Community notebook: Vancouver teen set to run on big stage at junior nationals

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photoAlexis Fuller

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Alexis Fuller won’t enter her first high school race until the fall, but on Friday in Eugene the Vancouver girl will run with college athletes from around the nation during the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships.

Fuller, 14, will run in the junior women’s 1,500 meters in Eugene. The semifinal heats are Friday morning.

She will be one of three athletes from Vancouver’s Evergreen Storm Track Club competing at the junior national meet in Eugene. On Thursday, Sean Keller and Sam Ferenchak will compete in the men’s javelin. Keller, a Heritage High junior, recently won the state high school javelin title and has the top qualifying mark for nationals.

The USATF Junior Nationals are open to athletes who are at least 14 years old on the day they compete, but do not reach their 20th birthday in 2011.

The junior nationals are the start of a busy week for Evergreen Storm athletes, and for other area track and field competitors.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Storm will have more than 30 athletes at the Pacific Northwest Association Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle. Essentially the state championships for western Washington, the top eight placers in each event in Seattle can advance to the regional championships in Spokane.

Fuller is scheduled to race in the 3,000 meters, the 800 and a relay race at the meet in Seattle.

The opportunity to run at the junior nationals was based on her time of 4:41.97 Fuller ran as a 13-year-old at last summer’s Junior Olympics nationals.

The junior women’s 1,500 is expected to come down to a battle between University of Florida freshman Cory McGee and Mary Cain, a high school freshman from New York who has the nation’s fastest prep time this year.

Wrestler 16-3 at duals

Tommy Strassenberg of Camas posted a 16-3 record and helped Washington state to a sixth-place overall finish at the USA Wrestling national schoolboy dual-meet tournament in Indianapolis.

The tournament, for boys in grades 6-8, included teams from 34 states. Strassenberg was selected for the Washington team after winning the novice-level championship at 85 pounds at the 2010 USA Freestyle Nationals.

Wrestling in the 98-pound weight class, Strassenberg went 8-1 in the Greco Roman tournament and 8-2 in the freestyle tournament. Strassenberg just completed sixth grade at Frontier Middle School. All three of his losses were to eighth-graders.

179 finish Freedom 5K

The first Vancouver USA Marathon and half-marathon on Sunday brought a lot of runners and attention to downtown Vancouver. But the competition started one day earlier with 179 runners completing the 3.1-mile Freedom 5K on Saturday.

Most of the Freedom 5K participants — including race winner Trevor Hayward of Vancouver — were from Clark County. But folks from as far away as Florida and Alaska also took part.

Also on Saturday at Esther Short Park, 43 runners age 12 and younger ran the 1.2-mile “Kids Marathon.”

Maya Davis, age 9, of Brush Prairie, won that race with a time of 6 minutes and 52 seconds.

Another 24 kids participated in a sprint race for ages 6 and younger.

Those races, and a two-day expo at the Vancouver Hilton, helped make the first Vancouver USA Marathon a success, according to race director and Vancouver native Brian Davis.

Results from each of the races are posted at racecenter.com.

Davis said the second Vancouver USA Marathon is planned for June 17, 2012. Registration will soon be available, and organizers will review the 2011 events and plan improvements for next year, according to Davis.

Wakeboaders flock to Tug Lake

Two spots on the Pro Wakeboard Tour will be up for grabs during an INT Amateur Tour wakeboarding and waterskiing event on Saturday and Sunday in Vancouver.

The Battle by the Boarder will take place at Tug Lake, 19913 N.E. 43rd Cir., in Vancouver. Registration for competitors is at 7:30 a.m. each day, with competition starting at 8:30 a.m. There is no charge for spectators.

The Tug Lake event will feature all ability levels, from beginners to professional competitors in waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and wake skating.

For more information, visit www.intleague.com.

Sports camps gear up

The arrival of summer means sports camps will be in full swing. See the Community Sports Calendar at Columbian.com for details on some area camps.

For example, the Greater St. Helens Girls Basketball Camp runs June 27-30 at Prairie High School. There is a morning session for girls entering grades 3-6 and an afternoon session for girls entering grades 7-10. This camp is led by Prairie High School girls basketball coach Al Aldridge. To register, or to learn more, call Battle Ground Community Education at 360-885-6584.

The COMMUNITY SPORTS NOTEBOOK is published each Tuesday. Submit items by sending e-mail to paul.danzer@columbian.com or by calling 360-735-4521.