GIRARD, KS — It took just one practice for 12-year-old Chanute resident Easton Colborn to set a lofty goal for his first ever Track and Field season.
“He came up to me before the start of the second practice and said ‘Coach I want to go to the Junior Olympics this year’,” Coach Nate Clevenger of the Girard-based Warriors Track Club said.
“I just thought this would be a really big goal to accomplish because I watch like the Olympics,” Easton said. “And I thought it would be really cool to do.”
“We told him you know that’s a great goal,” Easton’s mother Monica Colborn said. “This is something you can you know get to the Junior Olympics with.”
Monica Colborn added, “We didn’t have any real expectations about could he do it or could he not. We just supported him and let him do his thing.”
But to get to the Junior Olympics there needs to be an event that an athlete is capable of making a run at the national event with, and Easton had already gravitated to one activity in particular: the High Jump.
“Before we moved here we lived in a little town called Holcomb and our track coach put on this little track meet for us,” said Easton. “There was this high jump one and I was just really good at it.”
Coach Clevenger said, “I kind of watched him, and talked to him a little bit, and he was springy…and he knew he wanted to high jump. So we did some high jumping in practice.”
On the field, it didn’t take long for people to recognize Easton’s talent at the high jump. Standing at just 4’7” the Chanute product cleared four feet at his first meet, rivaling the heights of some of the taller athletes.
“I was just surprised at how high I can jump, Easton said.”
“The big thing was that all the kids that were jumping against him were kind of in awe of him at the time because he was so little and how well he jumps for how tiny he is,” said Coach Clevenger.
And the hard work from April to now paid off in a big way as Easton leaped his way to the Junior Olympics in North Carolina. The Warriors Track Club in total had 24 qualifiers for the event. 20 of them will participate next week.
Easton will now represent Southeast Kansas and Chanute, and for the high jump participant the chance to do so is a great honor.
Easton said, “It means a lot because I’ve just never represented anything really and this is my first time so.”