Track and field: Walker keeps busy in summer
For the next few weeks Sean Walker is going to be a busy 14-year-old. Not only is he starting high school, but he's also going to be racing against kids his age from across the country on a national level.
Walker was at Wichita, Kan., to compete in the USATF Junior Olympics National Championships last weekend.
Walker is a member of the Northwest Flyers Track Club. A youth track club in Houston for youth up to the age of 18 that competes in track and field events across the city and over the state.
Walker is one of 57 members from the Flyers club who were in Wichita July 27-Aug 1st to compete in the Junior Olympics.
Walker competed in the 100 and 200-meter dash events. He finished fourth in the 100 Youth Boys division with a time of 11.44 seconds, 0.34 behind the winner. In the 200, Walker finished seventh with a time of 23.19 seconds, a full 1.27 seconds behind the winner. This is Walker's second time in his four years with the club going to the Junior Olympics. Walker competed two years ago in the 100, 200 and 400-meter events finishing in the top 20's.
In order to make it to the Junior Olympics, one has to qualify in the top 5 of their event at a regional track meet. Which is the stage before the national level.
Walker took 1st place in the 200-meter dash winning with a 23.44 time at the USATF Region XII Junior Olympic Championships in Arlington, Texas. A regional meet that host athletes from all over the state. Walker finished 2nd in the 100 meter dash with an 11.56 time.
"I was kind of anxious and scared," Walker said during the 200-meter finals. "But after the first 100 meters, the fear went away."
Walker remembers the heat the most from that day.
"Whenever you sit on the track with your spikes, you can feel the heat rising from your shoes," Walker said.
Walker also competes for the Flyers in the 400-meter run, long jump and relay events. Walker said he liked the 100-meter dash because of the quickness, though there's disagreement amongst his family about his best events.
"Well, my dad says I'm best at the 200, so I guess I'll agree with him on that," Walker said. Walker's mother Heather signed him up four years ago based on the potential she saw in her son.
"His father did track and he was a fast runner himself and I could see that with him and I wanted him to get involved," Heather Walker said.
Walker's father, Sean Sr., competed in the 100, 200 and 400-meter events as well as Relays at Ferncourt High School in Claremont, Jamaica. Walker was named Outstanding Athlete and Champion Athlete in the 100, 200 and 400 events three years in a row.
Though now, Walker's father is in awe of his son's talents today.
"He's one of my idols," Sean Sr. said over the phone while working as a mechanical engineer currently on assignment in Malaysia.
Though Sean Sr. was a gifted athlete in high school, today he said that despite his son's efforts to the contrary, he refuses to participate in the practices with Sean.
"I'm not in good shape, I don't want to be embarrassed by my son," Walker's father joked.
Walker said his goal for the 200-meter event is to run it in under 23 seconds, though his mother is proud of him no matter what.
"All I expect from him is his best," Heather Walker said.
Walker's mother has been at all of her son's meets this season and plans on traveling to the Junior Olympics with her son.
"The nervousness hasn't kicked in yet," Walker's mother said.
"Once we get there then it will."
Walker accredits the coaching from the Flyers to his success.
"They (Coach Pal Roach and Alan Sims) made me stronger, faster and better both physically and mentally," Walker said.
"Say I'm looking for a college or something, my coaches could hook me up easily like that."
Walker said he would like to go to college at Rice University later on.
After the Junior Olympics, the next thing up for Walker is starting high school.
Walker will be attending Cypress Springs High School next month and looks forward to not only continuing to grow in track and field but also his other favorite sport, soccer.
"I want to see how far I can go with them," Walker said.
Walker said he plans on trying out for football as well, but due to his mother's concerns, he said he'd stop after high school.
Walker is already preparing himself for the first day of the ninth grade because he said he knows it will be trouble.
"I know I'm going to have trouble finding my classes, and some of my friends are going to be in my class," Walker said. It's going to be hard."
Local Advertising by PaperG