Two Hopkins alumni went the distance this track and field season leading them to the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship in Des Moines June 21-24. Joe Klecker and Reed Fischer recently competed at the championship meet, in which the best track and field athletes in the United States compete.
"To earn a spot on that starting line alongside the nation's best athletes is something I don't take for granted," Fischer said.
Fischer ran the 10K alongside Olympians and men with more experience. He ended up taking the lead with a mile to go in the race, a move that he hasn't always had the confidence to make. Giving himself a shot to win the race was a big moment for him, he said. Fischer ended up in fourth place at the finish line, but he said the experience will undoubtedly grow his confidence in future races.
Klecker competed in the 5K race. He finished in ninth place.
Mike Harris, Hopkins cross country and track and field coach, said the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship is like the world series of track and field, so having just one Hopkins alum in the competition is significant.
“It is likely Hopkins was the only community whereby two former alumni were competing,” Harris said.
Harris coached both Klecker and Fischer when they were at Hopkins High School. According to Harris, watching the two compete at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship is a reminder to Hopkins youth that being a top athlete in any sport mirrors their academic focus and successes.
“Both Reed and Joe are great role models academically and athletically and have shined in both arenas,” Harris said.
The philosophy at Hopkins has been to shine in the classroom in order to have the tools to help navigate the grit and determination it takes to excel as an athlete. The Hopkins Royals may have launched these two athletes into the university level and beyond, but they did the rest.
Photo credit: Michael Scott