HITCHCOCK — Led by potential magazine cover boy Trae Faison’s multiple medals, the Hitchcock Heat had a strong showing at the Amateur Athletic Union Club National Championships, which concluded Sunday in Kissimmee, Fla.
The 29-member team, which has members as young as 5 and as old as 16, finished the event ranked 39th out of 255 total teams from throughout the nation.
“We’ve been lucky to get kids with such good talent in a small area,” Heat coach Lloyd Jones Jr. said.
Competing in the 11-and-younger division, Faison brought home gold by winning the national championship in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 5 inches, only 3 inches shy of the division’s world record.
Faison, an 11-year-old soon-to-be sixth-grader at Levi Fry Intermediate in Texas City, finished second in the 100-meter dash, with the only runner ahead of him setting a new world record for the division, and medaled with a fifth-place finish as part of the U12 400-meter relay team.
Faison admitted he was nervous to compete among some of the nation’s best young track athletes, but was able to overcome those nerves to shock even himself.
“I was surprised because I thought that, because there was so many people there, that I wouldn’t be able to place or get first,” he said.
Trae’s father and coach Chris Faison said after the national championships, which were at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, he was contacted by ESPN the Magazine and told Trae was among 12 finalists to possibly be featured on the cover of a special youth track and field edition of the publication.
“I’m a proud parent, but as a coach, I know we have to keep coming to the gym and working hard,” Chris Faison said.
Winning silver medals for the team at the national championships were Lloyd Jones III (8U long jump, 12-51⁄4), Davin Preston (11U long jump, 15-53⁄4) and Colton Cantrell (7U javelin).
Other medalists finishing in the top eight of their event for the Heat were Bryce Dorsey (fourth place, 8U 400 meters, 1:10.69), Pace Jones (fourth place, 13U triple jump; 33-41⁄2), Brenttany Birdow (fifth place, 16U shot put; 33-103⁄4) and Julian Humphrey (seventh place; 11U 100 meters, 13.29; seventh place; 11U 200 meters, 26.63).
Faison, Humphrey, Preston and Robert Dale IV earned medals with a fifth-place finish in the 12U 400-meter relay, clocking in at 51.96 seconds.
The team trains roughly an hour per day and four times a week with strength training at the Fitness Evolution Gym in Texas City and endurance training at the Hitchcock High School track.
The Hitchcock Heat also have athletes who have qualified for AAU Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa, which will be July 28 through Aug. 2, and the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in Humble, which will be Monday through July 27.