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May 10, 2014

Local middle schoolers have strong showing at marathon

NORMAN — A group of 13- and 14-year-old students recently ran in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

JB’s Seamless Gutters sponsored the group and owner Jim Barnes’ son, Cooper Barnes participated. Proceeds from the race benefit the museum and victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing, which occurred April 19, 1995.

JB’s Seamless has sponsored teams in past years with a high school team finishing in second place but this is the first time they’ve sponsored such a young team.

“We didn’t know what to expect as far as times,” Barnes said, “but we knew we had some great, young, athletes and they were excited about running this race.”

Athletes in the JB’s Seamless team included 14-year-old runners Cooper Barnes, Luke Graham, Reagan Allen and Jack Allen as well as 13-year-old Calvin Allen. None of the runners had ever participated in a race so large and each ran a longer section of the relay than in any race they had run previously. Cooper Barnes and Allen ran 10K sections, Graham and Reagan Allen ran 5K sections and the youngest member of the team, Calvin Allen, ran the longest section, a 12K leg.

The team ran well with their time for the 26.2-mile race being 3 hours, 20 minutes and 42 seconds. Not only is the time impressive but more so is the fact that this middle school team placed third in the high school division. Furthermore, his team of 13- and 14-year old students finished 12th out of 713 relay teams.

When asked how they prepared and trained for this big race, Cooper Barnes said, “We have Coach Vinson for track. We were ready.”

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