BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Xavier Atkins, 16, won the 100m and 200m dashes at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games. The games were held July 25 – Aug. 4 in Houston.
Atkins ran the 100 in 10.58 seconds and 200 in 21.11 seconds to win gold.
“It felt good as I repeated in both events. I also got a personal best time in the 200,” responded Atkins.
His gold medals were the only two for the Florida East Coast (formerly Daytona Beach) Supersonics Track and Field Club at this year’s event.
In recent years, the team has won medals at the Junior Olympics, including several gold medals.
“He went there with a purpose. He did what he was supposed to do. I think that he could have even run faster,” said Wonzel Morris, coach of the Supersonics.
Hard work pays off
Atkins has become accustomed to winning. Over the past four years he has won eight individual gold medals. He has won the 100 and 200 in his age group from 2009-2012.
“It’s tough to duplicate success to some degree because the competition gets better and guys get faster,” commented Atkins.
He attributes his success to outworking the competition.
“You have to train hard, which I think is the biggest thing. I believe that I outwork everyone else.
That is what I try to do,” explained Atkins.
Atkins is also a rising track star at Spruce Creek High School. The sophomore is learning how to balance academics and athletics.
“It was definitely difficult my freshman year because I had to adjust from middle to high school. It’s starting to come together for me. It’s a work in progress,” Atkins told the Daytona Times.
Eyes on Olympics
Don’t be surprised to see this youngster running in the Olympics someday.
“My dream is to run in the Olympics. I look up to today’s top sprinters like Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Tyson Gay of the United States. I want to win like they do. With the Olympics going on this year, it gave me more motivation to run and more of desire to win,” Atkins remarked.
Teammates shine too
Other members of the Supersonics also had stellar performances. Here are some of the top performers who medaled by finishing in the top eight.
Ten-year-old Jasmyn Dorsey (16’-3.75”) won a silver medal in the long jump.
Twelve-year-old Kamron Lee (5’-2”) took silver in the high jump and was fourth in the long jump. Deshari Keith, 11, (16’-3.75’’) won a bronze in the long jump.
Seabreeze High football and track star Charles Nelson (who won the state championship in the long jump in 2011) placed fourth in the long jump at the event.
Travon Killings, 11, was eight in the 100 and 200.
DeMarcus Hampton, 13, was sixth in high jump and seventh place in the 100 hurdles.
“We did well. I’m proud of the kids. I thought that we could have at least won 20 medals. We kind of lost focus a little. We had a lot of ninth and 10th place finishes,” Morris added.