Latta fifth grader Ryan Dennis will travel to Texarkana, Texas, on Saturday, June 30 for the AAU National Qualifier and his final hurdle to reach the National Junior Olympic Games in Houston July 25 - August 4. He has qualified to compete in the 80M hurdles, the 100M dash and the long jump.
Ryan is the 11-year-old son of Dr. Bruce and Sheri Dennis of Fittstown.
“The hurdles are his best bet at qualifying for the National Junior Olympics. Ryan placed first in his last two meets, winning the Sooner State Games on June 16 and becoming the only male Oklahoma hurdler under 13 years old to qualify for regionals at the District Qualifier Meet in Norman on June 9,” his father said.
Ryan has been running track for three years. He twice qualified for state in the Hershey’s track competitions, placing second in state in the 50M dash in 2011. He has been coached by local talent Abraham Ekal and is currently competing with the Ardmore based Southern Oklahoma Track Club where he travels with his mother on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays to run for more than six hours a week.
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is a national non-profit organization boasting over 500,000 participants in 35 sports programs. Ryan was recognized nationally this week as the AAU “Champion of the Week” highlighting young athletes preparing for the Junior Olympics. His photo is featured on their Facebook page and website of the organization with over 34,000 young members.