Roberts, Clodfelter lead Tri-City at Junior Olympics
By Anthony Hill
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

The Tri-City Relays Track and Field team turned quite a few heads in Ypsilanti, Michigan as its athletes won two gold medals and a silver medal during the Junior Olympics this past weekend.

Overall, the team finished the meet with eight individual medals and four relay medals. Makaila Roberts started the meet by winning the Sub-Midget girls (11 year old) pentathalon. Roberts outscored the competition by competing in the 80m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, and the 800m run.

“I really didn’t think I was going to do as well as I did,” said Roberts. “When I ran the hurdles, I knew that I had a chance to win.”

Roberts was well ahead on points before the final event, which was the 800m run.

“Makaila embodies what track and field should be about at this age” said Tri-City coach Perry Cabean. “Kids should be willing to try to learn different events and explore. We don’t know if they are going to be a sprinter, distance runner or high jumper when they grow up. Coach Jeffery Sides (high jump), coach Michael Smith (hurdles), Tyrone Holman (hurdles) and Jay Carlton and David Hill (shot put) all provided the tutelage, but Makaila provided the heart.”

Additionally, Roberts finished fifth in the Sub-Midget girls 80 meter hurdles and eighth in the Sub-Midget girls high jump.

Ashlei Clodfelter, a rising senior at North Davidson high school captured Tri-City’s second gold medal by out-throwing the competition in the Young Women’s (17 – 18 year old) javelin competition. Clodfelter had temporarily been bumped into second place during the competition before unleashing a throw of 118’8. Despite being one of the shorter competitors, Clodfelter combined her sprinting speed, strength and high level of skill to beat the competition. One of her competitors commented as they were walking to the awards ceremony: “Did that little girl just beat all of us?” According to the final scores, Clodfelter did just that.

Charles Lindsay (Parkland, ’07) finished second in the Young Men’s 400m hurdles. After having only the fifth fastest time going into the finals, Lindsay upset the field by employing an attacking style hurdling technique to earn a silver medal.

Tri-City’s youth boys (13 – 14 year old) earned a trip to the podium by placing sixth in the 4x800 meter relay. The team of Perry Cabean, Steve Stowe, Emmanuel Patton and Nick Colebaugh ran a nice time of 9:01. Stowe ran a personal best split and passed three kids before passing the baton to Colebaugh, who kept the sixth place position as five teams finished under 9:00.

“This was one of the fastest fields ever in AAU”, said Cabean. “Last year, 9:01 might have won it.”

Ila Mumford showed the rest of the nation that she is a force to be reckoned with. Mumford finished seventh in the Sub-Midget girls long jump with a leap of 13’10”. Mumford, who is coached by North Forsyth’s Alan Rice and mom Michelle Mumford, jumped to her personal best during this competition.

The talented Bryce Sherman finished seventh in the Young Men’s 100m with a time of 10.87 and concluded his outstanding career as a Tri-City athlete. Also, Denard “Hurricane” Williams, Jr. finished seventh in the Sub-Bantam boys (9 year old.) high jump by clearing the bar at 3’6”. The victory gave the young and talented athlete his first All-American honor.


Note: Select details from the meet and quotes were provided by Tri City Relays coach Perry Cabean.