SAN ANTONIO – A nationally ranked track and field and cross country team from the Alamo City is headed to the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics.
A total of 47 athletes representing San Antonio Swift have qualified for more than 75 events and hope to bring back the gold.
One of the youngest Junior Olympic qualifiers for San Antonio Swift is Jada Boydstun. Boydstun competes in the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter dash.
“I want to be a track star,” Boydstun said. She’s small, mighty and ranked second in the nation in the 1500-meter race. “(I ran it in) 536,” she said. That’s five minutes, 36 seconds, but she trains to sprint even faster for the big event in Houston.
“I hope I bring back the gold,” she said.
Thirty percent of the qualifiers for San Antonio Swift are ranked top 10 in the nation and 20%, including Jayla Flemons, are ranked top three in the nation. Flemons, 11, runs the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter race.
“In the 400 (meter run), I actually can run (it in one minute and one second,” Flemons said. “In the 800 (meter race) I ran (it in two minutes and 22 seconds). My time for the 1500 (meter race), which is my favorite race, is (four minutes and) 59 (seconds).”
Flemons hopes to set a personal record at the Junior Olympics of four minutes, 58 seconds, or under.
For these athletes, running makes them feel powerful and unstoppable.
“I need to push myself to my limits so that I will prepare myself and have a good time for myself,” Flemons said.
Their dedication has lead them to qualify for a total of 76 events at the Junior Olympics, but for the San Antonio Swift team, it starts with the keyword: execute.
“It’s about teaching kids not only to run and to compete in their respective sport, but teaching them about integrity and unity,” Tremaine Spencer said. Spencer is the assistant coach. He is one of 11 coaches helping train the athletes under the direction of founder and head coach, Lorenzo Villarreal.
“(We teach them to) not worry about what everyone else is doing, but (to) apply what you’ve learned to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” Spencer said.
The 2021 Junior Olympics kick off July 28 with sports including jump rope, trampoline and tumbling. Track and field Junior Olympics starts July 30 and runs until Aug. 7.
To view the full schedule, click here.