WOOD RIVER - Aidan Loeffelman is primed and ready for the fall cross country season for the East Alton-Wood River High School Oilers.
July 5-10, Aidan participated in the prestigious Bowerman Track Club in Oregon summer camp. He was chosen and awarded a full scholarship to attend.
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Dustene Shoemaker, Aidan’s mother, said: “We are so proud of him and his determination. We also extend thanks to the Oilers’ head cross country and track coach Russ Colona. He has been such a supporter and helped Aidan in so many ways.”
To top the summer off, Aidan completed his first Olympic Triathlon, which includes a 1.5-mile open water swim, a 40K bike, and a 10K run. He finished fourth in his age division 19 and under in the triathlon at Springfield, IL., this past weekend.
Aidan said the triathlon was a different type of race. His time was 3 hours, 17 minutes, and 53 seconds.
"I was tired after it was over but it was more about mentally staying focused through the whole thing. I am 100 percent glad I did it."
Aidan loved the Bowerman Track Club camp and said he learned a lot and bonded with several of the athletes and coaches present. There were several professional runners who worked the camp.
The Bowerman Camp was "an amazing experience," the East Alton-Wood River athlete said. "It was great to be with some of the best runners in the country. I did learn a lot about training and nutrition at the camp."
Aidan says Coach Colona is the best coach he has ever had in sports.
“He has a true passion for the sport and loves to see people improve,” Aidan added. “He is proud of everything athlete he has and wants you to always do better than you did before. I would be a different person without Coach Colona. He taught me how to set goals and chase after and changed how I felt about running.”
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