Natural Talent, Natchitoches’ summer track team, competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships July 24-30 at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. Natural Talent saw its 4X100 team finish 7th in the country and Anthony Moses finish 5th in the Long Jump.
“Everyone did exceptionally well,” said Assistant Coach Dekayta Alex. “That was really the first time those kids got to experience such huge competition and a lot of them matched up really well with some of the most talented kids in the country.”
After back-to-back 1st place finishes at District and Regionals, the 4×100 relay team of Anthony Moses, Kyron Dunn, Robin Mathes, and Trenton Bradley faced up against the best relay teams in the country, meeting the challenge head on. After breezing through the prelims, the Natchitoches boys finished 7th place (ages 13-14) to finish as All-Americans with a time of 45.34.
“We could have had a better finish but I feel that we did our best against some of the best in the country,” Mathes stated.
Moses finished with a phenomenal week as he captured his own All-American status finishing 5th in the Long Jump with a jump of 19.78. Moses would also finish 15th in the 200m hurdles with a time of 27.09 and 17th in the 100m hurdles (14.46).
Bradley followed up his 4X100 performance with a new PR in the 100m dash finishing 21st with a time of 11.69. Bradley would finish the week with a 30th place finish in the 400m dash with a time of 54.83 and a 39th place finish in the 200m dash (25.04). After a 5th place finish at Regionals, Robin Mathes finished his week with a 37th place finish in the Triple Jump with a jump of 33-62.
On the women’s side, Aaniyah Hardwell finished in 55th place in the 1,500m run (ages 13-14) with a new personal best time of 5:58.71. Marien White finished in 37th place in the Shot Put (ages 9-10) with a throw of 15-71.
After a gutty performance at Regionals to qualify for Nationals, Ava Moses finished in 51st place in the 400m dash with a time of 1:27.33. As a six-year-old, Moses competed against girls up to two years older than she is and still managed to finish 51st in the country.
Another huge weekend for the Sowell brothers, as Devin, Demarion and Derrick all had top 50 finishes in their event. Devin finished 34th (ages 15-16) in the Triple Jump with a jump of 38-94. Demarion carded a 36th place finish (ages 13-14) in the Triple Jump with a jump of 33-66 and Derrick would go on to finish in 28th place (ages 8-under) in the Long Jump with a jump of 10-49.
After three top-three finishes at Regionals, Marquez “Macho” Stevenson back up his performance with three top-20 performances in the 11-12-year-old age group. Stevenson finished 20th in the 100m dash (12.93), 15th in the 200m dash (26.26) and 18th in the 400m dash with a time of 59.63.
Jeremiah Miles finished 41st (ages 11-12) in the 100m dash with a time of 13.06 and 44th in the 200m dash (28.66). Miles would also go on to finish 40th in the High Jump with a jump of 4-1.
Antonio Brown would finish off the week and summer for Natural Talent with a 27th place (ages 11-12) finish in the Discus with a throw of 58-26.
“This summer was a terrific time with all my teammates and friends because we all describe each other as a family,” Anthony Moses said. “We laughed, smiled and had a great time but also learned to never give up, work hard and to show off Natural Talent abilities.”