SALEM (WSLS 10) — We may have some future Olympians growing up right here in the Roanoke Valley. One family in Salem spent the summer working hard on the track, training for the ESPN Club Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Of the 23 national championship medals that the team won, four of those medals belong to the three kids in the Loder family.
Their daughter, Sydney, won two medals at the national meet, including first place in the pentathlon– a competition made up of five separate events.
“It is the 80-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and the 800,” says Sydney. “It was a big honor to be able to go down there and i just had a lot of fun with it.”
This was her first time competing in the national championship hosted at the ESPN facilities, a moment her mom Bekka says, was nerve-wrecking for her entire family.
“We figured she could medal and as each event progressed, it got to the top three and going into the last event she was in 1st spot. it was beyond what we thought she would do, so it was amazing,” says Bekka.
Sydney’s brothers Bradey and Joey each brought home medals of their own as well. Bradey, who is just 14, competed against an older age group of boys to place 6th in the javelin throw. Joey, just 8 years old, brought home an 8th place medal for the 1500 meter race.
The kids credit their athleticism to their parents; especially their dad Jeff, who played hockey in Canada before moving to Roanoke to play for the Roanoke Express team in the mid-1990s.