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Spikes4Tykes is local track star's passion | Community Spirit

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Spikes4Tykes is local track star's passion
Spikes4Tykes is local track star's passion

ATLANTA -- O'neal Wanliss is not your average high school jock.  In fact, he's way above average in every way. Wanliss was a state champion as a sophomore and finished fourth in the 400 meters in the National Junior Olympics last summer.

But his passion for competing is equalled by his grasp of life's big picture.  His father came to New York from Jamaica at the age of 16.  O'neal has been back to that island country with his parents and seen some pretty shocking poverty.  He couldn't do much, but he is doing what he can.

His athletic career began with soccer, so when he was done with his old cleats, he would send them to cousins and others in Jamaica who needed shoes.  Now that running is his game, he continues the charitable efforts with used spikes.  His Holy Innocents Global Citizenship project is a perfect match for the Spikes4Tykes program he started.

He even sends flyers to other schools, asking them to gather old spikes and donate.  Recently, the Wesleyan school presented him with a couple bag fulls to send to Jamaica.  O'neal will enter the University of North Carolina this fall, where he hopes to not only continue, but expand his efforts.