Local athletes compete in regional, national track

Waconia High School student Zach Olsem, 14, competed in the USATF Track and Field Regionals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 5-8. Competing in the intermediate division, Olsem took first in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet, six inches and qualified for the USATF National Junior Olympic Championship in Baltimore, Maryland on July 23-29. Olsem will be unable to attend the national event.

Despite competing in extreme heat at the AAU National Track and Field Qualifier on June 28-July 1 at Simpson College in Indianola, Indiana, Ben and Samantha Hedtke qualified in all their field events for the AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Waconia High School student Ben Hedtke, 14, placed first in the javelin with a throw of 98 feet, 11.25 inches. In the 1K discus, he placed first with a throw of 121-11.75, and in the 4kg shot put, he again won with a toss of 41-09.

Clearwater Middle School student Samantha Hedtke, 10, competed In the sub-midget division, placing third in the six pound shot put with a 25-07.5 toss. In the 1K discus, she took third with a throw o 55-09.25.

The AAU Junior Olympic Games will be held in Houston, Texas on July 30-August 4. The Hedtkes are unable to attend this year.