Mississippi youth train for National Junior Olympic Championship

Competing against the best track athletes at their level.

Mississippi kids training for National Junior Olympic Championship

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Months of hard work can be seen in the stride of the peak performance track club.

The junior Olympians are on their way to the National Junior Olympic Championship to compete against the best track athletes at their level.

Sarai Banks has run in the cold and ran in the hottest time on the day, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

"We’re out here whenever nobody else is, we’re putting in work when everybody is at home, you know, in bed going to sleep. We get out here early in the mornings, stay out here late at night, so I feel like we prepare. So that we can be the best,” said Banks.

From ages 6 to 18, they can be seen on the track of Madison Central High School sprinting and training for the next track meet.

Coach Douglas Banks says up to this point in the year the young athletes have been smoking the competition.

"We have had some of the top times in the 200-meter dash, like first place winners actually. One-hundred-meter dash, as well we’ve had competitors that finished in the top 5,” said Banks.

Preparation is key to this championship. The Mississippi athletes and coach know the competition is also gunning for top spot on the podium.

"Going to be up against people maybe running 11 point something seconds in the 100 meters. That’s flying, that’s absolutely flying,” said Banks.

The competition is stiff, but coaches always seem to know who has the best on the field.

"Let’s be honest, everybody knows Mississippi produces nothing but the best athletes. We’re Mississippi, man. We’re here to stay. We’re here to produce the best athletes; we’re born that way. It’s genetics, as well as hard work,” said Banks.

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