BJHS girls compete at national level
A pair of Baldwin City teens completed their summer track and field seasons by competing at the national level over the weekend.
Despite neither medaling in the particular events, they were both pleased with their performances. The two competitors were both league champions as seventh graders at Baldwin Junior High School this spring.
Kaitlyn Barnes and Monica Howard traveled to two different meets to compete against the nation's best 13-14-year-old females. Barnes competed in the Amateur Athletic Union meet in Detroit, while Howard traveled to Omaha, Neb., to compete in the United States Track and Field meet.
Barnes entered in the pentathlon, which is comprised of the 100-meter hurdles, shot put, long jump, high jump and the 800-meter run. She finished 18th out of 35 athletes from all over the country.
"I was really happy with my performance, considering the competition," Barnes said. "I thought I did really well for myself. It was a lot of fun. I met some really good athletes and people to be around."
She did finish second in the 800-run event, but it was the high jump she was disappointed with. Barnes said she nearly set personal bests in all of her events.
"Most everything was good, except the high jump," she said. "That just didn't go well. I hit my PR in about everything else. That's what I was shooting for."
Last year, Barnes finished ninth in the pentathlon, but she competed in the younger age group. She moved up to the Youth age group this year.
This summer it was Howard who was one place from earning a medal at the national meet. She finished ninth in the high jump by clearing a height of 4 feet, 11 inches.
She lost the tiebreaker with the eighth-place girl by having more misses at earlier heights.
"I missed out on medaling, so I was a little mad," Howard said. "It's because I missed more at a lower height and that's frustrating. I jumped my normal height, so I didn't do badly. I was pleased with that."
Howard also competed in the javelin. She finished in 19th place with a throw of 82-6.
"I threw a little less than I normally do," Howard said. "All of the other girls were really good."
Overall, it was an experience she enjoyed.
"It was a fun meet," Howard said. "It was hard, though. We normally do AAU, so it was harder to see new people. It was fun, though."