Flowery Branch High’s Erika Rucker set a new personal best with a 55.19-second 400-meter run to claim first place at the USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic Championships on June 21.
Rucker, who finished third in the 200-meter dash at the Class AAA state championships in May, recorded the best time in the 400 for a high school girl in Georgia in 2009.
The rising junior also finished second in the 200 at the Junior Olympic Championships with a time of 24.74. Her qualifying time of 24.67 in the 200 and first-place finish in the 400 met the Junior Olympic Performance Standard.
Rucker ran her first competitive 400-meter run at the Junior Olympic Area Meet on June 6 to qualify for the championships.
Rucker is one of seven members of the Lanier Running Club to qualify for the Region 3 USATF Junior Olympic Championships from July 10-12 in Maryland.
Other female qualifiers are Janet Whitaker, who placed fourth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 12 minutes, 23.02 seconds and Kelsey Neukum, who placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:31.26 and fifth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 12:30.62.
Only Neukum and Rucker will compete in the Maryland meet, as Whittaker is unable to attend.
North Hall High’s Ty McCormack led the male competitors with a first place finish in the 5,000-meter run and a third place 1500-meter run.
McCormick, who finished second this year in Region 7-AAA in the 1,600-meter run, qualified for the Region 3 USATF Junior Olympic Championships with times of 16:18.33 in the 5,000 and 4:18.24 in the 1,500. McCormick will also be competing in the 2,000-meter steeplechase event at the Maryland meet.
Joining McCormick in Maryland are Kenny Slavik, who finished fourth in the 3,000-meter (10:16.50) and eighth in the 1,500-meter (4:34.52) and Brent Mullins, who placed sixth in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:16.85.
McCormick’s North Hall teammate Nolan Clark finished third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:38.12, but is unable to attend the meet in Maryland.