Running is a family affair in the McLellan clan.
Caryn McClellan, 34, and her husband Scott, 33, are running enthusiasts who compete in local races year round.
But this weekend belongs to the Richland couple’s children, Roslyn and Evyn, who will compete in the USA Track and Field Cross Country Nationals on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
Both qualified for the event with a strong showing at the USATF Region 13 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on November 23 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore.
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Roslyn, 10, finished the 1.8-mile course in 13 minutes, 16.44 seconds to place 18th. Evyn, 7, completed 1.2 miles in 8:51.40 to take 15th. By finishing in the top 30, each qualified for a spot at USATF nationals. Both are students at White Bluff Elementary School in Richland and members of the Tri-City Thunder Youth Running Club.
“They announced it over the intercom (at White Bluff), and all the kids started asking them about it,” said Caryn, who volunteers with her husband as a part-time coach with the Tri-City Thunder Club. “We’re hoping the (TCT) can grow and we can get more kids out.”
The McLellans arrived in San Antonio on Wednesday to get a head start on the week’s activities, which include a two-day pass to Sea World and a pre-race pasta feed Friday night.
“I’m really excited, because this is a lifetime opportunity,” Roslyn said. “I’m just really happy I made it this far. I was hoping to. I’m glad I did.”
Evyn will compete first Saturday in the boys 8-and-under division. His 2-kilometer race begins at 9:30 a.m. Roslyn’s 3-kilometer race — in the 10-11 girls division — begins at 10 a.m.
Caryn said the kids started running with her and her husband at Three Rivers Runners Club events, starting with 1-mile fun runs. More recently, Roslyn and Evyn have taken their training more seriously.
“This summer, when we’d practice with the rest of the kids, we’d have to drag them off the track at 9 at night,” Caryn said.
One reason Evyn is looking forward to the event is the support he receives from his family during the race.
“I like it when they cheer me on. It keeps me on my pace,” he said. “I just worry about how good I do and not worry about other people.”