News: Team Bliss Track Club kicks off 2012 season in Tucson
Story by Staff Sgt. Jes Smith
FORT BLISS, Texas - In the hot sun and strong winds of Tuscon, Ariz., members of the Team Bliss Junior Olympic Track Club started their 2012 outdoor track season off right, by winning five individual events in the 2012 Arizona Regulation Meet at the Canyon Del Oro High School Track and Field Complex, March 16.
The team also scored seven second-place finishes, seven third-place finishes and 23 additional top-eight finishes. The team will be competing throughout the summer here against local track teams, but before that part of the schedule kicks off, their head coach, Sgt. 1st Class Crispen Hanson, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, took the team on the road to get his athletes valuable experience and build confidence in their abilities.
“We competed today against kids that we will be seeing at regionals and nationals,” said Hanson, a Tomahawk, Wis., native. “Coming to Arizona lets our kids learn how they are stacking up against the best in our region.”
Hanson, who has been coaching the team for three years, added that about half of the 53 athletes he brought to the meet were competing in track and field for the first time, and the day’s meet helped them learn how far they could push themselves.
One of the big winners for Team Bliss on the day was ten-year-old Joshua White, who competes as a Midget Boy, the 10-11 age group for boys, won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1 minute, 2.55 seconds and the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.95 seconds. White also took 3rd in the 100-meter dash by finishing in 13.09 seconds.
“I feel really good about my performance, even though the wind was blowing, I am still happy with the times I ran,” said White, whose father is stationed at Fort Bliss. “My goal is to someday win a national title.”
White, a native of Watertown, N.Y., added that he liked competing against different athletes at meets as opposed to just running with his teammates at practice.
Additional first place finishers were Joseph Boroff, competing as a Bantam, or 8-9-year-old boys, who won his 800-meter run by finishing in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, and his 1500-meter run by posting a time of 5 minutes, 21 seconds. Skylar Newton, competing as an Intermediate, 15-16-year-old boys, won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.25 seconds.
The team has no plans to rest. Next up is a track meet at the Stout Track, March 24, and then the following week, the team will get back on the road to compete in the Phoenix Invitational, which hosts teams from all over the western region.
“Our goal for the team this year is the same as it always is -- to just watch these kids learn that the goals they set can be attainable,” said Hanson. “Once they do that, the sky is the limit for these athletes.”
Full results of the Arizona Regulation Meet can be found on the Team Bliss website at www.teambliss.com.