Aspen’s Abarca qualifies for Jr. Olympic Nationals |

Aspen’s Abarca qualifies for Jr. Olympic Nationals

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen's Sunday Abarca, shown here at the State Track and Field Championships at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, will compete in the Junior Olympic National Championships in Sacramento next week.
Jeremy Wallace / The Aspen Times |

Aspen’s Sunday Abarca keeps getting faster.

Abarca, who will be a senior at Aspen High School, broke his own personal records in the 400- and 200-meter dashes in Albuquerque, qualifying for the upcoming National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento. Abarca, a two-time state 400-meter champion in Class 3A in Colorado, posted his national qualiyfing marks at the Regional Junior Olympic Track Trials at the University of New Mexico.

“He ended up qualifying in the top two in the 400 and the 200,” said James Aldridge, the Aspen High School track coach and a former Notre Dame running back. “He’s getting stronger.”

Abarca rank a PR of 48.43 seconds in the 400 in devastatingly hot conditions in New Mexico. That bettered his state championship time of 48.54, set at Jeffco Stadium in May.

He also tagged a 21.6 in the 200, Aldridge said.

Abarca finished third in the 200 and third in the 100 at the state track championships this year.

“I think he’s developing more as a sprinter,” Aldridge said, adding that Abarca has improved his start significantly since the prep track season. “He’s really coming out quick now.”

Aldridge said the regional competition and then the national competition will add to Abarca’s experience as he races after college track opportunities.

“He’s working hard,” Aldridrige said. “We’re going harder than ever.”

Abarca and Aldridge will leave early next week for the Junior Olympic Nationals, set for Sacramento State University starting Monday.

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