By CHARLIE WARNIMONT
DHI Media Correspondent
OTTAWA — Near the end of the junior high track season, Ottoville coach Shawn Knodell handed eighth-grade hurdler (Kimberly) Elyse Baker a piece of paper.
On that paper was information regarding the Putnam County Express summer track club. After looking over the information, Baker decided to give summer track a try. And it was a move that will have the Ottoville freshman-to-be headed to the AAU Junior Olympic games this week at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
After a solid spring season in the hurdle events for the Big Green junior high team, Baker qualified to the AAU national event in the 100- and 200-meter hurdles age group for 14-year-old females. She will compete on Monday in the 200 hurdles and Tuesday in the 100 hurdles.
She is the first Ottoville member of the Express track team to qualify for the national meet.
Baker qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics from a district meet at Elida and from the regional meet at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati. At the regional, meet Baker needed to finish among the top eight runners to advance to the national meet, which she was able to accomplish in her first-ever AAU regional meet.