King of the ‘kick’

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Luke Upton poses with his coach Joe Baer at the AAU Junior Olympics. Upton finished first in both the 800- and 1,500-meter races. Photo provided / Times-Post

Pendleton - In less than six months, 12-year-old Luke Upton went from “Dad, can I go out for track?” to being the National AAU Junior Olympic champion for his age group in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters.

Upton just returned from Ypsilanti, Mich., where he competed July 30-31 on the campus of Eastern Michigan University among athletes from ages 8-18 in the track and field events.

In the 1,500 meters, he faced Lucas Bourgoyne from Texas. Bourgoyne had never been defeated and was the national champion the previous year. In a start that had 19 boys on the line, Upton was blocked and shuffled to the back. His mom Kalen thought it was all over before he ever got started.

Luke however, did not think so.


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