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Sweet feat

G. Sean KellyPost Independent Sports Editor

Ryan Buchanan is alone for this one.After a summer full of meets with his Glenwood Springers teammates, including his older sister Melissa, Buchanan will be flying solo at the Hersheys Track & Field Games North America Final later this week in Hershey, Pa.Its going to be different, the 800-meter Hersheys state champ said. Ill be the only one there from the team, and Im not going to know anybody.Buchanan will have the company of his father, Cris Shaw, and 19 other athletes from Colorado. He is, however, the only athlete from Garfield County. He is also just the third Springer to qualify for the meet in the past decade. Amber Sutherland qualified in 1997 for the 9-10 softball throw, and Tory Garling competed in the 11-12 800 meters in 2001.Buchanan, 12, qualified for the North American meet after taking top honors in the 800 at the Hersheys state meet in late June. He posted a personal-record time of 2 minutes, 30 seconds for the title.Since that meet, the rising Glenwood Springs Middle School seventh-grader has shaved four seconds off his PR in the event, and has gained some big-meet experience as well.In last weeks Junior Olympic nationals in Indianapolis, Buchanan finished 16th out of 41 qualifiers in the preliminary round of the midget boys 800 meters.He missed his PR by only a second at JOs, something he doesnt plan to do at the final meet of the summer. He said a track meet is a good way to wrap up the summer, and his goal at the Hershey meet is just beating my PR.Regardless of how he finishes on the stopwatch, Buchanan looks forward to the trip and not just because it includes a tour of the Hershey chocolate factory.Just the experience of going there, because Ive never been there before, he said. The boys 800 is scheduled for Friday.On the Web: http://www.hersheytrackandfield.com


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