Four Springers compete at Junior Olympic national competition | PostIndependent.com

Four Springers compete at Junior Olympic national competition

Abbey Ehlers
Special to the Post Independent

Four Glenwood Springers track athletes competed at the USA Track and Field Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolin, on July 23-29.

Incoming Glenwood Springs High School freshman Emma Barsness kicked off the meet for the Springers with an excellent 2000M steeplechase performance. Barsness ran a 14-second personal best of 8 minutes, 14 seconds and 73 one-hundredths of a second, as she earned a 14th-place finish overall.

“Nationals was such an amazing experience, especially when you come into a race as an underdog living in a tiny town in the middle of Colorado,” Barsness said. “I did my best, and I’m super proud of myself.”

Nine-year-old track superstar Daxton DeHerrera competed in the 9-10 girls 800M run where she placed 34th overall with an excellent time of 2:51.77.

“It was great competing,” DeHerrera said. “I’m thankful that I made it that far, and I’ll work harder to get there in the years to come.”

Another incoming GSHS freshman, Ella Johnson, competed in both the 13-14 girls’ 3000M run and 1500M run. In the 3000M, Johnson ran a 23-second personal best, finishing with a time of 10:57.55 and earning an incredible 11th-place finish. In the 1500M run, Johnson improved by four seconds with a time of 5:17.25 and a 34th-place finish.

“Before we started, I was really nervous,” Johnson said. “But once the gun went off, I just ran my hardest and left everything on the track.”

Glenwood Springers Track Club’s sole podium finisher was local running phenom Benny Swanson, who competed in both the 3000M run and the 1500M run for 11-12 boys.

Swanson placed second in the 3000M with a blistering time of 10:10.01 — a remarkable 17-second improvement over his personal best. In the 1500M run, Swanson shaved eight seconds off of his best time, finishing in 4:44.78 and earning a seventh-place finish.