A handful of local athletes competing for the Menlo iGreyhounds Track Club will be headed for Texas in less than two weeks to compete in the USATF National Junior Olympics in Houston.
Following a series of qualifying meets, the iGreyhounds had six individuals and four relay runners earn JO berths at last weekend's regional meet in stifling heat in Hanford.
"The Menlo iGreyhounds TC did extremely well, the best in the club's six years of existence," said coach Jorge Chen, who coaches the sport at Menlo School during the school year. "We had 24 athletes competing in the Association Top 8 JOs, and 22 qualified for regionals. And, from regionals, 10 qualified for Nationals! It was 107 degrees, but that was great training for Houston. I'm very excited to see what these kids can do at Nationals."
Heading to Houston in individual events will be Priory senior Ross Corey, Menlo senior Lizzie Lacey, Sophia Chase (St. Charles Middle School), Sacred Heart Prep senior Lindsay Schott, Leighton Shiveley (Menlo Middle School) and Menlo senior Paul Touma.
Touma was a double winner while taking the triple jump (45-3 1/2) and long jump (a personal record of 21-2 3/4) in the Men's 17-18 division. Corey finished second in the same division while clocking 1:58.65 in the 800 despite training through the race.
Lacy was second in the Women's 17-18 division in the 1,500 (5:06.78) in only her second time running the event, but missed qualifying in the 3,000. Schott, meanwhile, was third in the 400 (1:03.71) in the same division.
In the Girls 13-14, Pace was fourth in the long jump with a personal best of 15-10 1/2 and Shiveley was second in the high jump with a personal best of 4-7.
Competing at JOs in the relays will be the Girls 13-14 team of Lauren Collingsworth, Lauren Hamilton,, Pace and Shiveley in the 400 and the 1,600 relay team of Collingsworth, Sarah Demmon, Maggie Hall and Shiveley in the same division.
Also participating but not going to JOs for various reasons (family trips, etc.) were Emma O'Hara (second in Girls 15-16 100 hurdles with a PR of 17.74); Electa Narasin of Menlo (third in Girls 15-16 100 hurdles in 18.20); Colton Colonna of Pinewood (sixth in Boys 13-14 1,500 in a 14-second PR of 4:30.54 -- missing JOs by 0.06 of a second); and Caleb Julian-Kwong of Menlo (fourth in Boys 11-12 80 hurdles with a PR of 14.07).