By Matthew Girard
Killeen Daily Herald
Prime Time Rollers Track Team coach Stephon Primous expected to be traveling to the 2008 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics in Detroit this weekend. What he didn't expect was having to use a bus to get there.
Almost a month ago, 40 different members of the Rollers team qualified for the Junior Olympics at the 2008 AAU South Texas District Championships in Brownsville.
"I expected to take maybe 22 or 23," Primous said during the team's practice at Ellison High School on Wednesday. "To have 40 qualify was a blessing and a genuine surprise. I appreciate the kids working through the hot sun and I appreciate the parents for bringing them here every day."
Not only are the Rollers sending 40 different members, nearly every competitor will be competing in more than one event in Detroit.
Primous said almost half of the kids have a shot at bringing back a medal to Killeen.
"Out of the 40 that we are taking, 15 of them have a genuine chance of bring something home," Primous said.
Lacee Slaughter, who attends Temple High School and will be competing in three events, said she learned from her experience at the Junior Olympics last year.
"I'm very excited," said Slaughter, who will compete in the young women's shot put, discus and 100-meter dash. "Last year, I scratched on all my throws, so this year I'm ready."
Along with Slaughter, Diamon Primous (girls primary 200-meter dash, 400, 800), Acacia Farrow (girls primary 200, 400, 800) Amoniasia Penick (girls sub-midget 400, 800, 1500), Anessa Pitts (girls midget 400, 800, 80-meter hurdles), Trinity Person (girls sub-midget 400, 800, 80-meter hurdles), Aloysia Young (girls sub-youth 200, 400, long jump), Javani Person (girls youth 100, 200, 400), Bobbie Williamson (girls intermediate shot put, discus, javelin) and Tiesha Beasley (young women's 100, 200, 400) will represent the Rollers among several others.
On the boys side, Harker Heights student Brendan Campbell will lead the way for the Rollers by qualifying in four different events. Campbell, 15, will run the 400, 800, 1500 and the 4x400 relay.
"I didn't think I would make it in all those events," Campbell said. "It's an honor to go and I feel like I'm among some of the elite athletes. I feel like I can go down there and compete and medal."
Along with Campbell, Scottlyn Thompson (boys primary 200, 400, 800), Landen Gray (boys sub-bantam 100, 200, 400), Stephon Primous II (boys bantam 800, high jump, long jump), Darren Wydermyer Jr. (boys midget 400, 800, 1500), Mychael Ellison (boys youth 400, 800, 1500), and Vondel Purvis (boys youth 200, 400, long jump, triple jump) will represent the Rollers along with several other athletes.
The Rollers will also send three relay teams to the Junior Olympics. Taylor Love, Young, Person and Mylekiamae Hazelwood will run the girls youth 4x400, while Alexander Long, Christopher Hall, Campbell and Dominic Purvis will run the boys intermediate 4x400.
Primous said the third relay team of Prezel Hardy, Michael Bryant, Long and Hall have a chance at setting a record in the 4x100 relay.
Although the Rollers will have a bus load of athletes with a chance at a national championship, Primous said he just wants his kids to give it their all no matter the outcome.
"Our goal for them is to do there very best," Primous said. "By them making it to that level they realize there is nothing that they can't do."
Contact Matthew Girard at email@example.com or (254) 501-7569.