Tracksters medal at nationals
The Baldwin Track Club had four medalists at the AAU Nationals last week at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. The top eight athletes in each event and division medal, with 35-40 participants in each.
Monica Howard finished third in the triathlon with 690 points scored in the high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash events. She also placed fifth in the high jump at 3-4 and 17th in the 1,500-meter run. She was in the sub-bantam age group for 9-and-under.
"I had fun in the triathlon because you get to do three events," Howard said. "I get to run, jump and throw. Our coaches are good, the best around. I'm sad track season is over."
Maurissa Shaffer also turned in top performances in the 12-year-old division, finishing second in a 4x800-meter relay team, fourth in the pentathlon, seventh in the 800-meter run and 20th in the 400-meter dash. She also gave credit to the team's coaches: Mike and Angie Spielman, Jason Broaddus, Hugh Murphy, Matt Noonan, Jimmy Gillispie, Glen Stansberry and Eric Black.
"The Baldwin Track Club coaches have really pushed us to go the extra mile," said Shaffer. "We made it here because we are good. We are good because we run with guts. Our coaches taught us how to run with guts."
Allison Howard, an 11-year-old sub-midget participant, placed fifth in the discus at 67-11 and sixth in the shot put at 28-10.
"I was nervous in the discus because I was seeded high coming in so the expectations were high," she said. "I felt confident in the shot put because I am consistent. Hugh was a great coach. He helped me a lot in the shot put and discus."
Rounding out the placers was Carson Barnes in the 10-year-old bantam division. He was fifth in the 800-meter run at 2:30.28, 11th in the long jump and 14th in the 400-meter dash.
"I thought it was neat to get to run against all the different kids of different states," he said. "I like summer track because I knew a lot of kids I ran against in past meets. You have to work hard every day to get to nationals. Eric is a good long jump coach."