After this weekend, Columbia County could be home to indoor track and field national champions.
A group of high school runners, all members of the Amateur Athletic Union team Velocity Striders, travel to New York for the New Balance Indoor National, Friday through Sunday, March 8-10.
“From the boys and girls that are going, we have a good chance of bringing back a bunch of national champions because a lot of those kids are in the top 10 in the nation,” said Michael Johnson, coach of the Velocity Striders.
Those competing had to earn their way into the event.
“You have to qualify time-wise,” said Johnson. “You had to be elite in the nation to qualify.”
The group traveling to the meet are Jeremy Harden, Briana Harden, Kaitlin Lucius, Kayla Tyson and Dontae Weaver from Greenbrier; Darius Watkins from Grovetown; Ashlan Rosier from Lakeside; Xarious Henderson and Brianna Turner from Evans; and Ryan McCain from North Augusta.
They will run events ranging
from the 60 meter dash to the 4x200 relay.
Jeremy Harden is confident in what he and the rest of the group can accomplish.
“I believe we’re going to the finals, every last one of us, because we work hard for it,” said Harden. “I think everybody’s going to go to the finals and get a medal.”
Harden was especially hopeful of what he, Henderson, Watkins and McCain could do in the 4x200 relay.
“I think we can win the whole thing with that one.”
Tyson, who is running the 60 and the 4x200 with Lucius, Turner and Rosier, is looking forward to the trip.
“I’ve never been to New York, so it’s just the experience of being there,” she said.