Jacks qualify for Portland meet
Five Quincy High track athletes will begin their season in Portland this weekend, participating in a highly selective meet matching top performers from Washington and Oregon.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for them,” said QHS boys head track coach David Stoddard.
The Quincy contingent headed to the Portland Indoor Track Classic includes Samantha Kleyn, Carlos Sanchez, Alberto Tafoya, Mashayla Schaapman and Travis Harris.
Kleyn competes Friday night in the long jump and Saturday in the 200 meters. Sanchez is entered in Friday evening’s 60-meter dash and the 200 meters on Saturday.
Also Saturday, Tafoya and Schaapman will compete in the shot put while Harris will run the 200 meters.
The 200-meter indoor track at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland will be used by athletes in the World Indoor Championships the following weekend. That meet, sponsored by the International Association of Athletics Federations, has been held in cities such as Budapest, Paris and Barcelona. This is only the second time it has been held in the United States.
“It’s an opportunity to compete at the same venue as these elite athletes,” Stoddard said. “It’s really a good experience for these kids.”
Besides the five Quincy students who will compete, Stoddard’s team qualified three more performers as alternates. One of those is injured and can’t take part, and another had a prior commitment he couldn’t ignore. Meanwhile, alternate Andy Reynolds will travel with the team as an alternate in the shot put.
Last month, Stoddard registered Quincy athletes who met the qualifying standards. The Quincy School District Board of Directors gave formal approval Tuesday for the overnight, out-of-state trip.
Even after Quincy athletes met qualifying times or distances, they weren’t assured of being accepted to the meet due to the large number of athletes who wanted to compete.
“The schools that had a chance to participate are all from Washington and Oregon,” Stoddard said.
He can’t predict how the Jacks and Lady Jacks will do under the glare of indoor lights. That’s because track and field practices just began a week and a half ago.
“It’s so early in the season,” Stoddard said. “It’s going to take a while” to see how the team shapes up.