Five members of the Sedalia Speed track team will compete in the AAU Junior Olympics starting Monday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Drake Stadium’s seating capacity is nearly 15,000 and hosts the annual Drake Relays, which brings high school, college and professional track athletes together for the event.
Saige Peterson, who will compete in the 800-meter run in the 15-16-year-old age group, said she got a visual of what to expect at the Junior Olympics.
“I got to go last weekend because my grandparents live up there,” she said. “So I got to check it out and make sure I was going to be OK with it. It’s really big and a little intimidating.”
She said there was a door with the words, “Out of this door come the greatest athletes in the world.”
“That was kind of cool to know that,” she said.
Siblings Isaiah and Regain Robinson will also compete in the Junior Olympics. Isaiah qualified in the 400-meter dash in the 12-year-old age group with a sixth-place finish at the AAU Region 16 Qualifier last month in Joplin, Mo.
“I want to have fun and meet other people,” Isaiah said. “Try to get a medal or get a better time.”
Regina, 10, will run in the 100 and 200-meter dashes after finishing second in each event at the regional qualifier. She said she wanted to “achieve my goal of winning the nationals.”
Caden Quick, 9, took fifth in the shot put and sixth in turbo javelin at the regional meet to advance to the national meet.
“I’m really working on my shot put because at the beginning I was throwing seven feet and now I’m throwing 15,” Quick said.
Charlise Perez, 9, will compete in the shot put after taking seventh in the event at regionals. The top eight in each event qualified for nationals.
Regina, Perez and Quick each competed in the Midwest Track and Field Showcase & Team Championships on July 12 in Columbia, Mo. For Isaiah and Peterson, it’s been about a month since they’ve competed.
“I think it’s good because it kind of helps you prepare mentally and physically for the race,” Peterson said.
Isaiah said he’s been “going to the gym at the base and going on the treadmill and stride machine there.”