Skip to main content

Herriman Journal

Herriman runners represent at nationals

Feb 03, 2022 03:04PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Herriman’s Brooklyn Tarr helped her 13-14-year-old team to a seventh-place finish at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. (Photo courtesy Cindy Tarr)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Unstoppable. That’s been the theme for the Race Cats programs the past two seasons, based on the Bethany Hamilton documentary of the same title. Race Cats Herriman/South Jordan coach Caisa Brown said her favorite line from that show is when the young surfer – who had her arm severed by a shark – said, “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.” 

The Race Cats Elite team from Draper learned a little bit more about that concept when they took 39 runners to the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. And, amid freezing temperatures, tornado warnings, hailstorms, 40-mile-per-hour wind, the Utah contingent proved ‘unstoppable.’

The 11-12-year-old girls team won the national championship Dec. 11, while Herriman’s Bethany Mittelstaedt was among nine runners earning All-American status – she came in eighth in the 8-and-under race.

“I trained all year, even when I didn’t want to go,” Bethany said. “I knew it would prepare me and help me and it ended up being cold, windy, rainy and muddy and I knew I could push through that.”

Adam Moody, of Herriman, crossed the line in the sixth spot for the 11-12-year-old team – finishing in 105th place – which ended up breaking a three-way tie to put his squad into third place. “This proves that every single athlete and point matters in this sport, not just the runners that win the race,” said Race Cats Elite coach Michele Brinkerhoff. 

“Coach Michele told me, ‘We needed you and you did it!’," said Adam. “I just tried to stay close to my teammate and held on to him. It really showed me that every runner matters.”

Herriman’s Brooklyn Tarr was also part of the 13-14-year-old girls team who placed seventh at nationals.

“We couldn’t sleep the night before with all the sirens going off for tornado warnings, but we did all we could to reach our goals even with the delays and crazy weather,” Brooklyn said.

“Every single athlete finished the race, even though some had severe trauma and anxiety from the natural disasters. We are so proud of them. They travel from all over to compete and train together, sacrificing so much to be part of something special. And they are so special and deserve to be recognized for it,” Brinkerhoff said.

Brown’s Herriman/South Jordan Race Cats team attended AAU Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina in early December and came back with some hardware of their own.

Herriman’s Mya DeMille placed 17th in the 8-year-old division while her sister, Ava, took 18th in the 6-year-old race. They both earned All-American honors in their first trip to nationals.

Autumn Wardle, of Herriman, also received All-American recognition with a 25th-place finish in the 10-year-old category.

Also competing at nationals from Herriman were Kai Demille and Eli Wardle. 

Bethany Mittelstaedt, daughter of Joseph and Kristyn Mittelstaedt of Herriman, wanted to run just like her mom, so she participated in a Bubble Run three years ago and won her first medal. Many awards later and she is still feeling good and aiming for more medals.

Adam Moody, son of Craig and Rachel Moody of Herriman, started with Race Cats more than five years ago and loves the relaxed feeling he gets when he’s running. His goals are to get to the Boston Marathon and run in college.

Brooklyn Tarr, daughter of Brent and Cindy Tarr of Herriman, said she enjoys trying to reach her running goals and is thrilled when she can accomplish them.

Mya Demille, daughter of Lee and Desi Demille, learned to push hard at the end of her race where she was able to pass several runners and finish in the top 25 at nationals. Her younger sister, Ava said,  “It’s hard to run a long time and keep my feet moving, but I love it.” Their brother, Eli, feels that running has taught him to be strong and keep on going without stopping and wants to work on his endurance more.

Autumn Wardle, daughter of Jason and Erika Wardle of Herriman, a three-time All-American, continually thinks of her own mantra – ‘The faster you run, the sooner you’re done’ – while she’s running to keep her motivated and moving. She is the youngest in a running family which also includes Isaac and Alaina, who run for Herriman High. Brother Eli has found his own enjoyment in the sport and feels that it’s not only “super relaxing,” but has also given him the strength to “never give up and do hard things.”

“I hope that through Race Cats we can teach so many kids what they are capable of and how much is possible for them,” Brown said. “Whether they place at a national level meet or cross the finish line last at one of our local meets, they can be unstoppable by working hard, having fun and dreaming big in their own individual way.” 



Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.