Jon Coulter: Scholar Athlete of the Week
Posted on 08/16/2021
Jon Coulter
Share your Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic experience.
JC: This year's Junior Olympics was a great experience. I qualified to run in four events: 800 meter and 1500 meter and the 4x400 meter and 4x800 meter races. Prior to competing in Houston, I attended the Club Championship in Satellite, Fla., and brought home two medals. I was also named All-American for three of my events and had a personal record best. This championship recognizes the top 8 athletes in their event.
Qualifying and running in the Junior Olympics was my ultimate goal at the beginning of the season. Since second grade, I have competed in six Junior Olympics. Bringing home three medals from the Junior Olympics felt great and is a great start for me for season this school year. This was my first year attending both the Club Championships and the Junior Olympics.
Things may have looked and somewhat felt different due to the pandemic, but how did you stay focused?
JC: Last summer was more difficult than this year because of the new rules and regulations due to Covid-19. However, this year, because various places and cities were opening up, protocols were put in place at the track & field meets, which made me feel better and safer. I was able to focus and stay locked in on reaching my goals.
How long have you been participating in track & field? Is that the only sport you participate in?

JC: I have been running track since second grade. Growing up, I participated in just about every sport. Football, basketball, soccer, and track, you name it, I played it. When I got to Overton, I chose to focus on running and joined both the cross-country and track and field teams. I run the long distance, but my main event is the 800 meter.

Did you beat a personal goal in your event or events?
JC: At the beginning of track season, I set a few times and meet placement goals for both my high school and the summer track seasons. For school, I wanted to break Overton's 800 meter record and place at State. This year I did both; I now have the new school record and I placed 4th at State. For the summer track season, I wanted to qualify and make All-American at both the Club Championships and the Junior Olympics. Things are headed on the right ‘track.’
Which strengths do you believe you possess that make you a great athlete?
JC: As an athlete, some of my strengths are my work ethic, focus, discipline, competitiveness, and desire to continue to improve. All those characteristics tie into both my mental and physical health. For me, both mental and physical health is equally important. I train hard, get massages, stretch, and take a lot of ice baths for the physical. For the mental, I stick to my routine. I pray, get in my zone with my music, and think about my race.
Also knowing that I have my parents’ love and support, regardless of the outcome, allows me to prepare for my races stress-free.
Senior year, what are this year’s top three priorities?
JC: Senior year is huge! My top priorities will be to first stay focused on my grades and not get distracted from the excitement of being a senior. Second, I would like to enjoy every aspect of the recruitment process. I want to learn and take advantage of the opportunities presented as they come. I want to make sure I make the best decision for my future in academics and track. Lastly, I will be training hard, staying locked in and focusing on my senior goals for the 2022 track and field season. Who knows, maybe this time next year I will be the 2022 800-meter Tennessee State Champion.

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. It has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. The Junior Olympics have been held in Des Moines, Iowa; Greensboro, North Carolina; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Houston, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.

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