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Local athletes conclude Michigan trip with good showing
Caitlin O'Connell takes some final warmups at the University of Michigan on Saturday. She took 8th place in the high jump event on Sunday. - photo by Photo courtesy of Thad Moren

It wasn’t easy to stand out, considering the number of athletes from across the country competing in the USA Youth Outdoor Championships at Eastern Michigan University. Athletes from Florida, Texas, California, Michigan were all there.

And plenty had goals of topping a personal record or capturing a top three finish in their respective races and age divisions.

The 14 local athletes who traveled with Pitman High coach Thad Moren last week knew the challenges of standing out among hundreds of others like them, but many still prevailed. To conclude the one-week trip that allowed them to do such things as stretch out their legs and arms before jogging around the famous football field at nearby University of Michigan, the athletes provided highlights.

Pitman High sophomore Kyndel Fletcher finished fifth in the pole vault. Moren said Fletcher cleared 9 feet, 1 inch before knocking down the pole, costing her a possible higher finish. Fellow sophomore Caitlin O’Connell captured eighth in the high jump after clearing 4 feet, 9 inches.

Cerah Moren, a fourth-grader from Walnut Elementary, threw 20 feet, 7 1/4 inches in the shot put to place third. And finally, Devyn Prather arrived with the second-best seed in the hammer throw but was unable to get in a successful throw during her first three attempts and did not advance to the final.
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