A pair of runners with the Creekview Youth Cross Country Team recently earned All-American honors for their top finishes in a USA Track and Field national event.
Eight-year-old Zackary French and 10-year-old Colt Turner both competed at the USATF National Junior Olympics Championships on Dec. 13 in Paris, Kentucky. In the 9-10 age group, Turner came in with a time of 11 minutes, 41 seconds to place 20th at his level, while French finished 21st in the 7-8 age group with a time of 8:14. Due to their finishing in the top 25, both French and Turner earned the honor of being named All-American.
Colt’s mother, April Turner, and Zackary’s mother, Becky French, said their sons have both been running since they were six, and the two have been successful cross country runners since the beginning.
“This is Zackary’s second time going to the championships, and this is his first time placing,” French said.
Although not being able to go as a six-year-old due to a USATF age requirement, Turner said, “Colt has qualified for this event for the past five seasons. He’s gone the past four, and this was his third-straight year to earn All-American honors.”
Although lockdown and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic kept some runners from being able to compete at the event, there were still plenty of strong competitors taking the field alongside the two. Becky French said Zackary had set a goal for himself to earn this honor at the event and worked incredibly hard to achieve that, adding he was completely excited to have accomplished what he set out to do.
“It’s really cool to have earned All-American honors for three years straight,” Colt Turner said.
In addition to running in the USATF championships, Turner went up against another group of stiff competition recently, running on his own at the AAU Cross Country National Championship in Tallahassee, Florida, the week before. April Turner said he finished in 20th place there as well, meaning he was able to medal for his finish in the top 25.
Looking ahead to future seasons, French said Zackary’s plan was to continue improving and giving it his best year after year. Meanwhile, Colt Turner said that, due to his moving up from the 9-10 age group, “I’m looking forward to competing against the next age group (11-12) and the runners at that level.”