After collecting thousands of miles across the United States, visiting historic sites along the way and challenging America’s best youth athletes, the results are in: Thad Moren’s cross country road trip with his Team Olympians athletes ended in some jewelry.
Moren’s daughter, Cerah, placed fourth in the 12-and-under girls turbo javelin at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium in Kansas. The competition wasn’t the only battle, as Cerah and her fellow Turlock athletes, Sean Donnelly and Bryan Rosales, faced the mid-West heat that reached in the 110s.
Donnelly and Rosales both competed in three events (discus, hammer throw and shot put), with Donnelly finishing in a respectful ninth in the hammer. Both are Pitman High student-athletes, as Donnelly is a senior and Rosales a junior.
Cerah, who’s entering Turlock Junior High this fall as a seventh grader, also threw the discus. She took 15th in that event.
Nearly a dozen athletes with Team Olympians qualified for the junior national event, but only Cerah, Donnelly and Rosales made the long-distance journey with Thad Moren as the driver. Their stops included Hannibal, Miss., the site of Mark Twain’s boyhood home; the Mississippi River, meandering as the largest river system in North America; and Champaign, Ill., where they attended the Great American Throws Festival at Gill Athletics Factory to watch the world’s top three discus throwers compete in an exhibition.
They returned home Sunday.
“The kids all had fun,” coach Thad Moren said. “It was a great experience.”
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