AURORA — From Thursday through Sunday at Legacy Stadium, the USA Track & Field Region 10 Junior Olympic Championships offered youth- and high school-aged athletes from Colorado and several surrounding states the chance to qualify for the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.
The top five age-group finishers in each event earned a berth to the national meet. With several local-area clubs competing, a number of local athletes performed well enough to qualify for nationals.
For CDm Elite, a newer club program run by Skyline High School track coach James Davis, the 2018 Junior Olympic regional was a breakthrough event. Three years ago, the club had just four members. This summer, CDm is taking 10 athletes to nationals on July 23 in Greensboro, NC.
"We started up with just my kids," Davis, whose elementary-aged sons compete for CDm, said. "Once they qualified for nationals, more kids became interested. Last year, we opened it up to Skyline and we took our four-by-one to nationals. We're now getting kids from a lot of other schools and the program is really thriving."
At the Region 10 meet over the weekend, CDm athlete and Mead High student-athlete Abbey Glynn won the 400-meter finals for 17-18-year-old girls to qualify for nationals. Skyline student-athlete Henry Carlson placed second in the javelin and third in the discus to qualify for two events while Skyline teammate Sophia Lindauer took third in the 15-16 girls 400.
Also competing for CDm, Longmont's Will Murphy finished fifth in the 17-18 boys high jump and Andrew Muncy took second in the 13-14 boys 400.
CDm also had a number of potential future high school stars qualify for nationals, with JJ Davis, Paige Farnam and Miley Davis all placing top five in their respective events in the 13-14 and younger age groups.
"I like what we have so far," Davis said. "The kids we have going have all worked really hard to get to where they are. We had very high expectations for all of our athletes and I think we're ready to have a good showing at nationals."
R.E.A.L. Training, a club led by Niwot track coach Maurice Henriques, also had a strong showing at the Region 10 meet.
Taylor James, a rising sophomore at Niwot, won the girls 15-16 age group 400-meter dash with a time of 58.01 seconds to qualify for nationals. James, who won the 4A title in the 800 and placed third in the 4A high jump at the high school state championships this spring, took third in the high jump at the Junior Olympic Region 10 meet to qualify in a second event.
James' teammate at Niwot, Erika Timbang placed fifth in the 17-18 girls 400-meter race to qualify for nationals. In the 17-18 girls 800-meter race, Real Training's Michela Hewitt and Timbang placed third and fourth, respectively. Timbang and Hewitt also ran on a Real Training girls 40—meter relay team that included Kayla Nowlin and Lily Margolis and qualified for nationals with a runner-up finish on Sunday.
The Real Training girls ages 13-14 1,600-meter relay team - Malia Henriques, Christine D'Epagnier, Miliani Barraza, Victoria Perales - placed fourth to qualify for nationals. Perales also placed third in the triple jump to qualify individually. The Real Training girls 15-16 relay group for the 400-meter relay - Julea Trank-Greene, Valorie Myhre, James, and Margot Diasabegunawardena - took third to qualify.
For Real Training in the girls 17-18 triple jump, Lilliana Nieves-Martin took fifth place.
On the boys side, Real Training's Gregory Anderson Jr. won the 15-16 age group 110 hurdles and finished runner-up in the 400 hurdles. Braelon Tate placed third in the 13-14 long jump. Alex Herman took fourth in the 17-18 boys 200-meter dash and third in the 400.
For Above the Bar Track, Silver Creek pole vaulter Hunter Potrykus won the 15-16 boys regional title and Oliver White took third. Holden Daniels took third in the 17-18 boys division and Megan Kelleghan won the won the 13-14 girls pole vault. Kristina Willis won the 15-16 girls pole vault.