Three Springers compete at USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships

Staff Report
Jacob Barsness, center, a member of the Glenwood Springers' track and field team, competes in the 2,000M steeplechase last weekend at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California. (PROVIDED)
Staff Photo |

Three Glenwood Springers track athletes competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California, July 25-31. They raced against qualifiers from across the United States.

Benjamin Swanson had qualified for nationals in both the 9-10 boys’ 1,500-meter and 800-meter races. He competed in the 1,500 at nationals, where he placed fifth, earning him the title of “All-American” (only the top eight finishers earn this title). He bested his personal record by five seconds, running 5:02.70. He now has an All-American hat to sport. He remarked that the “meet was fun and a great experience.”

Benjamin’s older brother, Reid Swanson, competed in both the 11-12 boys’ 3,000-meter and 1,500-meter races. Reid obliterated his previous 3,000 best by 20 seconds, running a 10:24.05 and placing 10th.

“It was a pain-free race; I felt like I could have run forever,” he said. In the 1,500, Reid took 2 seconds off of his previous best time running 4:56.43 and placing 26th.

Jacob Barsness ran an 18-second personal best in the 2,000-meter 15-16 boys’ steeplechase, placing 10th in the nation with a time of 6:54.43. Barsness said that he was “very happy” with his performance. “I just came into the race thinking whatever happens, happens. It’s just so cool to be in such a competitive field for such a unique race.”

Barsness will be a junior at Glenwood Springs High School this fall and plans to compete in mountain bike racing in the fall, Nordic ski racing in the winter, and track and field in the spring.

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