The Peninsula Flyers, a local age-group cross country/track and field program, will be sending 27 athletes to the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships this weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.
More than 3,000 youth athletes will be competing on Saturday at Balloon Fiesta Park, home to the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta the world's largest hot air balloon festival.
Competition takes place in six two-year age divisions, ranging between the ages of 7 and 18.Team scoring will be across the six age divisions.
Said Peninsula Flyers head coach Michael Davidson of his large group of entrants: "They have proven that hard work, determination and a little bit of luck goes a long way and will have the chance to compete among the top five percent of youth runners in the country."
The Flyers, who train at Palo Alto High, draw athletes from around the Bay Area. Palo Alto residents headed to nationals include Alex Selwyn (11-12), Ayanna Donwerth (11-12), Benjamin Hahn (13-14), Brody Land-McGowen (9-10), Emily Warren (11-12), Joey Scatena (11-12), Maya Pearson (11-12). Nathan Levy (9-10), Will Ballentine (11-12), and Nathaniel Hahn (11-12). Menlo Park is represented by Amelia Vinton (11-12) while Atherton resident Karim Nasr will be in the girls' 9-10 race and Pia Gallo will be in the girls' 11-2 event.
Mountain View has Abhishek Subandh and Ricardo Salazar Wtzel in the boys' 13-14 race; Los Altos has Adam Sage (13-14), Bryce Capuano (13-14), Chase Higgins (9-10) and Jennifer Cruden (9-10) while Woodside resident Elizabeth Chen goes in the 8-under race.