Doyline High’s Shelbie Waln takes second place in Junior Nationals
BALTIMORE – More than 8,000 of America's next generation of track and field stars took part in the 2012 USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships held July 23-29 in Baltimore.
And one Webster Parish athlete made a big impression.
Shelbie Waln, a junior-to-be at Doyline High School, placed second in the shot put. Waln competed with 48 other athletes from around the nation in her event.
"It was probably the best experience I've ever had in my life," Waln said.
Waln, the LHSAA Class B State Champion in the shot put as a sophomore, placed second in Baltimore with a throw of 40' 7 3/4".
Waln's coach at Doyline, Michael Normand was obviously proud of his star.
"I'm so proud of the drive and determination that Shelbie has shown," he said. "She's becoming a fierce competitor who really raises her level when the competition is stiffest. She has the potential to throw at the major college level."
Normand says there is something he admires more in Waln than her athletic ability.
"Even though Shelbie is a great competitor, she is becoming even more impressive as an individual," he said. "And I consider myself blessed to be able to work with kids like her."
Waln was pleased with her Silver Medal, even more than if she had won Gold.
"Actually I'm happier finishing second than I would have been if I had finished first," she said. "Because now it gives me something to work for, I just want to keep improving."
Maybe Waln keeps improving and moves from this year's Junior Olympics to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.