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Striders place in national qualifier
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Local youth track athletes with the Southeast Striders Track and Field Club placed at the AAU national qualifier in the Georgia versus South Carolina Track and Field Championships held at Lovejoy High School June 20-23.

Two Southeast Striders finished in the top three of their events to qualify for the AAU National Jr. Olympics to be held in Detroit July 28-Aug. 3.

Heritage graduate Ben Kennedy placed second in the young men’s javelin throw, and also received recognition as a scholar athlete. The AAU Georgia Association presented Kennedy, headed to Troy University, with a scholarship.

Fellow strider Summer Holtzs, 11, placed second in the mini javelin at Lovejoy, also earning a spot in Detroit. Four Striders medaled in earlier competition at the Georgia AAU State/District Track and Field Championships on June 6-9, 11-year-old Reece Burton in the boys mini javelin; Endyah Burch, 11, placed third in the girls mini javelin; Patrick Murray, 11, finished first in the boys high jump; and Reece Bunton, 12, placed second in the boys high jump.

At the USATF Jr. Olympic State Association Track and Field Championships held at Mill Creek High School June 13-16, seven members of the track club — Ben Kennedy, Chace Burton, Desmond Dunson, Crumbley, Reece Burton, Patrick Murray and Holtzs — qualified in the top eight and will compete at the USATF Jr. Olympic Regionals in Orlando, Fla. Leading the Southeast Striders is coach BJ Kennedy with assistants Anselynn Kennedy, Rick Crumbley, Ben Kennedy and Akila Murray.