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Two Springers compete at regional meet

A pair of local tracksters begin competition today in the Region X Junior Olympic track meet in hopes of moving on to the national stage.

Tory Garling and Justin Church, both members of the Glenwood Springers, qualified for the regional meet in El Paso, Texas, based on top-three finishes at the Colorado State Junior Olympics. The event includes athletes from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and the border region of Texas.

Garling will be making his second trip to the regional meet after finishing fifth in the 800 meters and sixth in the 400 meters in the Midget Boys (11-12 years old) last year.

This year he is competing in the 13-14 division in only the 800. He qualified for the event at the Colorado State Junior Olympics held recently in Lakewood with a time of 2 minutes, 26 seconds – his personal best and a mark he would like to improve on this weekend.

“My goal is to finish in the top 10 and just get a personal record,” Garling said.

Church, who will be a freshman at Glenwood Springs High School this fall, enters his first Region X Junior Olympics as a qualifier in both the 100-meter hurdles and the 200 hurdles. Church finished third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.53 seconds and was second in the 200 hurdles in 28.26 at the state meet.

This is the first summer he has participated in either event, but he still has his sights set on being in the finals.

“I’m a little nervous that I won’t make the finals,” he said.

Church has a personal record of 15 seconds in the 100 and set a new personal record with his second-place finish at the State Games. He said he would like to improve marks this weekend and, being so new to the events and running with a stronger field, he has a shot at accomplishing that goal.

Along with the heightened level of competition, however, both runners will have to battle the midsummer heat of Texas – something neither seems to fear.

“It’s been so hot here and we’ve been training out in the heat,” Garling said. “So I think we’ll be used to it.”

The top three finishers in each event qualify for the national event to be held in Omaha, Neb., later this summer.

Garling and Church were beating the pavement trying to raise money for their trip to El Paso. For more information on donating, call Glenwood Springers president Mike Kishomoto at 945-1425.


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