By Aaron Allen
The USATF National Junior Olympics were held at North Carolina A&T University this year, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Young athletes from all over the world descended upon the campus to put their best efforts to attaining the coveted gold.
This year, Seattle’s Rainier Beach Track Club boasted some of the nation’s top performers. Particularly Tyrone Taylor II who posted the nation’s top times in the 100 and 200 meter dash and he did not disappoint.
Taylor, a fourteen year-old, who will be starting his high school career this fall at Rainier Beach High School, came into Greensboro on a mission. Throughout the season Taylor stayed atop of the national standings as one the top sprinters in the nation.
Running the 100 and 200 meters and a member of 4×100 relay team, Taylor’s best times this year clocked in at 10.81 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.42 seconds in the 200 meters. As a fourteen year-old these times gives Taylor a bright future in track and field if he chooses to pursue it beyond high school.
“The program has gotten me stronger by getting my form and posture right and has made me a better athlete and person,” says about his experience with the Rainier Beach Track Club. “The program has also taught me to avoid the pitfalls of the streets as well as strengthening my performance in school.”
Taylor’s performance this year and his ability to adapt was a stark difference from just a year ago. Although Taylor’s times placed him in the upper tier of sprinters, he didn’t perform well due to the heat at the national meet in Sacrament, CA.
But this year, Taylor took on the challenge of his coaches to concentrate on his craft and not to worry about the things he couldn’t control like weather and he rose to the occasion becoming a national champion in both the 100 and 200 meters, winning the 200 by .001 seconds, representing Seattle and Rainier Beach in flying colors.
Coach Vic head coach of the Rainier Beach Track Club is proud of the progress that Taylor has made since joining the team.
“When I got Tyrone seven years ago he could barely finish 100 meters and he could not finish 200 meters,” recalled Roberson. “He’d run 150 meters all day long, so over the time we taught him how to run, how to condition himself and technique wise he became as proficient as any high schooler.”
In addition to Taylor, Rainier Beach Track Club provided the nationals with a host of other notable athletes. Riley Rountree represented the 7-8 year old girls category in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, she placed 10th in 400. The boys 4×100 relay consisting of Malach Durant, Tyrone Taylor, Amado Toya and Dawit Davis also placed 10thin the nation with a time of 45.69.
We as a city and community want to send our congratulation to the Rainier Beach Track Club for a job well done.