The Zoom Track Club, based in Highlands Ranch, competed in the Region X Junior Olympic Championships from July 8-10 at Colorado State University at …
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The Zoom Track Club, based in Highlands Ranch, competed in the
Region X Junior Olympic Championships from July 8-10 at Colorado
State University at Pueblo.
The regional championship meet draws the top youth track
athletes ages 8-18 from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and the
Border Association of Texas. To compete at the Junior Olympic
regional level, each athlete placed in the top three in their
respective State Junior Olympic championship events.
Fifty-eight Zoom athletes qualified to compete in the Region X
Championships in 95 events, more than any other Junior Olympic team
Fifty-four Zoom athletes took center stage at the championships,
earning 15 gold medals, 15 silver medals and eight bronze medals in
18 individual events, in addition to five relay teams.
The Zoom team set a Region X record, broke 39 Zoom team
performance records and accomplished 55 personal-best performances
at the championships.
Connie Williams, head coach and Zoom program director,
attributes the success of the program to top-notch track coaches, a
proven program, driven athletes, supportive families and a positive
team environment, she said.
“With determined athletes like ours, records will fall,”
Williams said prior to nationals.
Twenty-seven Zoom athletes placed in the top three in the
region, qualifying them for the National Junior Olympic
Championships from July 27 to Aug. 1 in Sacramento. The Zoom Track
Club qualified in 18 individual events and five relay teams,
qualifying more athletes to the national championships than any
time in the club’s nine-year history.
Since the program’s inception in 2002 by Williams, the club has
coached 511 USA Track and Field Region X qualifiers, 149 national
qualifiers and prepared athletes to compete in international
competition. The Zoom set a record for the highest number of USA
Track and Field Region X and national qualifiers with the same
sized team as previous years.
Among Zoom’s 2010 Region X champions and national qualifiers in
their respective age divisions were Jordyn Colter in the
3,000-meter run; Dominique Gerard in the 1,500; Taylor Gerard in
the 800; Max Ornelas in the 100 and 200; and Emily Sloan in the 100
and 200. The 3,200 relay athletes to nab gold included Colter,
Taylor Gerard, Annecy Olson, Aubrey Till, Daniel Book, Keenan
Ferguson, Jackson Nichols and John O’Hagan.
Winning silver and heading to nationals, in their respective
divisions, from the Zoom program were Mackenna Balman in the 3,000,
Colter in the 1,500, Devan Foster in the 800, Dominique Gerard in
the 2,000-meter steeple, Taylor Gerard in the 1,500, Kori Hazel in
the 800 and Till in the 3,000. Taking silver in the 400 relay
included Jayla Balman, Julia Hall, Kathryn Hall, Jamie Williams,
Lindsay Clark, Stephanie Dexter, Sydney Hudson and Erika
Bringing home bronze and a spot at the national meet were Balman
in the 1,500, Taylor Gerard in the 3,000, Anna Hall in the high
jump, Ornelas in the long jump, and 3,200 relay athletes Blake
Williams, Dimitry Svistun, Parker Churchill and Luke Pousma.
Zooming through nationals
Mackenna Balman had a 14-second, personal-best performance in
the 3,000 meters, running 11 minutes, 8.63 seconds. Ranked 13th out
of the top 25 of the nation’s best, Balman's new personal best
jumped her up four spots to place ninth at nationals.
Jordyn Colter smashed her own Zoom 3,000-meter youth girls
record, set at the 2010 state meet by nearly 31 seconds. Jordyn's
10:11.73 performance placed her fourth in the country and earned
her a spot on the award podium at nationals. Colter competes in the
same age division next season.
Aubrey Till pushed the pace with a huge 10 second personal best
performance in the youth girls 3,000 finals. Till ran 10:42.98 and
placed 10th at nationals. She competed in the fast heat in a race
among 31 of the nations best. Till competes in the same age
division next season as well.
Devan Foster, competing in the 800 meter intermediate girls
final, broke another Zoom record running 2:19.75. Foster set the
new 800-meter record just two days prior in the preliminary round.
In ninth place on the final 100 meter stretch, Foster sprinted
passed three competitors and nearly caught the fourth, as she dove
over the finish line to finish in fifth. This is Devan's first
national championship and her first time on the awards stand at the
USATF national stage.
With 28 jumpers in the field, Anna Hall was one of four bantam
girl high jumpers who did not negotiate the starting height of 3
feet, 3 inch. Hall has a personal best of 4-0 and easily clears 3-3
every day in practice. She is 9 years old and will be a Bantam
again next season and is expected to be at the national level
several more times.
Taylor Gerard, qualifying in four events at the championships,
did not run her 3,000-meter and instead prepared to run the final
in the 1,500 the day after.
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