Now they’re getting serious.
Nine Litchfield Track Club members, already good enough to qualify for last weekend’s Junior Olympics Regional Championships at Icahn Stadium in New York City, took the next step in the city’s heat, qualifying for the Junior Olympic Nationals, July 22-28, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Samantha Glass, Molly Hamel, Jack Donovan, Ashlynn Cook, Sean Labbe, Peyton Mello, Chris Hoyt, Mateo Tiul and Tyler Joseph all finished in the top five in their age group events among competitors from across New England, Adirondack New York and metro New York for the chance to move up later this month.
“Since they’re doing it by age group, this could be the only chance some people get for Nationals, since they’ll be down at the bottom again in the next year or two,” said Litchfield Track Club founder and coordinator Dave Driscoll, underlining the honor of making it this far.
“This is basically the developing stage,” he said. “It’s great to qualify; then you get there and, ‘Whew! Reality!’”
Nevertheless, the area kids are getting there with flying colors.
Glass, a Goshen resident and incoming senior at The Hotchkiss School, won the 17-18-year-old 3,000 meters Friday night with the thermometer nudging 88 degrees.
Her success is no surprise to anyone who follows track or prep school athletics. Glass, who turns 17 just this month, made a public debut of sorts as the 10th female finisher in last month’s Litchfield Hills Road Race, but prep school competitors have know her for what seems like forever.