By Troy Shockley

More than two dozen member of the McMinnville Track Club traveled to Spokane over the weekend to compete in the Region Junior Olympics Track & Field Championships. Of that group, nine will continue their season at the national meet, scheduled for July 27-Aug. 1 in Sacramento, Calif.

“I’m really happy with our results,” coach Corey Medeiros said. “These kids all came out and put in a lot of time and energy to get to this point. And with the heat right before we left for regionals, it was pretty hard. But they were all out there practicing every day for the meet in Spokane. I think all 29 did really well and definitely put forth a lot of effort this summer.”

To qualify for the national meet, competitors needed to place in the top three at regionals. Moving on in the youth girls 200-meter hurdles was Abby Lawson, who took third with a time of 31.93 seconds. She also competed in the 100-meter hurdles, placing sixth.

Kari Williams, also in youth girls, earned third in the pole vault and third in the discus, advancing in both events.

Mac High speedster Ashante Horsley won the intermediate girls’ 400, crossing in 57.37 seconds. She qualified in the 200 as well, taking second in 25.55. She also competed in the long jump, finishing eighth.

The lone individual for the McMinnville boys was Tim Tatton. Competing in intermediate boys division, Tatton took second in the high jump and third in the javelin. He also competed in the discus, taking fourth, and the triple jump, placing seventh.

The McMinnville group also pushed through a pair of youth girls relay teams, taking third in the 400-meter event (55.34) and the 1,600 (4:27.63).

The sprint relay team, including alternates, is Lawson, Elizabeth Logsdon, Veronica Marquez, Annika Nyquist, Nora Angus, Carissa Collings and Montanna Gubrud.

The mile relay, meanwhile, includes Lawson, Marquez, Nyquist, Leslie Ramirez and Samantha Ross.

Last year the club qualified about the same number of athletes for the national meet, but as it was held on the East Coast, only two were able to make the trip. This year, with the national meet taking place much closer to home, Medeiros believes most of the McMinnville qualifiers will compete.

It will be a strong finish for the club, which continues to see growth. Last year the number of participants topped out at around 50. This year, it was up to 65.

“Getting 29 of them to regionals and then nine to nationals is a pretty big deal for McMinnville,” Medeiros said. “I think it’s going to be huge not only for the high school track team, but for athletics in general. Not all of our kids are from McMinnville, but the majority are, so that’s what’s so neat about the club.

“And while we only have the nine that have qualified to continue on to nationals, we still have other kids coming out to practice along with them. They’re that dedicated to making themselves better