Six Wilton Running Club members have traveled to Norfolk, Va., to compete in the AAU National Junior Olympic Championships . The meet begins Monday. Coach Kevin Foley knows the teenage boys could have pursued other activities this summer. Once they qualified at a regional meet in June, he encouraged them to train for the national meet.
"If you can go, do it, because you never know when you'll get to compete for the national championships,'' Kevin says. "It's a rare opportunity."
The 4 x 100 relay team of Max Jones, Andrew Sakomoto, Harry Copley and Marco Agudo finished second in the regional championships in June. All of them are 14 years old. Sakomoto will also throw the discus at nationals. Quinn Ready will compete in the long jump, and Clint Corso will run in the 3,000 meters. Corso is making his fifth trip to the national meet.
"I'm pretty nervous about it, actually,'' Andrew said. "We've been training all this time and now the race is almost here." Harry is anxious for the experience. "These are all good runners from all around the country,'' Harry said. "I think we'll do pretty well."
The Wilton relay team qualified for the nationals by finishing second at a meet in June. The runners ran a club record 50.78, but Foley believes the team might go under 50 seconds at nationals. One of the keys is baton handoffs. Andrew and Harry say the team has worked hard to perfect them.
"You have to get it exactly right,'' Harry says. "You can get a better time if you get it perfect." Adds Andrew: "There are people that are faster than us, but they had really bad handoffs and that's one of the reasons we're going to nationals."
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