Greensboro N.C. — The Rantoul Rockets took four athletes to the AAU Junior Olympics this past week that was hosted on the campus of North Carolina A&T University.
Robert Buford, Cody Schluter, Myejoi Williams and Tanaya Young were the four athletes that competed.
Williams placed second in the 17-18 girls shot put with a throw 41 feet and 10.5 inches.
Rockets head coach George Washington IV said Williams rose to the occasion on the big stage.
“She came out a little rusty and had to sneak into the finals, but shined when it mattered,” Washington said.
Young placed third in the 15-16 girls long jump with a jump of 18 feet and 8 inches.
Washington said each athlete had to make adjustments to the big stage.
“She adjusted well after the beginning and did an amazing job,” said Washington.
Buford placed 30th in the 17-18 Boys 400-meter dash with an all time best of 49.64 seconds.
Washington was pleased with Buford’s performance.
“He had never ran the 400 before this year, so to come out and have phenomenal performance like he did on that big of a stage is amazing,” Washington said.
Cody Schluter competed in the 15-16 boys shot put, placing 68th with a throw of 31 feet and 11.25 inches.
Washington talked about how proud he was of Schluter for competing on a big stage.
“He competed to the best of his ability on a big stage and had just gotten back from vacation, which didn’t give him a ton of time to prepare,” Washington said.
Bringing kids from a small town and putting them up against the best talent in the country doesn’t happen overnight.
Washington said they had been working for this all season and could not have been more proud of what his athletes accomplished.
“All the athletes had an amazing week and did what we practiced all summer long; they showed out to the best of their potential on the biggest stage, and that’s all I can ask,” Washington said.
Fourteen thousand athletes from around the country traveled to Greensboro N.C., and competed at this year’s AAU Jr. Olympics.
Next year’s event will be held in Hampton Roads, Va. starting July 27 and running through Aug 8.
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @RyanBirchRP