Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 3 - Ambulatory Field and Swimming

Time has been flying by and there are still so many events left, including Powerlifting, Track, and Field. Day 3 was the first of the Ambulatory field events and everywhere you looked were people cheering on the athletes. The NJDC is all about the athletes but it wouldn't be possible without the love and support of their families and coaches. Many of the teams that attend the NJDC are made up of families getting together to provide opportunities for their children. Karsten Brogan of Team Gumbo from Louisiana had great support during his long jump as his Dad watched from the sidelines. Before the event, Karsten's Dad told him, "get out there and do your best, get the record then you can go for five!" This was Karsten's first time ever doing long jump and he blew away the competition with a first attempt of 4.04. Karsten and his family were Arizonans until a few years ago so they are no strangers to heat. "I like Arizona. I do well in the heat," Karsten said. 

Also competing in the long jump was Alexandra Badeaux from Team Gumbo. Alexandra is 18 and she has been going to competitions since she was nine years old and her family has always been there to help her along the way. At this competition her family watched and cheered from the sidelines and her coach, who also happens to be her mother, stood next to her giving her advice. Before Alexandra's last jump, Coach Stephanie told her to, "leave it all in the pit – don’t worry about face-planting!" Alexandra loves coming to these events, saying "it's fun to see who's faster and who's been training during the year,” but she is planning on trading in her spikes for a stack of books as she will be going to college soon. She has been accepted into a 2 year International Baccalaureate in Costa Rica and hopes to study biology. No matter what she does she has the support of her friends and family.
Ambulatory Field Results:

After Monday's monsoon ended the swimming competition on day 1 early, the atmosphere at the pool today was tense. The skies stayed clear all night and with the exception of a minor technical difficulty at the start of the race everything ran smoothly. Athletes quickly got into the spirit of the event, laughing and playing in-between races before becoming focused and determined at the starting platform. Nadia Hopkins, 15 years old and competing for the Georgia Blazers, was a little disappointed that she was unable to race Monday, but understands why. "They had to do what they had to do to keep people safe." She got her chance to make it up on Tuesday by competing in 8 different swimming events. Unlike many of the other athletes at the NJDC, Nadia's only event is swimming. "I dedicate my life to swimming," she told me with a big smile. Along with some of her teammates from the Blazers, she will be competing next week at an event for the top swimmers in the South called the Southern Zones Championships.

"I'm sore, tired and wanna swim more" was the motto for Trey Davis, also of the Georgia Blazers, who couldn't wait for his chance to get back in the water. The excited 14 year old from Dalton was ready to swim all night if he had to, competing in a total of seven different events. Trey travels all over the nation throughout the year for the chance to compete and win! At the moment he is training for his chance to compete in the 2014 worlds.

One thing the athletes here at the NJDC share is their outgoing attitude and desire to be photographed and interviewed. It certainly makes my job easier when I get to talk with so many great young athletes that are so enthusiastic! This has given me some pretty awesome stories and photos that I get to share with you. Keep up the good work parents and coaches, and good luck on all of the upcoming events. Let’s give the last four days our best! 

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