The 2014 USA Track and Field (USATF) National Junior Olympic Championships were held this past week in Houston, Texas and two athletes from the Temecula Rangers Youth Track Club received medals for their top performances against the nation’s best.
On Monday, July 21, Kirra Facer finished third in the USA in the 13-14-year-old age division in the 3000 meter Race Walk with a time of 17:53. Two years ago at Nationals in Kansas, the then 12-year old Facer was the first girl to bring home a National Championship title for the Temecula Valley Time Machine Track Club with an 8:15.66 time in the 1500 meter Race Walk. That same year, Facer took first place in the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Houston, Texas with a time of 8:15.10 in the 1500 meter Race Walk (MG Division). In last year’s USATF Nationals in Baltimore, Facer placed second with a time of 7:52.95 in the 1500 meter Race Walk.
Kristen Van Hise finished fourth in the USA in the 15-16 year old age division in the 3000 meter Race Walk with a time of 17:31. Last year at USATF Nationals at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, Van Hise won an eighth place medal in the YG Division 3000 meter Race Walk with a time of 18:47.53.
The two Junior Olympic All-Americans made it to Nationals with qualifying performances in the USATF SoCal Association Championships and the USATF Region 15 (California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii) Championships held in San Diego, California.
The girls have both been coached by former two-time USA Olympian Tim Seaman, who holds eight American records and 13 USA Indoor titles. The recently retired Seaman won the 2013 USA Indoors at age forty and the USA Outdoors at forty-one.
Van Hise and Facer are from Temecula. Van Hise competes for Great Oak High School on both the Track & Field and Cross-Country teams. Facer competes for the Vista Murrieta Cross Country team. Race Walk is currently not a CIF event, however, it is both a college and Olympic event.
The USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships is the largest and most visible youth athlete development program in the world with over 70,000 participating each year. Many of today’s Olympic stars began their track and field careers competing in these championships. This year’s USATF Nationals featured over 7500 athletes from all over the country competed in ten divisions.
Congratulations to our two local race walkers on their national accomplishment!