BCK on Path to Crown First All-Americans in Club History
6/23/2017 - by NKS Editor
Union, KY: Forty BCK athletes prepare to represent Northern Kentucky in the 2017 AAU District Qualifier in Cecilia, Kentucky home of Central Hardin High School. For many of Northern Kentucky’s finest runners, the June 24 meet is the first of two qualifiers required to participate in the Junior Olympics in August. The club has lofty goals in its second year: to crown a few All-Americans. “We are proud of BCK’s talented athletes, and if things go our way we’ll have the Club’s first All-Americans,” said Shawn Proffitt. Proffitt knows talent, he’s coached several All-Americans while at Apopka HS in Florida and was himself an All-American several times for Anderson HS in Ohio.
The road to Junior Olympics isn’t easy but it has been rewarding. “Everyone is busy in the summer. We’re busy, the kids are busy, but these athletes train to get better, it’s nice to see dedication like that in young people,” said Russell Harden of the 46 athletes in the club. Family vacations are postponed or other great commitments like Governor’s Scholars Program demand flexibility and letters to administrators. Still, the NKY all-star club is prepared for this Saturday’s first step to the Junior Olympics and possibly a few All-Americans. With a roster of 20 State qualifiers in outdoor KHSAA track, including several regional champions, BCK is optimistic.
Last year BCK sent five competitors to the national stage. This year the goal is thirty. Leading the club are the high jumpers, pole vaulters, one of the fastest milers in the area, and NKY’s top hurdlers. “We’ve had growing pains as a club, but they will all be worth it Saturday when Northern Kentucky runners representing more than 10 schools work as a team and reach their goals,” said Edmundo Echeverria. The top 16 runners from each age group move on to the Regional Qualifier in Knoxville, TN. Hardin Valley Academy will host the Regional Qualifier again this year. BCK coaches and athletes know the venue and while they are not looking past the District competition, the experience is giving them a boost.
They’ll need both solid training and their personal best to reach Ypsilanti, Michigan, host city of this year’s Junior Olympics. Kentucky competes in Region 6, along with Tennessee and Alabama. The top 6 runners and 5 field athletes from each region move on. Northern Kentucky’s team plans to take 30, and perhaps medal in several events.
About BCK Track Club: BCK Track Club joined AAU to help athletes from Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties (BCK) compete at the national stage in track and field. Junior Olympic games run July 31-August 5.