August 6, 2001
Young Duvall runner represents state
by Valley View staff
DUVALL - By anyone's measurements, young Madison Yakaboski's summer vacation should rate a 10.
The Cherry Valley Elementary fifth-grader just returned from the National Junior Olympics, where she represented Washington state as a runner in the 400M and 200M races.
And soon she will be off to the East Coast, where she will finalize her summer activities by competing in another national event.
Coached by her dad, Mario, Madison began running for fun just a year ago. She started practicing at the Woodinville High School track, and went on to compete in local meets, where she was fast enough to qualify for regionals.
During the regionals, held in Shoreline July 14, Madison took first place in the 400M with a time of 1.08.75 and third place in the 200M with a time of 30.00. Both times were good enough to advance to nationals.
Madison, just 10 years old, came in 12th overall in the 400M and 15th overall in the 200M races in the National Junior Olympics held July 24-29 in Sacramento, California.
Next will be the Hershey Nationals which will be held in Hershey, Pennsylvania, from Aug. 9 to 12.
At the Hershey qualifying meet in Federal Way, she took first place in both the 200M with a time of 30.55 and 400M with a time of 1.09.31. For the Hershey meet, only a select number of athletes are invited to participate in the North American finals. With her 400M time, Madison was selected to represent the Pacific Northwest region, which includes Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Madison's mother, Brenda, is proud of her achievements. Brenda traveled with her to Sacramento and will also go along to watch the three-day Hershey meet, which offers free airfare, hotels and side trips to the Hershey factory and amusement park for the contestants.
"Madison has done well," said Brenda. "For her first year of running, ranking 12th in the nation is a major accomplishment for her. She was nervous at first, but the Junior Olympics were run very professionally ... they had special areas for them to warm up in, and that helped."
Brenda said Madison maintains a 3.5 grade point average at school and enjoys competing and challenging herself. When she's not running track, she enjoys playing basketball. The Duvall team in which she plays took first place in both the Redmond and Monroe Boys and Girls Club leagues.
Mario, when not coaching Madison at the track, also coaches basketball. He holds basketball clinics at Cherry Valley Elementary and open gym there on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. for girls grades four to six who want to improve their skills. Recently he has opened the clinics up to boys from elementary to middle school age.
To see the results of Madison's participation in the Hershey meets, log on to www.hershey.com/trackandfield.