This article was originally posted by the North East Independent School District.
Eight Tejeda Middle School track and field athletes qualified this summer to participate in the 2013 AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Junior Olympic National Games, July 27-Aug. 3. The action will take place at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Qualifiers are Ian Anderson, Pole Vault; Rochelle Austin, 800 meter and 1500 meter; Asiah Fox, 800 meter, 1500 meter and 4 x 800 relay; Sarah Rogers, 1500 meter; and a 4 x 100 relay team comprised of Jack Morgan, Alex Rodriguez, Chase Williams, and Jacob Williams. Rodriguez also qualified individually in the 400 meter; and Jacob Williams in the 100 meter.
These athletes will compete against their most talented counterparts from 24 regions across all 50 states. To qualify for the national games, the athletes must excel against an increasingly competitive group of opponents.
The Tejeda students’ quest began at the South District Qualifier meet July 22-23 in Corpus Christi, where their event performance gained them entry to the National Qualifier meet July 28-29. Only the top four relay teams and top five finishers per event at the National Qualifier won the coveted invitation to compete at the Junior Olympic Games.
“It’s great! We get to go compete against kids from all over the country. I feel lucky,” said Rodriguez about his trip to the upcoming games.
There is no doubt that these kids are fast. Each 13-year-old relay runner can lap the track in under a minute. Running together in the 4 x 100 – they clocked in at 47.86 seconds, and that includes passing the baton 3 times. The Elite Racing website ranked the team 15th in the nation. Austin, just 11 and entering sixth grade, completed half a mile in 2:41 minutes, and Rogers ran her 1500 meter, just under a mile, in less than 6 minutes.
Winning the 2013 District Championship Track title this year, the Tejeda team will be heading into competition with plenty of confidence.
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