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Jumping to new heights

Derek Hanson clears the bar in the high jump during the last day of Track and Field Camp on Thursday. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
July 27, 2011 - Kortni Chrisman lined up the athletes on Thursday and told them to hold the water balloon like a shot put.

As each one of the Track & Field Camp participants put the balloon firmly next to their neck Chrisman got into position - laying down on the cement ground.

She was ready as one-by-one the campers threw the water balloons at her - a treat for their last day of camp. Some hit Chrisman and broke while others hit the ground.

The athletes also competed against each other in some of the events they learned during the week - long jump, high jump, hurdles, shot put and the 100-meter dash.

"We spent three days learning all the of the different events," John Yorke, head coach for the Clarkston High School Girls Varsity Track team explained.

The campers also learned how to perform a discus throw but didn't compete against each other in the event.

"We learned new strategies and how to do the hurdles and high jump," said Nicole Hanson, a returner to the camp. "I thought this year was really good compared to the other years. I like how Coach Yorke focused on each person and focused on what we need to do."

First year camper Courtney Roland enjoyed learning about the shot put event especially how to hold the shot put and throw it.

"I think it was really cool," she said about the week long camp.

The camp started four years ago and has grown from 22 participants its first year to 45 this year in grades 3-9.

"I like to think the kids and the parents like the camp and they are getting a lot out of it," said Yorke. "They are liking it enough to come back the next year and tell their friends. We are getting a lot of returners each year which is great."

Besides getting an opportunity to throw water balloons at one of their coaches, the athletes also enjoyed popsicles and a trip to the high school's pool.

"It is a good week to end up in the pool," said Yorke. "They did a real nice job and had a lot of fun."

The camp is offered through Clarkston Community Education. For more information about this camp and others offered during the summer and during the school year, visit, stop by their office located at 6558 Waldon Road or call 248-623-4326.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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