BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Three-Way ISD sixth grader Rob Harrison will be taking part in the AAU National Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa after qualifying in the discus, shot put, and javelin in the age 12 Division.
Harrison, 11, is a “veteran” of the Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department’s TAAF track and field and qualified for the TAAF State Games of Texas the first year he took part in the shot put.
Throwing around heavy things seems to come naturally for Harrison, and he added the discus and the javelin to his skills. Last year he qualified for USATF Regional Championships in the discus, shot and javelin and made the finals there in the discus.
As the youngest competitor in his age group Harrison just missed out on making it the national meet, and it has served as inspiration heading into the this year’s track and field season.
Harrison set new goals with the idea he would concentrate mainly on the discus in an attempt to make it to the Junior Olympics, but things went better than planned as he renewed work ethic brought about better performances in the javelin and shot put too.
Things went so well that Harrison now finds himself as a triple national-qualifier for this year’s Junior Olympics.
Harrison has had to be selective as he simply doesn’t have the time to compete in everything he has qualified for this season. His qualifications include the TAAF State Games of Texas in the shot put and National Junior Olympics with both USATF and AAU.
Harrison has earned so much hardware that when he walks back to the car after a meet, he rattles. In 13 meets this season he has brought home 28 medals.
“This entire process is a family affair. His mother Tessa and I are very proud of him and his accomplishments.” Rob’s father Rhett Harrison said. “We are winding down a long, complicated but successful season. We set goals for every meet. Overall, he has far surpassed his objectives.”
So what’s it like having a junior Olympian in the house?
“As he enters the national competition, he understands that he is representing his community, region, and the great state of Texas,” Harrison said. “His expectations are that he enjoys this wonderful experience, and hopefully performs to his best abilities. This opportunity may never present its self again.”
Harrison also works at giving himself opportunities in the classroom where he has a straight A average. He also likes to take part tackle football, flag football, basketball and baseball.
AAU National Junior Olympics will be in Des Moines, Iowa from July 29th through August 4th at Drake University. Rob will be competing there Unattached in the discus, shot put, and javelin in the age 12 Division.