Temperatures in the low 90s didn’t stop a large contingent of athletes who showed off their skills in the final track meet of the Pierce County Parks and Recreation’s summer program last Wednesday afternoon at Sparks Stadium.
Track coordinator Jeanette Sieler was thrilled to see the number of competitors in the sixth meet of the series.
“Our attendance has been well up this year,” she said. “We’re averaging more than 400 people per night of all ages. Some of the people here tonight is just their first time out here. The word of mouth about this event has been great.”
Several familiar faces did miss the finale, because many of the top athletes were in North Carolina, competing in the Junior Olympics.
Leroy Horton, a 32-year-old whose children competed for the Morgan Family YMCA track team based in Tacoma, said he only missed one meet throughout the summer.
“My kids run at these meets, and I’m really big on practicing what I preach,” he said. “I train with the kids, and I compete with them, too. Even though I’m too old to beat some of those teenagers, my kids still see me out here trying as hard as I can and competing.”
Horton ran in the 50 meters, as well as the 100, 200, 800 and 3,200 last week.
The sizzling temperatures were just right for him.
“I love the heat,” he said. “The cold is fine while you’re exercising, but the moment you stop and the sweat starts evaporating, you get the chills. Today’s weather was just perfect.”
Zoey Selby, who graduated from Clover Park High School in June, has volunteered at the finish line at each meet this summer. Selby plans to run cross country and track at Gonzaga University next year.
“This is my first year volunteering at the meets,” Selby said. “I love seeing people who feel the same passion for track that I have. You can just see it in their eyes. I just love being out here.”