Local youth track athletics qualify for Junior Olympic nationals

Person, De Le Melena win at regional meet

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



Danica Person and Miguel De Le Melena led a strong showing from the Evergreen Storm Track Club at the U.S. Track and Field regional Junior Olympics.

Person won both sprints for girls ages 17-18 and De Le Melena won the 1,500 meters and helped the Storm win the 3,200 relay for boys ages 15-16.

Evergreen athletes claimed seven championships and 32 top-three medals during the Region 13 championships, which took place Thursday through Sunday at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Seattle.

In addition to awarding regional championships for athletes 18 and younger from Washington, Oregon and the Idaho panhandle, the regional meet qualifies top-five finishers for the USATF Junior Olympics National Championships. The nationals take place July 22-28 in Greensboro, N.C.

Person won her 100-meter dash final in 12.86 seconds and took the 200 title in 26.02.

De Le Melena won his 1,500 title with a time of 4:32.89. He also took second in the 800 meters (2:11.86) and second in the 3,000 (10:00.04). De Le Melena anchored the Storm 3,200 relay to a winning time of 9:21.9. The other runners were Parker Wubbena, Hamilton Vu, and Sean Flynn.

Two Storm athletes won titles in the 2,000 steeplechase. Keaton Spiller won the race for boys 17-18 (6:45.13) and Savanna Craig won the race for girls 15-16 (7:44.15).

Bailey King of the Evergreen Storm won the discus for boys 15-16 (141-0) and placed second in the shot put (48-23/4).

The Flanagan Clan Girls Track Club of Woodland had athletes qualify for nationals in eight events — three with second-place finishes at the regional.

Ellie Walker placed second in the 200 hurdles for girls 13-14 (30.12) and placed third in the 100 hurdles (16.19). McKenna Flanagan placed second in the girls 13-14 javelin (94-5). Elyse Booker took second in the mini javelin for ages 11-12 (99-5).

A more complete list of local athletes at the regionals is in the Community Sports Scoreboard.

Evergreen Storm founder Scott Slamp said on Monday that he expects 10 or more Storm athletes will make the trip to compete in the nationals. Flanagan Clan Girls Track Club founder Bruce Flanagan said two of his athletes are considering traveling to the national meet.

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