XC runners advance to Jr. Olympics Nationals

Nov. 23—More than a dozen Cass County athletes extended their cross country season by training for and competing in Junior Olympics.

JO meets are organized and facilitated through USA Track & Field which has been a staple program in developing future Olympians for decades.

This year's JO cross country season began in mid-October with meets held all across Indiana every weekend finishing with the State meet in Shelbyville on Nov. 12.

Our local club team, the Cass County Wolf Pack, had eight competitors in the State meet. The Cass County club team consisted of boys and girls from the ages of 7-14 from Logansport and Pioneer schools.

Out of eight state competitors, five qualified for the Midwest Regional that took place on Nov. 19 in Oswego, Illinois.

Four of the five elected to compete at the regional and all four qualified for Nationals by finishing in the top 30. Our four national qualifiers are Jack Nance, an eighth grader from Pioneer, who finished 22nd with a time of 15:24 for the 4K, Kenley Jasmantas, a sixth grader from Pioneer, finished 13th with a big breakout performance with a time of 13:32 for the 3K, Alette Woodhouse, a seventh grader from Pioneer, finished third with a time of 12:00 for the 3K and Clare Lebrija, a Logansport seventh grader, placed second with a time of 15:54 in the 4K.

JO races are divided by birth year and gender. The youngest age group runs a 2K, birth year 2014-2015.

Of the four national qualifiers, two have elected to make the trip to College Station, Texas to compete against the best young runners in the country on Dec. 10.

There, they will toe the starting line with over 300 other runners in their respective divisions. The two Cass County representatives will be Jack Nance in the boys 4K and Clare Lebrija in the girls 4K.