Myles Marshall can add an accomplishment on to his already impressive year. In May, he and his 1600m relay team won state for Kingwood High School. He also won gold in his individual race, 800m, during the state tournament. Now, he can call himself a Junior Olympic gold medalist as he won the gold in the 800m with a time of 1:49.14 at the Junior Olympics in Nanjing, China.
Myles has been hard at work over the summer to prepare him for this event and other races he had going on leading up to the Youth Olympics. He didn’t have to do it alone as his mother was there every step of the way coaching and encouraging her son. “I did a lot of speed training at a race pace,” Marshall said, “I wasn’t on the track as much as people may think. I went to the track about twice a week but they were good, quality workouts. If I was off the track, I’d be doing something endurance wise like a longer, faster run.”
In April, Marshall had to qualify for the Olympic trials in Florida. He was the only American in the 800m area trials that competed in his race and he won with a 1:51.5 time. Thus, he was picked to represent the United States of America in China.
His experience in China was “great” as he explored the town and culture of Nanjing. “Part of the games was getting to know different people from different countries so they had all sorts of ways to connect with other athletes.” Marshall said. They had ways to share contact information instantly by sharing tags that connect by wi-fi. There was also “culture booths” that showed different cultures for the athletes to experience. Communication was, luckily, not a problem as most of the Junior Olympians Marshall had contact with spoke English as well. “It was a great atmosphere,” Marshall said. During the 800m race Marshall competed against runners from Switzerland, Ethiopia, Morocco, Spain, and Uganda to name a few.
The USA track group that Marshall traveled with did some shopping in the area which consisted of some inexpensive places as well as some very expensive places, usually a mall. They then went to the City Wall of Nanjing which is over 600 years old and is still well preserved. It was the longest city wall in the world and the city enclosed by it remained the world’s largest until the 17th century.
Marshall was welcomed back home by a rising and loud ovation at the halftime of the Kingwood vs Katy football game this past Friday night. Cheers of “USA! USA! USA!” and “MYLES! MYLES! MYLES!” were heard loudly by the crowd even before he was announced over the intercom. “It really showed a lot of respect for the sport and what I did. It was nice to see,” Marshall admitted.
Now that school is back in session Myles can focus on the high school season ahead. The relay team lost Garrett Williamson to graduation so they are still looking for the final piece to the 4×4 puzzle. “The fight for that last spot is going to be intense these next few months,” Marshall said of the competition. “I’m excited for it. It should be a great final year.”