They qual­i­fied for na­tion­als

3 South­east Strid­ers make it to na­tion­als

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

The South­east Strid­ers Track and Field Club of Cov­ing­ton will send three of its 10 ath­letes to the Jr. Olympic Na­tion­als in Hous­ton, Texas be­gin­ning July 21 through July 27.

Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing for na­tion­als at the USA Track and Field ( USATF) Jr. Olympic Re­gion­als in Rock­hill, South Carolina, com­pet­ing against teams from Ge­or­gia, Florida and South Carolina, the fol­low­ing ath­letes will head to na­tion­als:

Ben­jamin Kennedy ( 18, son of BJ Kennedy) third place in the javelin throw.

Younger Bur­ton ( 10) fourth place in the shot put.

De­mar­shae Travis ( 13) fifth place in the long jump.

Head coach BJ Kennedy said that his team did well in the com­pe­ti­tion. Of the three who qual­i­fied for na­tion­als Kennedy said, “They did their best to get where they need to be. They did good.”

This is Ben­jamin Kennedy’s last year com­pet­ing in the ju­nior olympics. Ben­jamin Kennedy is at­tend­ing Troy Univer­sity on a schol­ar­ship af­ter grad­u­at­ing high school at the age of 17. Ben­jamin Kennedy who also qual­i­fied to com­pete in the triple jump

These two young ath­letes I’m look­ing for­ward to them con­tribut­ing and move up in track and field for the next cou­ple

” years. If they stay they’re go­ing to be re­ally good.

-BJ Kennedy, Strid­ers head coach

and the long jump, sus­tained a foot in­jury pre­vent­ing him from com­pet­ing at re­gion­als.

“He qual­i­fied for the long jump and the triple jump. He had a foot in­jury and he couldn’t get it well, so he couldn’t jump,” BJ Kennedy said. “He threw just enough to get to third place out of seven guys in the javelin.”

When asked how if Ben­jamin Kennedy was dis­ap­pointed in not be- ing able to com­pete, BJ Kennedy said, “Yeah, he was. The last time he was a na­tional in all three was 2011. I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed also, but we’re mak­ing it. He made it in [javelin], so we’ll see how he does against the other USATF state/ re­gional qual­i­fiers.”

Ben­jamin Kennedy also serves as a coach on the staff with Ange­lynn Kennedy, Erica Pace and Ak­ila Mur­ray. Ben­jamin has helped coach Travis en route to his trip to na­tion­als this year.

“He’s still a kid, but he’s good at what he does,” BJ Kennedy said of his son coach­ing.

Travis is new to track and field, but BJ Kennedy thinks he has a bright fu­ture.

“This is his first year and he re­ally did a good job. He has a long way to go, but he did a good job. He tried in the 100-me­ter. He did a good job, but he didn’t qual­ify for na­tion­als,” BJ Kennedy said. “He qual­i­fied from state to [go to re­gion­als] in the 100-me­ter and the long jump. He just made it in the long jump against some good jumpers.”

Bur­ton isn’t new to track and field, but she’s com­ing off a long hia­tus from com­pet­ing with the Strid­ers.

“She was with me when she was five and ran, but she stopped for some years,” BJ Kennedy said. “She came back at nine go­ing on 10. She’s been im­prov­ing ev­ery time she throws. She’s been re­ally good. She threw her best throw. She re­ally did re­ally well.”

Ac­cord­ing to BJ Kennedy, both Bur­ton and Travis can do great things if they stick with the sport.

“These two young ath­letes, I’m look­ing for­ward to them con­tribut­ing and move up in track and field for the next cou­ple years,” BJ Kennedy said. “If they stay they’re go­ing to be re­ally good.”

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