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Yeckering qualifies for Junior Nationals

Josh Yeckering, a freshman on the APSU cross country team, has qualified for the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 10,000-meter run.

The Owensboro, Ky., native will run in the June 23-26 event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., after qualifying at the Drake Relays.

Needing a time of 32:45:00, Yeckering ran a 32:43:10 to earn the trip.
Josh Yeckering, a freshman on the APSU cross country team, has qualified for the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 10,000-meter run.

The Owensboro, Ky., native will run in the June 23-26 event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., after qualifying at the Drake Relays.

Needing a time of 32:45:00, Yeckering ran a 32:43:10 to earn the trip.

“Going into the meet, I knew it was going to be tough for Josh,” said APSU Coach Doug Molnar. “He was one only six freshmen out of 43 entries to get invited. Drake is a very prestigious meet, and to be invited is just a great honor.

“I told him I didn't care if he was in first place or last place, the object of going there was to qualify.”

And literally it came down to Yeckering's performance during the last mile.

“I told him he had to run under 5:10 (on the final mile) to make it, and he ended up running the last mile in 5:08,” said Molnar. “We were on pins and needles waiting for the final results—1.9 seconds isn't much, but it was enough to get him into the junior nationals.”

The 2005 USA Junior Nationals, held in conjunction with the USA Track and Field Nationals, is for individuals 19 and under who do not turn 20 during the 2005 calendar year. It also serves as the selection meet for the 2005 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, to be held July 28-31, in Windsor, Ontario.
—Brad Kirtley