Umoja Athletes Share Their 2017 Junior Olympics Experiences

by Amy Theusen and Miles Roberts

Umoja track club team members smiling for a photo during opening ceremonies

Being a part of this team has helped me grow as an athlete and as an individual.  I have learned so much about the importance of hard work and determination through this team and it has taken me all they way to Lawrence, Kansas.

This past summer, some of my teammates and I qualified to go to the Junior Olympics in Kansas.  We worked really hard to be able to take part in this meet and I was so glad to see my closest friends cheering me on as I competed to become a Junior Olympic All-American.  If it weren’t for my supportive coaches and loving teammates, I know I wouldn’t  have been able to accomplish anything.

The Junior Olympics was basically a huge learning experience.  I got to see what life was like in another part of the country.  I found another university to add to my list of schools I’d like to go to.  But most importantly, I got to show off my hard work I put in during the track season.

The Junior Olympics was the highlight of my summer and I’m excited to go next year too. ( If I qualify! )

Amy Thuesen

Going to the junior Olympics with Umoja was a great experience—getting to meet new people and competing against the best athletes in the nation.  The first few days before the competition I was beyond nervous.  But after seeing a few familiar faces, I began to settle in.

My first few days were spent going around seeing places like the Jayhawk campus.  But the real fun began when I started to compete.  All of the competitors were friendly.  Even when the competition began everyone was relaxed.  Even after people began to drop out of the competition, everyone was laughing and joking.

If I had to do it again, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  But putting aside all of that, what I learned was that to never count yourself out, because no matter how small the chance is, it’s still a chance.

Miles Roberts

Complete Results: USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships

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