Every great story begins with a prologue – an introduction to the origin.
Before you win on the big stage, you first have to reach the starting line. This is the inspiration behind our all-new track team.
We searched high and low across Europe for young athletes with big potential: Up-and-coming runners who’ve had a taste for success and need someone to believe in them, so they can leave their mark on the running world.
This is On Athletics Club Europe, or as we like to call it: OAC Europe. Based in the Swiss Alps during the summer and in South Africa throughout the winter, this is On’s youngest track team yet. Leading the club will be former German National Head Coach, Thomas Dreissigacker. He’ll guide six young runners from five different nations, each with their own ambitious goals.
One day, they may become world champions or even Olympians. The top performers might go on to join our elite team of runners at the On Athletics Club in Boulder, but before their journeys take off, they have to write their prologues first.
It’s go time. Scroll down to learn more about Coach Dreissigacker, his talented team of young athletes, and what inspired their passion for running.
The Leading Man
Thomas Dreissigacker is a coaching sensation. At just 29 years old, he became the youngest national head coach in German history. Using his vast background in Sports Science, he fosters talent and pushes his athletes to be the best they can be. From 2014-2016, he had an incredible run as the German National Women’s Youth coach for middle distances. With his knowledge of sports science and experience with speed, we can’t wait to see how far he takes our athletes.
“Short term, we want to establish the team on the European running scene, mid and longer term we want to develop world class athletes too.”
Born in Switzerland, Tom is a three-time National Outdoor Champion and three-time National Indoor Champion (Read: The real deal.) He first got into running when he realized he had the talent, but now, he’s motivated by personal growth. He wants to be the best version of himself possible.
“Running keeps my mind and body in tune and holds me accountable in the process.”
Known as one of the fastest young runners in Germany, Fabiane has a need for speed. At just 17 years old, she became the German U20 1500 m Champion. She repeated this feat the next year and went on to claim 5th place at the European U20 Championships in 2021. Growing up, she also played football and practiced kickboxing, but running mattered most.
“I started running when I was 10 years old. My mother was a runner herself, and I started practicing with her former coach.”
Born into the world of sports, George loves to compete. In 2016, he became the European U18 800 m champion, and in 2020, he began running longer distances and earned the UK’s National Indoor and Outdoor titles for the 1500 m. His father is British soccer player, Danny Mills, but he chose running because he loves to challenge himself.
“I kind of fell into running. I was 13 when I joined the cross-country team in high school, but it wasn’t until I was 15 that I began to really enjoy the sport. I loved the feeling of getting back what you put in.”
Both naturally determined and competitive, Cari is one of the most distinguished young runners in the UK. In 2021, she won the silver medal for the 1500 m at England’s U23 Championships and the bronze medal for the U23 team event at the European Cross Country Championships. While she didn’t start running until she reached her teens, today, it’s her favorite sport.
“As a child, I always had an abundance of energy and naturally participated in numerous sports. At age 13, I competed in my first-ever race at the Welsh schools cross-country, where I somehow won.”
Originally from the Netherlands, Noah has a knack for speed. In 2021, he became the Dutch U20 Champion, and earlier this year, he came in third place at the Dutch National Indoor Championships. While his sports journey started with judo and ice skating, running quickly became his passion.
“My father was also an elite athlete in the 90s. This gave me some motivation to start running.”
With the right drive, you can achieve any goal, and Marta is living proof. In 2021, she became the Spanish National Indoor Champion for the 3000 m. On top of that, she’s balancing running with her commitment to studying medicine and is on track to graduate later this spring. Talk about a role model! Marta’s love for running started when she was very young, and there’s no doubt it’ll continue.
“I started running when I was 3 years old, and I never stopped since. It is my passion.”
We can’t wait to see these young runners chase their dreams and grow. Keep up with the team on our social media channels and check back here to learn more.