There were 11 of the Westfield Area Y Flyers Track and Field teams finest who competed this past weekend at the USA Track & Field Region 2 Junior Olympic Championship in California, PA. Waiting out rain delays on the first day and then 103 degree track temperatures the next two days, nine athletes emerged as National Qualifiers against athletes from the New Jersey,Three Rivers (western PA), Niagara (western NY) and Mid-Atlantic (eastern PA and Delaware) associations.

These athletes are heading to Wichita, KSto compete at the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships July 26th-31st. The 4x800m relay team of Cranford 8th graders Amanda Bush, Claire Drewniak, Katie Drewniak and Jillian Walter took 1st Place in the Youth Girls Division. Melissa Endy took 2nd  Place in the Midget Girls 1500m race walk to cement her third consecutive trip to Nationals in this event. In her first year with the Flyers, Lauren Henkel took 3rd  Place in the Bantam Girls Division of the 1500m race walk to advance. Paul Dunham threw an impressive 101 feet to qualify in 4th Place for the Youth Boys 600g javelin. Also in her first year, Nicole Massa qualified in 5th Place for Bantam Girls 300g turbo javelin, a modified javelin for younger athletes. In her last jump of the day, 8 year old Grace Endy broke the 9 foot mark to place 5th for her first trip to Nationals in Sub-Bantam Girls long jump. Just missing qualifying were Natalie Marcotullio in intermediate girls long jump with a 7th Place finish with her 4.05m jump and Ajay Olson at 8th  Place with 3.38m in Bantam Boys long jump.

Annual participation in the Westfield Area Y Track and Field Club has grown to over 350 athletes (ages 7-15 yrs).  This is noto nly the largest year for participation in the program, but also the largest number of National Qualifiers. The Westfield Area Y Flyers Track Club is emerging as a competitive track club in the USATF Junior Olympic series. For more information on the Y Flyers Track Club and the upcoming Cross Country Season, please contact Greg Hatzisavvas at ghatzisavvas@westfieldynj.org.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit www.westfieldynj.org to learn more about Westfield Area Y programs.  Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.