HALLSVILLE, TX (KLTV) -
From representing your country, to competing against the best in the U.S.A. group of East Texas track and field standouts are headed to the National Junior Olympic Championships.
In a region known for speed and football, a group of five Hallsville track stars are set to put their talents on display at the U.S.A. Track and Field Junior Olympics. "Coming from deep East Texas like this, football is king, so its good to come out with a different sport and be like hey we are putting ourselves on the map too," Ryan McKelvey said who is set to compete in the steeplechase and 4X400 meter relay.
Often under appreciated, some of the finest athletes will come together for a week long event where they will get a chance to shine. "Running at nationals, you are always going to be nervous because there is a lot of good competition out there," Collin Pierson, another member of the 4X400 meter relay team said.
McKelvey added, "Before the meet, some doubt slips into your head and then you are like man I dont know what I can do. Then finally all those butterflies turn into adrenalin and you just go ".
Having competed against the likes of Texas High who won a state title this past season, this group of Bobcats is well prepared. "In our district for our regular track season there are normally state like championship teams," Pierson said. "So this isn't intimidating at all."
With aspirations to compete in college, this is a great opportunity for these guys to gain some recognition by going against some of the best from the entire country. "I really want to run at the next level," McKelvey said. "Hopefully Division I so I can get the best competition, and maybe make a career out of it so this is a big stepping stone."
Brandon Hosey added, "There is going to be a ton of people watching so you try not to screw up and you try to do the best you can in front of all of them."
Limit the nerves and medal at nationals, and the future might take care of itself.