Young GJ runner qualifies for cross country nationals

With his fifth-place finish last weekend at the USA Track & Field Region 10 Cross Country Championships in Glendale, Ariz., Chuck Bisbee, front, qualified for the National Junior Olympic championships on Dec. 11 in Hoover, Ala.

Chuck Bisbee hoped for a top-10 finish.

The Grand Junction 14-year-old did better than that.

He placed fifth in the USA Track & Field Region 10 Cross Country Championships Youth Division (age 13-14) last weekend in Glendale, Ariz., and qualified for the National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.

The region includes athletes from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and the El Paso area of Texas. Bisbee finished the 4K desert course in a personal-best time of 13 minutes, 29.96 seconds.

“I was pretty surprised,” Bisbee said. “My goal was the top 10 and I took fifth.”

This is the first time Bisbee has qualified for nationals.

The National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships are Dec. 11 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Hoover, Ala.

The national championships course features “a lot of hills,” Bisbee said.

“I know it’s a tough course,” he said. “I’ll have to incorporate the hills in my workout. That may be hard with the weather.”

Bisbee is also playing basketball this winter.

“When we do wind sprints at practice, I try to hit them hard,” he said. “I try to get in longer runs for conditioning.”

Bisbee said he hopes to finish in the top 25 at nationals.

Bisbee has competed in several USA Track & Field events, but this year was the first time he competed in a cross country event.

“I remember the summer before fifth grade, I started the Hershey’s (track meets),” Bisbee said. “It was the thing I liked to do. (Running) is something easy to do and you don’t need a lot of equipment.”


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