East Ridge track & field: Raptors' future track stars stretch their legs
With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, much of the world has been focused on each country's greatest track and field athletes.
However, some future hopefuls competed in a big race of their own at the USATF Junior Olympic Minnesota Track and Field State Championship Trials recently.
The East Ridge Athletic Association youth track and field program once again had a great showing at the at the Junior Olympic state championship, where the top eight athletes in each event earns the right to progress to the Regional Championship to be held in Oshkosh Wisconsin, followed by the National Championship in Maryland.
At the state championship, athletes compete by age group. As a Sub-Bantam (birth year of 2004 and later), Ryan Kilibarda ran the 400-meter dash and 800-meter dash, earning fifth and second with qualifying times of 1 minute, 22.77 seconds and a personal-record of 3:00.17, respectively. Not to be outdone by his little brother, Aiden Kilibarda also qualified in the 400 and 800 runs with personal bests, finishing in third place and second place with times of 1:12.59 and 2:41.11, respectively. Aiden competes as a Bantam (2002-2003 birth year). The Bantam girls also proved to be a force with a Ashanti Boykin leading the way competing in the 100, 200 and 400 races. She qualified in each event with her best finishes placing fourth the 100 and second in the 400 with times of 16.04 and 1:14.65, respectively. Boykin was joined by first-time competitor, Audrey Spolidoro, who secured the final qualifying spot in the 400 meter-dash and took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 10 feet, 3 inches. Ellie Flynn, also a first-time competitor, ran personal bests in both the 100 and the 200 to round out the competitive field for ERAA in the Bantam girls division.
For Midget girls (2002 -2001 birth years), Alexis Webb placed sixth in the shot put with a throw of 18 feet, 11 inches. On the track, Ellie Bedingham dominated the Midget girls taking three first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400-meter sprints.
The Youth boys (1998 - 1999 birth year) were represented by Kjetil Cline, DiAndre Boykin, and Alexander Johnson. Cline found himself atop the podium in the winners' position for the 100, 200 and long jump. He was joined by DiAndre Boykin on the podium in each of those events. Alex Johnson competed in the 200 and 400 sprints and placed third and second, respectively.
In the Intermediate group (1996 - 1997 birth year) Brenley Goertzen, on the girls side, clocked in 2:22.17 minutes in the 800-meter run to take first place. For the boys, Andrew Larson launched the discus 65 feet, 5 inches to land a respectable third place. Also Johnathan Webb qualified in the 100 and 200 sprints in this age group. Finally Chris Webber qualified in seventh place in the 100-meter dash for the Young age group (1995-1994 birth year).
See additional photos in the July 11 issue of the Bulletin