Runners headed to nationals

By Kevin Eckleberry

July 8, 2014

Four members of a new track club in LaGrange are heading to Texas.

The quartet of runners have qualified for a national track and field meet in the Lone Star State after making it through the state and sectional levels.

The four runners who will be going to the national competition on July 21 are Karsen Pearson, Jada Grant, Niakoe Burks and Andrea Leach.

Lofton Torrance won the state competition in the race walk, but he won’t be able to go nationals since that event isn’t offered there.

Broderick Stargell, who began the track club this summer, said the group of runners have made big strides.

“These kids, they’re brand new to track, with the exception of maybe one of them,” he said. “It’s been three months in track, and they went to the top just like that.”

They’ll be competing in a variety of events, from the long jump, to the 100-meter dash, to the 400-meter run.

Some of them will be competing in two events, and others just one.

The national meet will be held in Humble, a suburb of Houston, from July 21-27.

“That’s going to be a big deal over there,” Stargell said.

The runners have had to make it through two stages to make it to nationals.

First up, they had to finish among the top eight in an event in the state competition to make it to sectionals.

Then at the sectionals, which wrapped up in South Carolina last weekend, they had to finish in the top five in an event to earn an invitation to nationals.