Track stars advance to Junior Nationals
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Family member Tony Carodine Jr. practices his triple jump in preparation for the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships, which began Tuesday and end Sunday.

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Klohe Foster’s father was the first to notice his daughter’s pent-up energy.

“She was always running around the day care at Fort Carson,” said Anthony Foster, an employee at the Warrior Clinic, part of Medical Department Activity.

“She’s fast,” said Crystal Foster, Klohe’s mother and employee at MEDDAC. “At school races, she beat all the kids.”

Klohe’s parents signed the then 7-year-old up for Fast Trax Troupe, a track and field club team, and during her first outdoor season with the team, Klohe qualified for the 2011 USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships in the long jump.

“I like winning,” said Klohe, now 8. “I like to work with the team.”

A third-grader at Patriot Elementary School, Klohe said she began running so she could get to places faster.

“She is highly motivated,” said John Smith, head coach of Fast Trax Troupe. “I am very much impressed that she has worked hard enough to get as far as she has.”

Klohe took first place in the long jump with a 9-foot, 7-inch jump at the Colorado Junior Olympic 2011 State Championship held June 26.

In the days leading up to the national competition, which takes place in Wichita, Kan., Klohe continued refining her technique and improving her jumps.

“She improved six inches the other day,” said Gregg Stinson, jump coach for Fast Trax Troupe and physical education teacher at Abrams Elementary School. “I think if she can get her best jump, she’ll place. She’s been a real pleasure to have and will have a very bright future.”

Klohe said she’s excited to be going to nationals. “I’m going to win,” she said.

Fort Carson has two other all-stars representing Fast Trax Troupe at the competition. Tony Carodine Jr., a senior at Widefield High School, qualified in the triple jump, 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relays.

“My friends encouraged me to join the team,” said Carodine, 17, who began running two years ago. “I never thought I’d be a jumper. It took me three weeks to learn how to do the triple jump.”

In May, Carodine took first place at the Colorado High School State Track and Field Championships in the triple jump with a 47-foot, 5.5 inch jump.

He is seeded second at the National Junior Olympic Championships.

“I love it,” he said.

Carodine’s sister, Jaylin, also qualified for the competition in the 400 meter dash.

Jaylin, a sixth grader at Sproul Junior High School, won the race with a time of 1:05.9 at Colorado Junior Olympic 2011 State Championship. This summer marked Jaylin’s first outdoor season with the track team.

“It helps me exercise so I don’t have to bother going to the gym,” she said.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joretha Carodine, MEDDAC and Evans Army Community Hospital,

Tony Carodine and Jaylin’s mother. “It’s a great accomplishment. It’s amazing to watch how they progress over time.”

Both Joretha Carodine and her husband, Capt. Tony Carodine Sr., are Soldiers stationed at Fort Carson.

“I love that my kids are involved with this,” said Tony Carodine Sr., 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). “It’s great exercise and experience. It will carry them throughout life.”

Page last updated Thu July 28th, 2011 at 12:41