BHS grads headed to Shrine Bowl activities
A trio of recent Baldwin High School graduates will represent the Bulldogs' athletic programs Saturday.
Anthony Ciambrone was selected to the Kansas Shrine Bowl football game. Heather Garcia and Aaron Karlin were chosen to run in the Adidas 5-kilometer and 1-mile fun run that features 60 all-star cross country runners from around the state.
All of the activities will take place Saturday in Emporia. The fun run will begin at 7:30 a.m. while the football game starts at 7:10 p.m.
"It's really neat for them to have that opportunity," said Mike Spielman, BHS cross country coach. "They get to meet other kids from across the state and the Shriners use the road race they are in to raise money for their cause. That's a neat deal, too."
Garcia and Karlin were chosen to run in the first-ever all-star cross-country run. There were 30 boys and 30 girls chosen from across the state to participate. They will be teamed up east against the west with 15 runners running each side.
Both were excited to be selected to the all-star run, which only includes several Class 4A runners.
"This is a cool opportunity," Karlin said. "I'm glad they started it. It's fun to run with the guys and not against them. It will be a fun time."
Garcia, who will be running for Boston College in the fall, is excited to see how her competitors' summer training is going.
"It was really cool to be chosen," Garcia said. "It's another chance to run against the other seniors that I competed against. I'm excited to see how we've adjusted to our college training. We're all going off to college now, so it will be fun."
The race is open to the public for anyone who wants to enter, but the all-stars will be scored and given medals in a separate category. For the 60 seniors, it will be their last chance to represent their respective high schools.
"They will get one last chance to race against some kids that they know and have competed against in high school," Spielman said. "It's kind of their last hurrah of high school."
Although Garcia was one of the top runners in state during her four years as a Bulldog, she isn't sure if she will try to win the race or just enjoy the moment.
"I'll just run and wait to see what happens," she said. "I'm not going to try and go out there and set a record or anything. We'll just see what happens."
She said she has been training hard this summer for her upcoming cross-country season at Boston College. Karlin, on the other hand, will not be running for a team this fall, but he has been training for the all-star run.
"I've been trying to run everyday, but it just doesn't happen like I want it to," Karlin said. "I usually end up running about four days a week."
Spielman said the race organizers were worried about how serious the runners would take the run, but he is sure most of them will be in great running shape still.
"When they put it together, everybody was kind of wondering if the kids will be in shape or not," Spielman said. "A lot of these kids are high-level kids that are going on to college to run. Quite a few of them are using this as a measure of their training for college."
While the race will the primary reason for the runners being in Emporia, they will also have a chance to meet the other all-stars Friday. They will also be honored at halftime of the all-star football game.
"They get to go down Friday night and they have different activities for them," Spielman said. "There is a speaker for them and other activities. It's a chance for some of them to bond before they head off to college."
Ciambrone will be playing in the all-star football game that evening. After numerous postseason honors, he was selected to play in the game. He will be playing for Baker University in the fall.
Garcia is ready for the charity event, which helps raise money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. She is also ready for her college career to begin.
"It will be fun to compete one more time before the big stuff," she said. "I'm ready for the big time now. I've been training hard and I'm looking forward to seeing it pay off. I'm excited for it all"