Five Rockets advance to AAU Junior Olympics

Three of the Rantoul Rockets from left to right Marcqwan Smith, Myejoi Williams, Cody Schluter. All three athletes qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics in Greensboro N.C. 


JOLIET — The Rantoul Rockets track club showed out at the central region qualifier this past weekend in Joliet. 

The Rockets coached by George Washington IV will now send five athletes to Greensboro, N.C., to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics, which starts July 27. The athletes who will be competing are Tanaya Young, Robert Buford, Myejoi Williams, Cody Schluter and Marcqwan Smith.

“This gives them the oppurtunity to see new places and states they haven’t seen before” Washington said 

Williams stole the show in the shot put with a first place 42-01.50-foot throw, which was more than 3 feet farther than the closest competitor. Williams also qualified in the discus throw with an effort of 88 feet —  good for sixth place. 

Young placed second in the long jump with a jump of 18 feet. Young barely scratched on a jump that would’ve exceeded 19 feet. 

Buford set a personal record by 3 seconds when he ran a 49.99 400-meter dash, which was good for fourth place. 

Marcqwan Smith placed third in the shot put with a throw of 35-8.00 feet that placed him just in front of teammate Cody Schluter, who placed fourth with a throw of 34-11 feet. 

“I expect everyone to do really well. We didn’t have a chance to practice a whole lot and they still competed well in the qualifier.” Washington said. 

Practicing isn’t the only thing the Rockets will be doing before heading to North Carolina. 

Currently they have a fundraiser set up at the Rantoul Walmart on July 21. If anyone would to make donations to help the Rockets get to the Junior Olympics you can mail checks made out to the Rantoul Rockets to P.O. Box 938, Rantoul, IL 61866. Also you can contact Washington at 309-706-8257. 

The Rockets will head to East Peoria this weekend for a tune-up meet. 

Contact Ryan Birch at or on twitter @RyanBirchRP