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High school athletes earned All-America honors in 12 events at Junior Olympic track championships

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Northern Kentucky high school athletes earned All-America honors in 12 events at the Junior Olympic national track and field championships in Jacksonville, Fla.

They were all members of the BCK Thoroughbreds club team who competed in the 17-18, 15-16 and 13-14 age group events during the seven-day championship meet that ended Sunday at the University of North Florida.

Renae Kopser

Athletes who placed among the top eight in any event received All-America honors. The team leaders for the Thoroughbreds were Ryle senior Renea Kopser and Simon Kenton graduate Brandon McDaniel, who were among the top eight finishers in three 17-18 age group events.

Kopser placed fourth in the girls 2000-meter steeplechase, eighth in the 1500 run and was a member of the 4×800 relay team that finished third. McDaniel placed fourth in the boys 3000 run, seventh in the 1500 run and was a member of the 4×800 relay team that finished eighth.

The BCK team members who earned All-America honors in two events were Cara Weber of Ryle and Sophie Palmer of Dixie Heights in the girls 15-17 age group and Audrey Shelton of Grant County in the girls 15-16 age group.

In the girls 13-14 age group, Allison Kopser of Ryle placed eighth in the 800 run to achieve All-America status. She won the Class 3A Region 5 girls cross country meet as an eight-grader last year.

A complete listing of how all the BCK Thoroughbreds club members did in the Junior Olympic national meet is posted on the USATF website.

BCK Thoroughbreds All-America honors

Girls 17-18 age group
2000 steeplechase – Renae Kopser (4th place, 7:40.12)
3000 run – Cara Weber (6th place, 11:09.35)
3000 race walk – Sophie Palmer (8th place, 25:58.42)
1500 run — Renea Kopser (8th place, 4:56.54)
4×800 relay (includes alternates) – Renea Kopser, Yasmin Garcia, Cara Weber, Madison Rabe, Emma Hopkins, Allison Arnett (3rd place, 10:35.90)
4×800 relay (includes alternates) – Sophia Palmer, Trinity Smith, Kaitlyn Wilson, Natalie Curry, Emily Parsons (4th place, 11:46.19)

Boys 17-18 age group
3000 run – Brandon McDaniel (4th place, 9:06.12)
1500 run – Brandon McDaniel (7th place, 4:03.29)
4×800 relay (includes alternates) Brandon McDaniel, Kadin Engle, Xander Ritter, Adam Ruschman Jr., Kefa Abakuki (8th place, 8:57.38)

Girls 15-16 age group
2000 steeplechase – Audrey Shelton (4th place, 7:51.73)
4×800 relay (includes alternates) – Audrey Shelton, Kaitlyn Strange, Anna Meade, Madeline Berner, Veronica Orr, Emilie Zengel (5th place, 10:58.61)

Girls 13-14 age group
800 run — Allison Kopser (8th place, 2:35.19)


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