By Jay Young
HUMBLE, Texas - For the first time in its history, three members of the Chautauqua Striders earned All-American honors in the same event at the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at Turner Stadium on Thursday.
Josh Odell of Panama, and Jordan Powers and Ryan Hetrick of Lakewood all finished in the top eight competitors in the 17-18 year-old 2,000-meter steeplechase finals to earn the honors for the Striders.
Odell turned in the fastest time of the trio, finishing fifth in 6:24.09. Powers ended his race just a few seconds behind in seventh place with a clocking of 6:26.42, while Hetrick finished in eighth with a 6:30.04.
The three runners grabbed the top three places in the steeplechase at the USATF Region 2 meet at Stockton State College of New Jersey two weeks ago with Powers taking first (6:22.94), Odell second (6:28.47) and Hetrick third (6:34.36).
After their showing on Thursday, Hetrick and Odell will look to repeat their All-American honors today in the 3,000 steeplechase, which starts at 8 a.m.
Also for the Striders, Hope Pietrocarlo of Bemus Point will hope to finish well in Saturday's 17-18 division 3,000 meter run, which begins at 9 a.m. Pietrocarlo won the Region 2 3,000 in 10:58.32 and also placed second in the 800 in 2:29.82.
Also qualifying for the national meet in Humble were Emma and Hannah Seiders of Silvercreek. Hannah Seiders took home second place in the 15-16 division of the 400-meter hurdles (1:07.54) and grabbed sixth in the 100 hurdles in (16.53) at the Region 2 meet.
Emma Seiders took fourth in the 800 meters in the 15-16 Division with a clocking of 2:26.16 in New Jersey.