats. In 1999, we asked Jimmie Laurie, a friend of my son, to draw a running Kangaroo Rat with attitude. After a couple touch-ups, our current 'Roo Rat Logo was born. This logo now occupies our Track & Field and Cross Country Pins and can be seen on the singlets of our younger team members.
The Program was first associated with the Youth Activities Program (YAP) of Los Osos as a Community sponsored youth activity. When YAP lost its funding, we were without a home. As a member of the local San Luis Obispo adult running club, a plea was made to adopt the Youth Program. The San Luis Distance Club that was established in 1974 by Brian Waterbury and Stan Rosenfeld took us under their wing in 2000. The Club is part of the USATF Pacific Association and has opened up a new avenue of competition to our growing team.
Past team members have gone on to compete in High School, Collegiate, National and World teams. The team has help produce age group All-Americans, USATF National Jr Olympic champions, High School State champions, USA National Junior champions and even a USA Olympic Trials finalist. The team trains nearly year round. Traning consists of learning proper warm-up, strengthening and agility exercises, drills, individualized workouts, cool-down and stretching routine. The team meets twice per week and workouts are assigned during the week according to the child's fitness level. The team now consists of children age 8 -18 and includes some High School athletes as part of our Youth Team.
A Team Recognition celebration is provided at the end of each season. Here the children are recognized for their achievements and awarded Certificates, trophies, team pins, team patches and team hats. First season team members also receive a stuffed toy animal 'Roo Rat.
Enjoy and explore our Web site,
Jim Barodte, Youth Coach
USATF Level 2 - Endurance
San Luis Distance Club