JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — While the Olympics are happening in Tokyo, the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics kicked off at the University of North Florida on Monday, and you can watch these athletes in person through Sunday!
The event is bringing together thousands of athletes and their families.
The Jacksonville Track Club (JTC) Running donated $22,500 to make sure the event came back to Jacksonville this year for the second time since 2015.
Visit Jacksonville is expecting between 3,000-5,000 spectators to contribute about $11 million to the City of Jacksonville.
“This is my first time up here, so it feels really good,” said Kenneth Murph.
He’s a proud dad visiting from Pahokee, Florida (about an hour west of West Palm Beach) all to support his 11-year-old daughter Kentrea.
“Oh man, I’m ecstatic. I mean, she’s passionate, she loves it so I gotta stay behind her 100,” he said.
More than 6,000 athletes representing all 50 states will be competing at Hodges Stadium.
Competitors range in age from 7 to 19, and Kentrea started running when she was just old enough to compete.
“This is the first year at nationals, she’s been running for the last five or four years,” Kenneth explained.
She’ll be completing her 200 meter run on Tuesday.
“Excited,” Kentrea said when asked how she felt to be there.
“My hope is for her to do good,” Kenneth said. “Do it best.”
The competition goes through Sunday, August 1.
If you want to be a part of the action, you can show up and buy a ticket on any day.
Prices are $15 for adults, $10 for children and children ages 6 and under are free.
You’ll be able to cheer on these talented athletes, as they race against the clock.
“What are you telling yourself right now?” Action News Jax reporter asked 11-year-old Rashawn Nembhare. “That I’m gonna win. Everything,” he responded.
For a complete list of events for the championships and more information, visit http://usatfjojax.com/.
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