Mansfield girls bring home the gold in National Junior Olympics competition

8/21/2019
 

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MANSFIELD, La. -- Four girls from Mansfield Elementary School brought home the gold in track and field in the National Junior Olympics competition, beating teams from all over the country.

These young girls, who hail from a city of about 5,000 people, said they are proud to say they beat teams from Texas, California and other states with huge metropolitan areas.

Hard work pays off. And for these four 9- and 10-year-old girls from the Fiver Cities Track Club in Mansfield, it paid off in gold.

“When I first got the baton my heart started racing and the girl was in front of me and I was like I’m not going to let her get me," Aaliyah Brown said. 

Their coach, Michael Word, who is also in charge of the River Cities Track Club, couldn’t be more proud. This was the girls' second championship win. 

“They did it in 2017. It’s hard enough to do it a second time, that’s amazing," Word said.

Their final record was 54.89 seconds, which means they went as fast 18 mph. And they have a passion for running.

“My heart starts racing, going fast and then when I take off I just feel comfortable," Kendalyn Duncan said.

But even though they know they are good, nerves can get the best of them.

LaJordan Boykins has a plan to get control of her nerves.  “I say my name like 10 times then I start smiling and making myself smile and that’s how it becomes exciting for me," she said.

They train every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, even during hot summer days. So what’s their secret?

“My secret is to keep it fun for them that way they are relaxed when it comes to get nitty and gritty against the competition," Word said.

Some of the girls' proud parents were standing by at the track to add moral support. 

 “I’m so excited for their future and what’s next to come … LSU … no pressure LSU," mother Cynthia Duncan said.

And for these girls, having all their family rooting for them, means the world to them.

LaBrasia Ross has a shout out for her family: “My grandma, my mom, my dad my step dad and all my brothers and sisters."

Article by KTBS