Christian James of Rosharon started running track as a way to improve his skills for other sports. That decision earned him a pair of medals as one of the best athletes in the country.
James was among a number of local competitors participating late last month in the AAU Junior Olympics in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Manvel Junior High student earned the medals as a member of the Pearland Track Xpress 14-year-old relay teams that finished fifth in the 1,600-meter relay and seventh in the 3,200 relay.
James teamed with Clifton Jones, Marcus Gaitan and Matthew Gaitan in both relays. They finished 8 minutes, 53 seconds in the 3,200 and 3:37.24 in the 1,600.
James ran the 800 meters but finished 52nd out of 93 runners with a time of 2:16.63. Only the top 12 advanced to the finals.
Angleton’s Mya Johnson, also competing in the 14-year-old division, placed 73rd in the 100 meters and 85th in the 200 meters, not advancing from the preliminary rounds. The top 24 times advanced to the finals.
In the 100, Johnson finished in 13.16 out of 103 finishers, and turned in a 200 time of 27.04.
Rosharon’s Trey Thomas, competing in the 15-16-year-old long jump medaled with a fifth-place finish. His leap of 22 feet, 7 inches was 2 feet short of gold medalist Curtis Williams from Tallahassee, Florida.
Rosharon’s Israel Allen failed to get out of the preliminaries in the 400 meters for 15-16 year old age group as he clocked in a 49.94. Only the top eight from the field of 95 qualified to the next round.
Israel, who attends Alvin Shadow Creek High School, was second in the national qualifier.