Two Northborough athletes reach national Track and Field Championships

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Two Northborough athletes reach national Track and Field Championships
Nick Furtado runs the 100-meter dash.

NORTHBOROUGH – Two Northborough students went to the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. after placing at the regional championship in Brunswick, Maine.

Former eighth grader Niko Conway competes in the high jump and former seventh grader Nick Furtado competes in the 100-meter dash.

Furtado chose to focus on the 100-meter dash because he likes walking and sprinting fast on straightaways.

“I like it because you let all your energy out and you just run as fast as you can,” Furtado said. “You’re right next to the bleachers so you have the motivation, people yelling at you to go faster.”

Conway, meanwhile, chose the high jump because she thought it looked fun.

“It’s kind of relaxing. It’s not as competitive as the other events,” she said.

Two Northborough athletes reach national Track and Field Championships
Niko Conway competes in the high jump.

Regional success 

Before they traveled to the championship in Maine, Conway and Furtado had both competed at the State Middle School Championship on June 10 at Gardner High School.

Conway finished seventh in her event, jumping 4.6 feet despite it being her third time competing in the high jump. She decided to continue competing in the regional competition.

“I didn’t want my season to end,” Conway said.

Furtado finished 46th in the preliminary 100-meter dash.

Next, they competed at the New England Junior Olympic Championship at Clinton High School on June 18 where Conway finished fifth and Furtado came in sixth. These finishes qualified them to compete at Region 1 Junior Olympic Championship.

After finishing eighth at Region 1, Furtado said that he had not expected to make it so far in his first year.

“It felt great to just keep going and just keep trying harder and harder,” he said.

However, Conway was disappointed that she did not jump as high as her performance at the state competition, reaching 4.27 feet at Region 1.

Her goal for nationals was to improve on her state jump of 4.6 feet.

Furtado, on the other hand, had a goal to place in the top five.

Nationals

To prepare for the national competition, Conway and Furtado practiced at the Algonquin Regional High School track. Conway had been continually practicing the high jump, while Furtado focused on warmups and practicing with starting blocks.

They were both excited to go to Sacramento’s Hornet Stadium, where the national competition was held from July 25-31.

At the national competition, Furtado finished 59th with a time of 13.24, and Conway had a No Height result.

Furtado thanked all of his friends and coaches for their support.

“It was a tough race but I’m happy that I gave it all my best,” Furtado said.

In the future, he was excited to keep practicing and doing his best.

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