Ryan Shaver, 17, left, and his 14-year-old brother Noah Shaver pose for a photo at the USATF Region 10 Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Shaver brothers will compete in the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at the end of July in Sacramento, California. (Ken Shaver/Courtesy)
PRESCOTT VALLEY - At the USATF Region 10 Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last weekend, two local brothers did well enough in their respective field events to qualify for nationals.
And with the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships just around the corner in Sacramento, California, Ryan and Noah Shaver collectively said it’s a bit nerve racking, but they’re excited.
“I’m a bit nervous, but I want to compete at the college level and show everyone what I’ve got. I love doing this, and I wish I could do it all day, every day,” said Ryan, a 17-year-old student athlete at Bradshaw Mountain High School.
Noah, 14, said although heading to nationals at the end of July will be “nerve-racking,” he aims to do his best.
“I want to go there, do my best and get on the podium. That would be an accomplishment,” said Noah, who will be a freshman at Bradshaw Mountain come August.
In Albuquerque, Ryan finished second overall in the javelin event with a 181-foot, 3-inch throw, while taking fourth in the discus at 147-feet, 5-inches.
“I didn’t pretty well. I was hoping for a bit better, but I’m still moving forward and practicing hard,” Ryan said.
Ryan, who will be a senior this year, broke the Bradshaw Mountain record for the javelin in May as a junior with a 189-foot, 2-inch throw.
For Noah, who plans to also play football and wrestle for the Bears this school year, he took second overall in the shotput with a 41-foot, 1-inch throw.
He was third in javelin at 146-feet, 10-inches, and fourth in the discus at 120-feet, 9-inches.
“I’m happy with what I did because I qualified for the junior Olympics for all my events,” Noah said.
Ken Shaver, the boys’ father and a track and field coach at Bradshaw Mountain, said he’s hoping the sport of track and field will continue to grow in the community.
“We want to get track and field people more involved in this community,” Ken said, adding that the boys compete under the Phoenix Bobcats organization, which may be expanding into northern Arizona in the near future.
And with the Junior Olympics beginning Monday, July 25, Ryan said he and his brother are preparing to compete with over 10,000 expected athletes in Sacramento.
“We practice every day all week in the morning, break everything down and keep getting repetitions,” Ryan said. “We’ll be ready.”
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is a sports writer and columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter @SportsWriter52 or reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.