Central GA Teens Prepare for Junior Olympics
The Summer Olympics are less than a month away. Soon the world's best athletes will compete for Olympic gold.
We also have some athletes to keep an eye on here in Central Georgia. A few may even make a splash at the Junior Olympics.
The Roadrunners are a track and field team made up of Gray athletes, 10 - 18 years-old, and they're finding success on a National Stage.
"We have nine athletes on our team. Two of our athletes have already qualified for the Junior Olympics. We have one young lady who is the gold medalist for the youth girls, for the long jump. And we have a young man who has qualified in the 1500 meters as well," says Lamont Thomas, Co-Head Coach of the Roadrunners.
Qualifier, Ashley Thomas, is ranked 13th in the nation in the long jump. No surprise, she's been at this a long time.
"I started running track when I was 10 years-old but I really started liking the long jump, probably I was around 11 or 12," says Ashley Thomas, 14, who qualified for the Junior Olympics in the long jump.
Ashley lives with her coach full time. That's because he's her dad.
"It's tough working with him because he pushes us a lot but in the end it also turns out good," says Ashley Thomas.
"I got into my race and kept my pace all the way around. Then I had a strong finish," says Shareez Hamm, 14, who also qualified for the Junior Olympics.
Hamm describes his qualifying race. He runs the 1500 meter and loves the big stage. Hamm says his nerves can get to him in front of a big crowd but that's a feeling he likes.
It's even more exciting for our local athletes to compete in the Junior Olympics the same year as the Summer Olympics. Thomas will look to her Olympic hero for inspiration.
"Allyson Felix. She runs the 100m, the 200m and the 400m. I run the 100m and the 200m too. It also gets me in the mood to run in the actual Olympics," says Ashley Thomas.
That's her dream.
The Roadrunners will compete in the Junior Olympics beginning July, 28. They are looking for donations and fan support from the community. Click this story on our website NewsCentral G-A dot com for ways to contribute.
If you would like to contribute to the Roadrunners visit State Bank of Gray or use their PO BOX. PO BOX 22714 in Gray, GA.