It has been a big summer for Abbey Glynn and it's about to get even bigger.
Having always been a three-sport athlete who has excelled at volleyball, basketball and track and field, Glynn's track career has really begun to take off in the two months since a climactic and historic finish to her junior year at Mead High School.
In mid May, Glynn anchored the Mead girls 800-meter sprint medley relay team to a Class 4A state championship. It was the first girls track and field title in her school's history.
Competing for the CDm Elite club program on July 8, Glynn won the 17-18-year-old girls 400-meter dash at the USATF Region 10 Junior Olympic Championship to qualify for the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships set to take place next week in Greensboro, N.C.
Glynn still considers herself a three-sport athlete, but her talent on the track appears to be building a commanding lead in the race for her athletic future.
"It's really exciting because this is my first year running summer track," Glynn said. "It's a different experience from high school track. I'm also playing basketball so it's been a test of mental toughness since I haven't been able to practice that much for one or the other."
Given her multiple commitments that compete for her time, Glynn has to do a fair amount of track and field training on her own during the summer since she's also playing basketball. That extra time she puts in has already begun to pay off, and it wasn't until after her breakout performance at this past spring Colorado track and field state championships that the soon-to-be Mead senior began to think track could take her places.
On the final day of the 4A high school state meet, Glynn placed second in the 400 and 300 hurdles and hopes to compete for an individual title in those events as a senior in 2019. Her big breakthrough moment, however, happened when she edged the Valor Christian team down the stretch to claim the Mavericks' first girls relay title.
"After we finished, it didn't really sink in for a little while," Glynn said. "Once it did, we were like, 'Oh my gosh, we just made history.' Honestly, that wasn't even in my head during the race. I was just focused on not letting Valor catch us."
Riding an upward trajectory ever since, Glynn will debut at the national level next week in her age-group Junior Olympic championship field for the 400-meter dash. Having only run against the four other girls who qualified out of the Region 10 meet, Glynn said she doesn't know quite what to expect from the other runners or how she'll react to the top-tier atmosphere.
A teammate of Glynn's at CDm, Henry Carlson has a pretty good idea what to expect since he'll be making his third appearance at nationals next week.
Carlson, a dynamic thrower who recently graduated from Skyline High and will be a walk-on at the University of Colorado next year, qualified in both the javelin and discus.
"I first picked up the javelin as something just to do for fun a few summers ago," Carlson said. "I really had a good time with it and I wasn't that bad at it either, so I've really stuck with it. I'm one of the few kids going to nationals from one of the states that doesn't have it as an event during the spring season."
A regular state-level competitor in the discus and shot put, Carlson has largely been teaching himself new events like the hammer throw and javelin that aren't offered during the high school season in Colorado. He placed in the top 20 in the javelin and threw 50 meters for the first time at nationals last year, and is hoping that hitting better marks in that particular event will help him eventually earn a scholarship at CU.