The My Brother’s Keeper track team returned home from the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics with plenty of jewelry.
The Riverview, Florida based organization captured 16 top 8 finishes.
The team’s performance in Detroit, MI was the best to date for My Brother’s Keeper, which was established in January 2015.
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Darius Rainey won gold in the 800m. Serenity Brazell took silver in both the 800m and 400m. Dontae Morris Jr. earned bronze in the 100m and 200m.
Jaekwon Howard finished fourth in the 200m and eighth in the 100m. Silas Taylor Jr. placed seventh in the 400m.
The 11-12 year old 4x1 relay team (Tre'Shawn Taylor, Amir Stiff, Darius Smith, and Jaekwon Howard) came away with bronze.
The 11-12 year old 4x4 relay team (Donovan Terry, Devin Stevens Jr, Amir Stiff, and Dontae Morris Jr.) finished in fourth.
Coach Johnathan Terry was effusive in his praise for his athletes.
“The overall experience was everything we envisioned it to be. Our athletes competed against our nation’s best every day and to see them winning races continuing to advance to the next round was amazing. Our athletes reached personal best records and to see them on the award stands was a display of all of their hard work,” Terry said.
“This was our third Junior Olympics as a team and this one has been our most successful one due to the success of our kids’ performances.”
Terry has been coaching AAU track and field for five years, with this being his third season at the helm of My Brother’s Keeper.
Terry is confident his team can continue on the upward tick.
“The development of these athletes has no ceiling. They're pushed every day to the max to bring out their God given talent. They have peers that they are able to help each other get better,” Terry said. “Our coaching staff are very passionate and we set our athletes up to be as successful as possible through our training regimen.”
Terry would like to thank his tireless staff for their efforts to make My Brother’s Keeper run smoothly and successfully:
Coach Steven Smith
Coach Shawn Burney
Coach Frank Thomas
Coach Silas Taylor
Coach Lorenzo Stiff
Videographer: Eboni Stiff
Photographers: Andrew Robinson and Ryan Randall
The 17 athletes that reached the Junior Olympics qualified at the FL Regionals in Tallahassee in June.
My Brother’s Keeper began with just five athletes and now has increased to 28 members. Terry explains that the team’s name is the mission and mindset of the organization.
“The team name came from President Obama’s "My Brother's Keeper" initiative in mentoring and utilizing young men of minority talents and passions whether through sports, art, music, of any special skill to keep them off the streets,” Terry said. “At My Brother's Keeper we've adopted the philosophy ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.’ Our coaches prepare each of our athletes with this in mind.”
My Brother’s Keeper’s athletes strive to be positive citizens in the community. They participate in many community service activities, such as feeding the homeless, donating books, volunteering at Metropolitan Ministries, cleaning adopted roads and visiting the elderly.
Terry is proud that his team is committed to making a difference and believes the sky is the limit on the track.
“The future of this team will only further advance along with the talent that comes in to be a part of this organization. The culture of this track team is founded upon our four pillars of ministry, strength in unity, service, and God’s gifts,” Terry said. “These kids are passionate about track and they will be nothing less than Olympians as long they stick with it.”
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