Competition is a family affair for Glenwood Springs residents
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Summer in the Orosz household means a lot of track and field and a lot of traveling.
The family’s three children ” Rachel, Sarah and Greg ” have kept their parents busy behind the wheel for a majority of their formative years, and the summer of 2008 has followed the same pattern.
“We wouldn’t get a vacation otherwise,” joked their mom, Lisa Orosz.
This morning, the Oroszes will be on their way to Omaha, Neb., where 13-year-old Rachel will toss the discus and shot put at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic nationals. The trip is the culmination of a summer of weekends spent traveling to various USATF and Amateur Athletic Union events.
Earlier this month, both Rachel and 11-year-old Sarah competed at the Junior Olympics Region 10 meet in blistering-hot Glendale, Ariz. Late last month, it was a trip to the Junior Olympics state meet in Aurora and, before that, it was smaller weekend meets throughout Colorado.
And the Orosz kids are no slouches when it comes to track and field.
Tiny Rachel, whose arm strength belies her small stature, recently topped 35 feet with a shot put practice toss and her throw of 34 feet, 91⁄2 inches, at the region meet was good enough for first place in the youth girls division. She took third in the discus with a throw of 78-1.
Those performances vaulted Sarah into the nationals.
Most don’t expect such big throws to come out of such a little girl. Particularly considering the size of Rachel’s fellow competitors.
“Some of them are huge. One was Greg’s size,” she said of her older brother, a football lineman, heavyweight wrestler and discus and shot put thrower in track and field at Glenwood Springs High School.
Sarah, in her first summer of track competition, also participates in the throwing events, though she fell short of making nationals at the region meet.
Both Rachel and Greg got off to a slightly earlier start in the sport, latching on to track and field at the age of 9. Ever since Greg started competing, the entire family’s been addicted.
“I saw my brother doing shot and discus and I thought I’d be good at it,” said Rachel, who also ran the 100-meter hurdles in Arizona and is a four-time nationals qualifier. “I first started running.”
Greg, who typically competes in the summer track circuit as well, didn’t this summer thanks to a thumb injury.
Instead, he’s donned a coaching cap and helped his sisters train. The family makes about two or three trips a week to Glenwood Springs High School to work on form. He also travels with his parents and sisters to every meet.
“I go in as an athletic supporter,” said Greg, who plays football, wrestles and does track and field at Glenwood Springs High School. “That, and I hang out with my friends.”
The Oroszes began training as a family and competing in meets unattached when the Glenwood Springers youth track and field club went on a two-summer hiatus. It was only resurrected in full force this summer.
And Fran Orosz, the family patriarch, savors the fleeting time spent with his family, which comes in the form of traveling to meets or helping direct their practices at the high school. He wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
“It’s the only time I actually leave work,” he said. “I’m struggling with Greg, this being his last year of high school.
“We do everything as a family.”
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