Springers’ Track Club qualifies 18 for Regional Junior Olympic Track Meet | PostIndependent.com

Springers’ Track Club qualifies 18 for Regional Junior Olympic Track Meet

Abbey Ehlers

Twenty-five members of the Glenwood Springers’ Track Club traveled to Denver this past weekend for the Colorado Junior Olympic (J.O.) Track Meet held at Valor Christian High School, where the club qualified 18 athletes for the Regional J.O. Meet.

Athletes must score in the top four in their event to advance to the regional meet (top two in the multi events). For the distance events, the weekend started off with the 3000-meter run. Four Springers competed in and qualified for the regional meet in the 3000m: Ella Johnson (3rd in 13-14, 11:39), Taia Nykerk (2nd in 11-12, 13:00), Benny Swanson (2nd in 11-12, 10:36), and Reid Swanson (3rd in 13-14, 10:35). In the 1500m run, nine athletes competed and six qualified: Will Berkheimer (4th in 15-16, 4:58), Sophia Connerton-Nevin (3rd in 11-12, 5:32), Ella Johnson, Taia Nykerk, Aidan Riciputi, B. Swanson (1st in 11-12, 5:00), Calvin Swanson (2nd in 7-8, 6:17), R. Swanson (3rd in 13-14, 4:55), and Sophia Vigil (3rd in 15-16, 5:18). On his 1500m victory, Benjamin Swanson said, “Strategy is a big chunk of a runner’s victory, and that is how I won.”

In the 800m run, five athletes competed and three qualified: Jackson Berkheimer, Daxton DeHerrera, Aidan Riciputi (3rd in 9-10, 2:54), Calvin Swanson (3rd, 3:11), and Sophia Vigil (2nd, 2:27).

Eight Springers competed in the sprinting events. The lone regional qualifier for sprinting events was athlete and volunteer coach, Kuba Bartnik, who qualified in the 100m dash (4th) with a time of 11.59 and in the 400m dash (3rd) with a time of 53.31 in a very competitive field. Most notedly, he earned a fourth-place finish in the 100m dash by just nudging-out the competition by .01 at the finish line. He lost his balance at the end, which caused him to fall and sprain his wrist, but Bartnik stated, “I knew I was going to have to push it on the 100m to qualify. It wasn’t the most graceful way to finish, but it got me to where I wanted to be. It was worth it.”

Five athletes participated in the various hurdling events, and two qualified for regionals: Tabor Uyehara (2nd in 13-14 100MH, 15.26) and Taia Nykerk (3rd in 80MH, 18.35). Five athletes competed in jumping and throwing events and two qualified for regionals. Patrick Moravek was 2nd in 13-14 long jump at 5.53m (18.14’) and 2nd in high jump with a mark of 1.45m (4.75’).

Eight-year-old Calvin “The Crusher” Swanson was first in the mini javelin throw with a mark of 13.97m (45.8’).

In addition, several athletes competed in the multi events. Hemingway Harris was first in the triathlon with a score of 200. In the heptathlon, Sequoia Kellogg came in first for the 17-18 age division with a score of 3,410. In the decathlon, Jacob Wolf was first in the 15-16 age division with a score of 3,729, AJ Crowley was first in the 17-18 age with a score of 5,297, and Bryce Risner was second in 17-18 with a score of 4,811.

The Springers’ Track Club would like to thank the coaches and volunteers who traveled to the meet to support the team: Travis Baptiste, Kuba Bartnik, AJ Crowley, Alex Cutright, Jenny Cutright, and Anne Swanson.

Eleven Springers plan on competing at the USATF Region 10 J.O. Championship in Mesa, Arizona, from July 6-9.

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