Several local athletes are wrapping up 2015 with appearances on the national stage.
Richland High School sophomore Claire Schaef will swim in the Speedo Winter Junior Championships from Dec. 9-12 in Austin, Texas. The event is split into two meets this year, with Western athletes (those west of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi) in Austin and Easterners in Atlanta. Both meets are this week.
Schaef, who is representing the Tri-City Channel Cats, is entered in the 500-yard freestyle, 1,650 free and 200 butterfly.
Last week, former Richland High swim standout Nick Connors, a Seattle University senior, competed in the AT&T Winter National Championships in Federal Way. He raced in the 200-meter free, finishing his preliminary heat in 1 minute, 59.16 seconds. Conor Dwyer, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x200 free relay, won the final in 1:46.62.
It’s also a busy time for the Tri City Thunder track and field club.
The Thunder will send 10 runners to the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on Dec. 12 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The top 30 individuals and top five teams in each age division at last month’s regional championships in Pasco qualified for nationals. Thirteen Thunder athletes made the cut for nationals, the most in the club’s three-year history, and one was added to the team for Albuquerque.
The Thunder runners competing this weekend are: Bate Sadler (8-and-under boys 2,000 meters), Cathy Hu (11-12 girls 3,000), Samantha Schmidt (15-16 girls 5,000) and Keanu Daos, Johan Correa, Jesse Todd, Justin Marshall, Cash Lafferty, Nick Cotton and Caleb Wood (15-16 boys 5,000).
Eden Henderson (8-and-under girls 2,000), Evyn McLellan (9-10 boys 3,000), Henry Robbins (11-12 boys 3,000) and Brendan Miller (15-16 boys 5,000) qualified but will forgo the meet.
USATF Region 13 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
Nov. 21 at Big Cross Course, Pasco
Tri City Thunder national qualifiers only (top 30 individuals and top five teams advanced to nationals)
8-and-under girls 2,000 meters: 15, Eden Henderson, Pasco, 11:15.03. 8-and-under boys 2,000: 2, Bate Sadler, Richland, 8:39.66. 9-10 boys 3,000: 28, Evyn McLellan, Richland, 12:35.76. 11-12 girls 3,000: 25, Cathy Hu, Carmichael MS, 12:08.66. 11-12 boys 3,000: 28, Henry Robbins, Richland, 11:30.23. 15-16 girls 5,000: 3, Samantha Schmidt, Chiawana HS, 21:14.79. 15-16 boys 5,000: 1, Keanu Daos, Southridge HS, 17:22.26; 9, Johan Correa, Kennewick HS, 17:40.07; 15, Jesse Todd, Richland HS, 18:03.79; 30, Justin Marshall, Southridge HS, 19:30.92; 32, Cash Lafferty*, Kamiakin HS, 20:23.03; 33, Nick Cotton*, Southridge HS, 20:30.26; 37, Brendan Miller*, Hanford HS, 21:54.99.