Belle Plaine teen athletes Aria Jamison, Jaylen Struck-Schmitz and McKenna Herrmann spent last week in Sacramento, California, competing in the 2019 Hershey’s Junior Olympic USATF National Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The seven-day track meet took place at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. Although the break from Minnesota’s humidity was nice, the athletes faced intense sun with no cloud cover and temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees during competition.
Aria Jamison was BPXC Track Club’s first athlete to compete for the week. Out of the field of 15 finalists in the 3000m racewalk in the 15/16 year old division, she finished in sixth place earning a place on the podium and achieving All-American status.
Jaylen Struck-Schmitz competed in the 400m hurdles and placed 11th in the 17/18 women’s division. She also competed in the 100m hurdles, placing 26th.
McKenna Herrmann spent the most time on the track enduring a long and busy race day schedule throughout the meet with three competitive distances and a qualification for a final. Her first race was the 800m, where she finished 16th in the 17/18 women’s division. She also competed in the 400m placing 46th.
Herrmann’s highlight race was the 1500m. She was the 13th seed going into the competition with a personal record of 5:01, but her dedication to her training and her patience within the race paid off, as she crossed the line with a 4:47, a new personal best and the sixth-place seed advancing into Sunday afternoon’s finals originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. start. However, as the temperature was forecasted to hit 106 and eventually did hit 110 on the track, the 1500m was rescheduled to 8 a.m. for the runners’ safety. Herrmann ran a fantastic strategic race to finish fourth overall in the 17/18 women’s division, earning a place on the podium and All-American status.