Pocket runner qualified for the Junior Olympics in track

On your marks, get set, go Terrence, go! As this edition of the Pocket News was going to press, John F. Kennedy High School incoming senior Terrence Gladney, Jr. was in Virginia just having competed in the AAU Junior Olympics for the 100 and 200 meter track events with times of 23.01 and 11.45, respectively. They are both off his PRs, but he ran well, came out healthy, and is excited to have had the chance to run against this level of competition. It will help him set new targets as he prepares for next track season at Kennedy.
Terrence Gladney, Jr. of John F. Kennedy High School
He wrote into the newsroom to share his thoughts on this particular milestone in his running career.
“It felt great to be able to come out here and compete at the Junior Olympics. It was different than an ordinary track meet with things like a big screen showing your time and name immediately after the event.  I’m glad that I got to come here and run after earning it in qualifying. This will help me in the future when I return to some of the bigger meets of the school season because I’ll know what to expect and I’ll have that much more experience and confidence under my belt. It’s been fun being able to travel to different cities this summer to compete in track, and travel cross country. This will help me at the college level and beyond, and I will continue to train and get better every day.”
As evidenced by that statement, this young man’s incredible positive attitude and his love for running is contagious and has brought joy to his parents and coaches.
His father, Terrence Gladney, Sr. said he most enjoys seeing his son compete and witness the direct benefits of his hard work. “Every time I see him run, I’m proud to see him nurturing his God-given talent through hard work. He loves running and competing, and it makes me happy that he’s doing something he loves,” he said.
Terrence said he wouldn’t have gone to the JR Olympics if it wasn’t for the help of my parents. “They have really given up a lot to help me pursue my dream. We may butt heads every now and then, but at the end of the day we still love each other. My dad is really the unsung hero in my eyes. No one realizes how much this man does for me. I really appreciate all the advice, support, and love my parents give me.”
His mother, LaMinta is equally proud, discussing her son’s growth as a runner as follows, “I’ve seen my son grow as a runner by the way the respects his body more, the confidence he has when he steps on and off the track, and understanding the fact that it is not just the body that is important it is also the mind.”
Terrence qualified for the Junior Olympics by making it in the top eight for both prelims and finals, placing fourth in the 100-meter and 200-meter races at finals. Clocking in at just over 11 seconds (11.05), Terrence, Jr. was close to breaking the 11 second mark, which he hopes to this next season if not during the Junior Olympics. In the 200 meters he ran a PR of 22.30 the same day I hit 11.05, and he wants to hit 21s in that race.
Terrence, Jr. has been running competitively for about five years since 7th grade up until the start of his senior year. My best events are the 100 and 200 meters, but I could run 400 meters also if I wanted to.
What he loves most about running is that it is natural to him. He said the fact that he’s good at running track and also successful makes him love it even more. “The feeling of accomplishment when you know your hard work has paid off is great. The results you want may not show up when you want them to but, if you keep training and putting in the hard work it will eventually pay off and that’s what really makes it enjoyable,” he said.
Some of most exciting meets he was excited to be part of were the Woody Wilson Invitational, Metro League Finals, and the SJS Masters.
Giving thanks to his parents and coaches, Terrence, Jr. said, “The help I’ve received from my coaches more specifically my sprint coach has been great. They all give me great support and want to see me succeed. My teammates are also great. They help push me to my peek during practice and give me support when I’m running. Track is an individual sport, but it’s also a team sport and without coaches and teammates to help support you it takes some of the joy out of track and field.
“I wouldn’t be going to the JR Olympics if it wasn’t for the help of my parents. They have really given up a lot to help me pursue my dream. We may butt heads every now and then, but at the end of the day we still love each other. My Dad is really the unsung hero in my eyes. No one realizes how much this man does for me. I really appreciate all the advice, support, and love my parents give me.”
Terrence, Sr. said he is proud for Terrence because he’s overcome a lot of challenges in his life, having lost his younger brother, and best friend, when he was 10 years old. “When he was young, as a younger parent, I fell victim to placing expectations on him to be like me when I was his age, making comparisons, whether consciously or subconsciously, between us. After losing Terrell, and seeing Terrence’s perseverance, I’m most proud that he is walking his own path in life, and defining his own measures of success.”

editor@valcomnews.com

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