Seven is Springers’ lucky number
Qualifying seven athletes for this weekend’s Region 10 Junior Olympics is a solid number, but the fact that all seven have a good chance to advance to the national meet has head Glenwood Springers coach Blake Risner even more pumped up for the track meet.”Seven kids going ranks right up there in terms of kids qualified for the regions,” Risner said. “The most I remember taking is eight or nine, so seven is quite a feat, I believe.”All the Springers headed to the two-day meet at Legacy Stadium in Aurora have a legitimate shot of placing in the top three and advancing to the Junior Olympics National Championships. All seven athletes are ranked in the top eight (based on qualifying-meet times) in the meet featuring qualifiers from Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and the El Paso, Texas, regions.Katrina Selsor is the only Springer competing who has advanced to nationals, and she has a good shot at making a third trip. Selsor qualified in three events and enters ranked in the top three in all three in the youth girls division.Individually, she is No. 1 in the region and the Colorado state champ in the 1,500 meters and enters third in the 3,000.She has some stiff competition coming out of Colorado, however, not to mention the rest of the region. Kelly King, who races unattached, was second to Selsor in the 1,500 and the state meet and was the only runner to finish ahead of Selsor in the 3,000.”This girl is for real,” Risner said of King. “(Selsor) is going up against the real deal.”Selsor is also a member of the region’s top-ranked 4×800 meter relay team. Other members of the team include Melissa Buchanan, who is also ranked fifth in the 800 meters; Megan Waibel and Gretchen Herb.The Springers haven’t had a relay squad qualify for Nationals since 1999.”Any time you have a relay team with national potential, it’s real exciting,” Risner said. “It’s four more kids who have a chance at what is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting meets in the country.”The Oroszes represent the Springers in the field events. Rachel Orosz, competing in the bantam girls division, enters ranked fifth in the shot put. Her older brother Greg Orosz, in the youth boys, ranks eighth in both the discus and shot put. Ryan Buchanan, the younger brother of Melissa, is ranked eighth in the midget boys division in a pair of events – the 400 and 800 meters.”As always, when you get to this point in the season you hope the kids are ready to do their lifetime best, and, if not, their season best,” Risner said. “I think every kid is in a position to accomplish that. If they can take a top three, that’s just icing on the cake.”The Springers also have the advantage of competing close to home, something that happens once every five years as the event rotates through each of the five associations. The meet begins at 8 a.m. Saturday with field events and runs through the day until the relay team takes the track at 6 p.m. Sunday’s action kicks off with the 1,500 at 8:30 a.m.
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