Bryce Derick, 12, of Big Flats, won the 1,500-meter run and placed third in the 3,000 at the USATF National Youth Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend in Landover, Md. / Provided Photo
BIG FLATS - Long distance running has been a Derick family tradition, and two sons of accomplished area runner Jim Derick of Big Flats are making their mark on a national level.
Bryce Derick, 12, was among 89 champions crowned at the USATF National Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md. The event is the highest level of Track and Field competition in the United States.
The Horseheads Intermediate school sixth grader earned two-time All-American honors at the event that featured more than 1,300 athletes. All-America honors go to the top six finishers of each event.
“We are very proud of him and to see the determination in him and how willing he is to dedicate himself to the sport,” said Bryce’s mother Sue Derick, who runs the local PreFo youth track club. “It’s really a big deal and something he will be able to take with him all through college.”
Bryce Derick finished third in the 3,000-meter run in the boys 11-12 year-old division on Saturday and followed that up by winning the 1,500-meter 11-12 Division race Sunday in a time of 4 minutes, 54.86 seconds.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Bryce of his accomplishments. “It was real nerve-racking because there was so many people in the stands.”
Bryce’s older brother Gavin, 14, qualified for the national 3,000 in his age group, where he finished 11th. He is a Horseheads High School freshman.
Athletes qualified to the national meet by placing in the top six in one of five youth zone championships. Bryce won both the 1,500 and 3,000 races in the Northeast Zone Championships on Feb. 24 in Toms River, N.J. Gavin qualified for the national meet with a third place in the 3,000 in his age group.
“Jim is an accomplished runner,” said Fred Collins, who has four kids who run in the PreFo club. “His son (Bryce) is following in his father’s footsteps.”
Bryce has been running competitively since he was seven and on the national level for three years.