During the week of July 23-29, 2018, the Lake Tahoe Track Club, had six athletes travel east to Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete at the 2018 USATF Jr. National Olympics.

Athletes must qualify for the USATF Jr. National Olympics by competing at association and regional qualifiers. For the Lake Tahoe Bobcat team this meant that they needed to finish top 5 in their selected events at the region 14 qualifier in Fresno.

Coach Kris Nugent was thrilled to have eight athletes make it through the region qualifier, “To see our local kids travel all over Northern California and Nevada this summer to achieve their goal of qualifying for Jr. Olympics is impressive. Our small mountain town was represented by truly amazing kids on the regional and national stage.”

Incline Village’s Millie Jenkins went to North Carolina for three events; the 100m hurdles, long jump, and high jump. Millie set a personal best (PB) mark in the 15-16 girls high jump of 5 feet 3 inches. This result placed Millie 11th out of 40 girls. Millie also ran a PB in the 100m hurdles of 16.05 to finish 44th. In her final event, Millie placed 43rd in the long jump out of 62 girls with a jump of 15 feet 7 inches.

Brayden Snearly qualified for high jump and long jump in the 15-16 boys division. Brayden finished 35th out of 59 boys in the long jump with a personal best jump of 19 feet 5.25 inches. Brayden also jumped well in the high jump finishing 26th out of 43 boys with a jump of 5 feet 8.75 inches.

Harrison Fung was new to the team this year but had an impressive summer and qualified for the 100m hurdles and the 200m hurdles in the 13-14 boys division. Harrison ran a PB in the 200m hurdles with a time of 29.82 to finish 47th overall. Harry also ran a great 100m hurdle race and finished 47th again with a time of 16.87.

Madeleine Patrick was the youngest member of the Lake Tahoe team to qualify for the National JO’s. Madeleine represented the team in the 11-12 girls division in the 3000m. Madeleine ran a great race against some extremely tough competition and finished 27th with a time of 11:54.

Brenda Martinez-Ruiz competed in arguably the hardest event of the meet, the 400m hurdles, in the 15-16 girls division. Brenda usually races in the 300m hurdles at the high school level, but she made the jump to the national level and recorded a great result of 52nd with a time of 1:17.

Orion Barger went to North Carolina for the 15-16 boys 400m. Orion ran against some very tough competition and was just outside of his personal best time for the summer with a 50th-place finish and a time of 53.93. Orion was also a member of the 15-16 boys 4×400 team that qualified for Nationals, however, the team was unable to compete.

Two additional athletes also qualified for Nationals; Jimena Elizarraraz and Dylan Cleary. Jimena qualified for the 13-14 girls 1500m and Dylan qualified for the 15-16 boys 400m and 4×400. Unfortunately, both athletes were unable to make it to North Carolina due to injury and travel plans.

The LTTC team had a phenomenal summer season, as the results indicate, in large part due to the time and dedication of the coaching staff. Coach Brad Bergstrom, Coach Aaron Moore, Coach Dave Snearly, and Coach Kris Nugent worked tirelessly this summer to help our local athletes achieve their very best.

Coach Kris Nugent remarked, “It’s been an honor to coach such a fine team of kids with these amazing coaches. It’s been a special summer for everyone involved, and I’m already looking forward to next summer.”