Fishers athletes attend championships


By Anna Skinner


Sam Brodt, 12, and Tyler Davis, 8, were amongst six other from the Fishers Fire, a nonprofit track and field club, who attended the USATF National Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Florida from July 27 to Aug. 2.

To qualify, the athletes had to place in the top five in the USATF Region 7 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Illinois from July 9-12.

Hundreds of kids competed, and Sam and Tyler both did well.

Tyler competed in long jump and jumped 11’8” for 11th place out of 44 jumpers.

Sam threw his javelin 93’8”, finishing 37th out of 62 competitors

Originally, Sam used to play baseball, following in his older brother’s footsteps. Yet he confessed to his father, Duane, that “Baseball is boring. I don’t want to play anymore.”

Duane, who competed in the USATF National Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1986, involved his son in track. To nobody’s surprise, Sam loved it.

“I was a three-time state qualifier in the pole vault in high school and was state runner-up in 1986. I qualified for the Junior National team in 1986 and 1987,” Duane said. “I suffered a second-degree sprained ankle two days before leaving for Junior Nationals in 1986 in Towson, Md. I competed but failed to clear the opening height of 16’6″. The following year, I made the team but opted not to compete.”

And despite the championship running in the family, Duane was unable to attend Sam’s competition due to an injury.

“In March, I tore my Achilles’ tendon while running. Following surgery, I’m relearning day by day how to walk again. I (could not) accompany Sam to the meet in Florida and that’s heartbreaking to me,” Duane said. “I’d love to be able to take him and experience everything with him; it was fun for me and I know he’ll have a blast. I just wish I could be with him and his teammates as they compete at a national level.”

Tyler also did well.

“If he jumped his personal best of 12’10”, he would’ve got first place,” his mother, Laura, said. “Last year his personal best was 10’8″. He was state champ and took fourth place at regionals and advanced to the Junior Olympic Nationals last year but we didn’t make the trip due to a conflict. This year his personal best is 12’10” and he took first place at state and regionals. Advancing to the Junior Olympics yet once again has been exciting and surreal to him.”

Tyler competed in gymnastics before he did track, which helps with his long jump.

“Gymnastics has been the best training and exercise for me to learn how to be so good at long jump. … It just makes me so happy. I want to go to college for track someday,” Tyler said.

Although the progression of championships has ended for Sam, Tyler, and the other six athletes, they will continue training at Fishers Fire practices held at the Riverside Junior High and Intermediate School at 10910 Eller Rd., Fishers.

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