Aftershock runners edged by top competition at Junior Olympics State Championships
With temperatures hovering in the triple digits for their second consecutive race, the Aftershock Distance Club brought a slew of medals back home, but the gold eluded them.
In their final meet of their prolonged track and field season (they began in the late winter with indoor track), the runners of Aftershock took their talents to a familiar course with familiar conditions, Mesa Community College, for the Junior Olympic State Championships.
Aftershock runners finished in the top-5 nine times, led by a pair of silvers for Allyson Arellano and Chris D'Angelo. Penny Fenn nabbed a silver and bronze and Jalen Ebert finished fourth and fifth in her races.
The races were spread out over two days. On the first day the runners participated in the 1,500-meter run. The races were more "tactical" because of a slower pace, more than likely due to the heat. The first 1,500 runner for Aftershock was Swayze Smith. Smith ran her 1,500 in 5:30.19, which placed her at No. 10. In her teammates race, Arellano (5:12.05), Fenn (5:16.59) and Ebert (5:57.55) ended their run second, third and fifth respectively.
"The running was slower than normal as the races became very tactical," said head coach Micah Swenson.
Joining D'Angelo on the boys' side of Aftershock was Joshua Reilly. Reilly, running in his first race as a member of aftershock, ran in the 13-14 division and completed his race in 5:20.93. D'Angelo ran his race in 4:25.76, losing to 2013's national champion in the 1,500 and 3,000-meter races, Morgan Risch, 1.75 seconds.
In the 3,000-meter race, which was run the following day, Aftershock encountered much of the same results, despite a more competitive field.
"Sunday brought a slightly different approach as race times were a little more competitive," Swenson said.
Smith ran her 3,000 in 12:16.25. Arellano (10:46.34) and D'Angelo (9:29.04) both finished second and Reilly won bronze and ran a personal record 11:04.68, more than a minute better than his previous time.
"Joshua Reilly, a triathlete by trade, has been training with Aftershock since January," Swenson said. "In his first outdoor championship meet, Josh earned a thirrd place finish with a time 11:04.68, a personal best of more than a minute."
Fenn also added a silver medal to her collection with her 8:09.81 run in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Ebert was the lone Aftershock member to run the 800-meter race and she finished fourth with a time of 2:36.36.
Despite three runners (Fenn, D'Angelo and Arellano) earning four tickets to the regional championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the Junior Olympic State Championships were the final track and filed competition for Aftershock. Now they will take time to enjoy the summer before preparing for cross-country season and two big out of state races, the Foot Locker West Regional in Walnut, California and the USATF Nationals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.1,500 Meter Run 13-14 Division Girls
10 Smith, Swayze 5:30.19
3,000 Meter Run 13-14 Division Girls
8 Smith, Swayze 12:16.25
800 Meter Run 15-16 Division Girls
4 Ebert, Jalen 2:36.36
1,500 Meter Run 15-16 Division Girls
2 Arellano, Allyson 5:12.05
3 Fenn, Penny 5:16.59
5 Ebert, Jalen 5:57.55
3,000 Meter Run 15-16 Division Girls
2 Arellano, Allyson 10:46.34
2,000 Meter Steeplechase 15-16 Division Girls
2 Fenn, Penny 8:09.81
1,500 Meter Run 13-14 Division Boys
8 Reilly, Joshua 5:20.93
3,000 Meter Run 13-14 Division Boys
3 Reilly, Joshua 11:04.68
1,500 Meter Run 15-16 Division Boys
2 D'Angelo, Chris 4:25.76
3,000 Meter Run 15-16 Division Boys
2 D'Angelo, Chris 9:29.04