Kids kick up heels, kick off Shamrock Invitational fun

The Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational got under way Thursday with approximately 60 kids from the Carolina coast testing their track and field skills at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

It was all part of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club’s Kids’ Day meet, which gave children ages 6-12 the opportunity to try their hands – and feet – in track and field events.

“It’s a great honor to have this event named after me, and this is the perfect way to kick off the weekend,” said Connie, who is in his 40th year of coaching track and field on the Grand Strand. “Coach (Clarence) Richardson and the (Myrtle Beach Track & Field) Club do a great job of introducing the kids to the sport at an early age. They make it fun.”

That bwas the theme of the Kids Day activities, which split boys and girls into groups by age and let them rotate through the various events – the 100 meters, hurdles, long jump, high jump and shot put (aka a softball). Track and field athletes from Coastal Carolina University taught the children proper form and techniques, but mostly made it fun.

Then it was time to get down to business as the first of three days filled with college track and field competitions began with the 10,000-meter runs. Hampton University swept titles in the 10,000 meter runs. Janet Okeago won the women’s race in a time of 37:10.28, while Wesley Kimutai won the men’s race in 30:59.95.

CCU redshirt Senior Rachel Byrd placed third in the women’s 10,000 meters as the distance runner recorded a time of 38:53.45, breaking her personal best time of 39:08.17. Byrd’s best split of the event happened very last lap of the race as she pushed and her best time of 1:23.47.

Day 2 begins Friday at 10 a.m. with the Men’s Hammer Throw and Women’s Javelin Throw. Competition continues through Saturday as more than 1,200 athletes representing 70 teams from 37 colleges and universities take part.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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