Capable cousins take track & field by storm

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

LAPLACE – In just a few weeks, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympics will bring young athletes from around the world to Greensboro, N.C. to compete to be the best runners, jumpers and throwers.

But for the Creecy family, it also could be a family reunion.

A slew of children from the Creecy family in both St. John the Baptist Parish and St. Charles Parish will be in North Carolina competing.

Aja Creecy and Anya Creecy are the daughters of Mark and LaTonya Creecy of LaPlace. The sisters are skilled at the javelin, discus and shot put. Aja also runs the 100 meter dash.

Kharma Creecy is the daughter of Janya Creecy.  She also competes in the javelin and shot put. Janya’s other daughter Layla Clayton competes as well.

Then there are cousins Sa’Naijah Nelson, the daughter of Bradlynn Green and Ronnie Nelson Jr., and Romell Green Jr., the son of Romell Sr. and Roxann Green, are members of the St. Charles Striders Track Club.

Zha’Nell Francois is not actually related to the Creecys, but has a family connection. Her sister is the Goddaughter of Mark Creecy.

And Mark Creecy is pretty much the reason for all this family togetherness.

Mark, a teacher and coach, runs the St. John Legends Track Club, which competes year-round at various track meets throughout the country. He began in 2014 with just a handful of athletes. This year he has more than 70 in the program, including a 4-year-old – and yes, there is a competition for 4-year-olds.

Many of his athletes include his nieces, nephews, family friends and the children of former classmates and friends.

“It goes by word-of-mouth,” he said. “People bring me their kids.”

Sa’Naijah Nelson and Romell Green show off their medals.

They also do pretty well. Most of these kids already have competed for – and won – national titles.

Last year, Aja finished 12th in the shot put with a toss of 29 feet, 4 inches, and she was 12th in the discus with a throw of 73-1. Her best discus throw is 77-5, however, and her best shot put is 31-6.

Zha’Nell won the high jump last year with a jump of 4-9.

Mark and his athletes also have spent many of the past weeks holding various fundraisers to get to Orlando and North Carolina. They cooked dinners, lunches and even held a party on a bus. They also have received a few donations from the community.

“Part of the championship experience is just getting there,” Mark said. “ It takes finances. It’s a weeklong commitment. Parents have to take off of work. If you’ve gotten there and participated, you’ve earned it.”