Young players display baseball skills

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About 30 boys and girls gathered at Brent Mayne Baseball Fields June 14 for Englewood’s local Rockies Baseball Challenge competition.

Youngsters ages 6 through 13 showed how well they could throw for distance and accuracy, hit for distance and how fast they could run from second base to home plate

To make the competition as fair as possible, the players were divided into four age groups, 6- and 7-year-olds, 8- and 9-year-olds, 10- and 11-year-olds and 12- and 13-year-olds. There were separate competitions in each age group for boys and girls.

The young athletes seek to finish first in their age group in order to earn their way to the sectional competition July 20 at Brent Mayne Field where they will face first-place winners from Challenge competitions held at South Suburban, Foothills and Limon.

Those who place first in their age groups at the July 20 event will advance to the statewide competition in August at All Star Park in Lakewood.

At the June 14 Englewood event, Lucas Calonder, 7, waited his turn to compete in the Rockies Challenge for the first time.

“I like baseball. I don’t know why, I just like baseball a lot,” Calonder said as he prepared to run the bases. “I throw OK but I like hitting the best. I think that is what I do best. This is fun and I like to see what I can do.”

Tyler Simpson sat in the shade to watch his two grandsons take part in the competition.

“Both the boys like baseball and play in the Englewood league. They decided they wanted to try this competition this year so I agreed to bring them to the site,” Simpson said. “It is fun to watch the kids do these challenges. Some are obviously just having fun and others are really serious about this event. I think it is good that Englewood has this local competition so kids can see how they match up with other kids their age.”

The expression on Isaac Medrano’s face showed his concentration as he ran the 180 feet from second base to home plate as quickly as possible.

“Today was pretty easy and it was fun,” the boy said after completing the run. “I like baseball and I’m on the Texas Rangers team in the Englewood Arapahoe League.”

The 11-year-old said he liked hitting the ball the best but figured he did pretty well on all three challenges.

When the results of each of the three skill challenges were computed, this year’s winners were:

Boys

Ages 6-7 — Lucas Calonder

Ages 8-9 — Ty Jennings

Ages 10-11 — Isaac Medrano

Ages 12-13 — Johnny Montoya

Girls

Ages 8-9 — Ashlee Urroz

Ages 10-11 — Alyssa Nuanez