Young track phenom sets sights on national championship
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Jamey Patterson II always watched his brother, Jacory, at track meets.
The former Dreher athlete won his fair share of medals and it gave young Jamey something to shoot for.
"Believe it or not, when my baby boy first got started," Jamey Patterson began, "my son, he ran right here in District 1 at Hand Middle School and he set some records at the middle school and, believe it or not within the first year, he had already looked up my oldest son's records and was like, 'I want to shoot for his records by the time I get 16."
The competitive edge Jamey has acquired may very well have him on his way to breaking his older sibling's records. In just a year's time, Jamey has won nearly 40 medals in several events. Now, Jamey has a chance to add to that collection at the Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships later this month in Greensboro.
"I really want it," Patterson II said. "It's like when you want to really win a basketball game and you want to win a championship and you get it. That's how i feel about nationals."
Patterson II qualified for the event last year, but he wasn't able to go. This year, he qualified after competing in events to compete in the 100-meter dash and the long jump against other athletes ages 9 and 10.
"He's had to go through some meets," Jamey Patterson said. "Lot of training. Being out here, of course, in the heat. You've got to enjoy it if you're out here in the heat. But a lot of training man, a lot of hours. A lot of going through meets to understand that you can compete with some of the best kids in the state, let alone the country. And I think what that does for him is it boosts his confidence."
Patterson II, who is one of two South Carolina athletes headed to the national event later this month, goes through training sessions with his father. The rising fourth-grader from Pontiac Elementary admits that his father isn't always easy on him when it comes to preparing for events. However, they both enjoy being able to spend time together doing what they love.
"It means a lot to me," Patterson II said. "He's a good coach."
The Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships will take place in Greensboro, N.C., from July 23 to July 29.
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