Local duo captures Junior Olympic track titles

Jun 26, 2019
Courtesy of: Chris Beard Kimberly Beard and Grace Gilson won Junior Olympic Pacific Northwest Association track and field titles

Two future Kamiak track and field athletes were crowned champions at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Pacific Northwest Association Championships June 22-23 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

Grace Gilson, 8-year-old second grader from Picnic Point Elementary, and Kimberly Beard, an 11-year-old fifth grader from Northshore Christian Academy, took on the best age group competitors on the west side of the mountains and came home champions.

Gilson started the 8 and under girls competition with the 1500-meter race, dominating the field with a time of 6 minutes, 14.02 seconds. She then went directly to the long jump, where she placed a third with a jump of 8 feet, 7 inches.

Beard began the day with the 11/12 year old girls discus, winning by 20 feet with a throw of 78-4. She then followed with a see-saw battle in the javelin, placing second with 88-4.

Returning Sunday, Beard placed second in the 6-pound shot put with a toss of 27-11. Gilson finished the duo’s performance, winning the 800 by 15 seconds with a time of 3:02.45.

The top eight placers in each event advance to the Region 13 Championships July 5-7 at Mount Tahoma High School. Gilson and Beard are among the top performers in the region in their stronger events.

Gilson has been competing in the Junior Olympic cross-country series, local road races and the Club Northwest All-Comers series. Beard has been throwing the hammer and discus in local collegiate meets, competing for Northshore Christian Academy’s 5/6 track team and participating in the CNW All-Comer’s series as well.

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