Wilton Running Club qualifies five for national meet

Five athletes from the Wilton Running Club are qualified for the USATF Junior Olympic National Track and Field Championships, which are taking place this week in Sacramento, Calif. Each athlete qualified by placing in the top five in an event at the Region 1 Championship, held on July 9-10 at Albany State University in Albany, N.Y.

Shelby DeJana qualified in the 13-14 girls age group 200-meter hurdles by shaving nearly a full second off her qualifying time and finishing fifth in a time of 31.67.

She also made the finals in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing eighth in 18.99.

“Shelby competes at a high level in all sprint, hurdle and jump events. Last year she qualified for nationals in high jump. She is a very talented athlete” said WRC coach Kevin Foley.

DeJana also competed in the 13-14 girls 100 meters, placing 19th (14.28).

Wooder Thoby qualified in the 13-14 boys age group long jump with a leap of 17’5.25” to take second place at regionals.

“This is Wooder’s first year in track and field and he is an outstanding jumper and developing into quite a sprinter, too,” said Foley.

Thoby also finished 11th in the high jump (4’5”) at the regional meet.

The WRC had two sprinters who doubled in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the regional meet.

Ashley Nicoletti earned her fifth consecutive national championship appearance with a third-place finish at regionals in the 11-12 age group 100 meters in a time of 14.64 and a fifth place in the 200 (28.54).

“She may be young but Ashley is a talented veteran and her times at the region meet are not indicative of her real talent,” Foley said. “She had to fight some pretty terrible conditions to finish where she did and she knows how to finish a sprint race.”

Nicoletti was also eighth in the 11-12 girls long jump (13’3.5”).

The other double qualifier was John Wise, who finished fifth in the 13-14 boys age group in the 100 meters (12.86) and was fifth in the 200 meters (25.38).

“Johnny has taken over one and one-half seconds off his 100 meter this year as well as two seconds off his 200 meter, which is nothing less than amazing,” said the coach. “He works hard on his technique, is very competitive and it would not surprise me to see him go sub-25 in the 200 in California.”

The final national qualifier was Jonathan Greco, who placed fifth in the 11-12 boys age group 400 meters in a time of 1:06.59 — new personal record for him.

“Anytime an 11-12 year old runs in the 60s range in the 400 meters, you know you have a special talent,” said Foley. “It is going to be fun to see Jonathan develop in the coming years.”

The USATF Junior Olympic Track and Field National Championships run from Monday through Sunday at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, Calif.

Five other Wilton Running Club athletes also competed at the regional meet earlier this month.

In the 11-12 boys division, James Wise qualified for regionals in three events, placing 23rd in the 100 meters (16.93), 19th in the 200 meters (34.59), and 22nd in the long jump (9’4.75”)

In the 13-14 girls division, Lucia Lampard was 22nd in the 100 meters (14.94),

Eric Hoerdmann finished 10th in the 1500 meters in the 13-14 boys division, in a time of 5:27.87.

In the 15-16 girls age group, Tatum Kelly was 16th in the 100 meters (14.44) and 14th in the 200 meters (28.43).

In the 15-16 boys division, Connor McCabe placed 23rd in the 100 meters (14.39) and 25th in the 200 meters (29.02).