The AAU Junior Olympic Games are less than a week away. Many of the nation's best track and field athletes will compete in Des Moines, Iowa for a national championship in their respective events.
One of the many Texas athletes going to compete will be Brooke Givens.
Givens competes in the sprint events for Team Quest during the club season and for McKinney North during the school season. She has been a part of the two high profile teams for years and has played a major part in the success of both teams as both teams have played a big part in her success as well.
The term success isn't just a term thrown around when it comes to what she has been able to accomplish. It is by definition very applicable. Over the years, Givens has been a piece of the McKinney North juggernaut that has torn through the state of Texas and UIL 5A over the last several years.
They've won two team state titles a second place and several relay and individual championships. Givens has helped attribute to many of the state's and nation's fastest sprint relays over the last three years at McKinney North.
Extra Work This Summer
Givens is excited for the AAU Junior Olympic Games, but she is also prepared. "I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have this opportunity, It's a dream come true. My parents have always instilled in me if ever given the stage, you must perform, because you never know if the opportunity will present itself again."
She is ready to make the best of the opportunity. This season, she put more focus on her individual events both during school track and the club season. The summer results have shown that those efforts are starting to pay off, "I have dedicated my entire summer, perfecting the proper techniques, and methods in which I will need in order to be explosive coming out of the blocks in the 100 and 200m," Givens said.
Last month, she won the AAU Region 18 National Qualifier in the the 100m and the 200m with some impressive times, especially when you consider he ran them into a head wind when she dropped 12.14 in the 100m and 24.17 in the 200m.
Givens relied on her gains from the tons of practice time, but she also focused on the little things. The Abilene afternoons were brutal at times, but she did not waver as she went for the sprint double. "I knew that it would be challenging considering the level of competition that I was up against and the short amount of recovery time between each race. I also knew staying hydrated would be key in the hopes of being successful."
Experience At McKinney North Was Perfect Preparation
Past experiences played a key part in the sprint double and will be key for Givens when it's time to compete at the AAU Junior Olympics next week.
The time spent in the McKinney North camp has provided the opportunities for Givens to run with and against some of the top sprinters in the state as well as nationally. "It has prepared me in the sense that I understand what it's like to be on the track with the best of the best, which could be somewhat intimidating at times. But, I've learned to stay focused, humble and hungry at all times."
"I've come to the realization that in order for me to rise to the top, it takes tons of preparation. I've worked hard throughout my career and feel this opportunity to run at the Junior Olympics is proof of the sacrifice that has been put towards my bigger dreams. It's a great feeling to be able to display your talents on a much larger platform."Givens can take with her the experience gained from the last several years to Des Moines, Iowa and beyond. When she lines up both individually and with her Team Quest relays she can call on the times she went through the entire check in process several times at some of the biggest and most competitive meets that she gets to race in at McKinney North. "Perhaps our success was a collaborative effort but knowing I played a major part in my high schools' victory as Back 2 Back State Champions is a great feeling as well as added pressure going in as a senior. As I prepare for college, I know I must now push myself even harder to pursue by individual goals. By the way, shout out to the Lady Bulldogs!!! #NODAYSOFF!"
Goals For AAU Junior Olympics
Although the national qualifier was a success, there is still unfinished business. The summer isn't complete until the AAU Junior Olympics is over. Givens plans to have the best of all outcomes as she can possibly have. "Ultimately, it would be to win the race. However, I strive to get my time down to an 11.2 (PR) which will put me in a more competitive class, as I pursue my college journey!
The 200m race is the one that currently carries the most weight to Givens. "Personally, the 200 is big for me, I feel that the 200 is the race that will take me the furthest in my track career. Ideally, lowering it from a 24.17 to a 23.20 would be beyond awesome." In order to make those time benchmarks possible, Givens know exactly what it will take to do so. "Of course, things begin with a great start out of the blocks, staying poised, and finishing the race. Coming out with the victory would be ideal and a huge accomplishment for me."
With senior year for Givens right around the corner, finishing up her junior campaign on a high note is what she is counting on. She knows a good finish would be very beneficial to her recruiting process. "It is integral, because I am definitely college bound. I know that there will be recruiters watching and I need to be able to perform at the best of my abilities and show what I have to offer."
"My junior year and summer track season are examples of what I am capable of, with my best yet to come. I'm prepared to show why I would be a good asset to their organization versus a liability! I'd like to thank Coach Donnell &Toni, as well as their staff for their dedication, and loyalty in making sure that I'm not cutting any corners at practice. It's what's molded me into the athlete that I am today. # loyalty"
Givens and her Team Quest squad will soon travel to Des Moines, Iowa along with thousands of other track and field youth stars throughout the US. You catch LIVE on FloTrack to see how she and the others fare at the AAU Junior Olympic championships.
How to Watch The 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games
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