11 yr old FJH student qualifies to compete in track Junior Olympics


Matthew Kovacevich, upcoming sixth grader in Friendswood ISD, has

qualified for the USA Track and Field (USATF) Junior Olympics. He will represent

Texas in three events where there will be athletes from throughout the United


The USATF Junior Olympics will be held July 21-27 in Houston. Athletes

18 and under from around the US who qualified in regional competitions are

invited to participate in the program.

Kovacevich is part of the track program Alvin Steppers, coached by Gerry

Flannel and is 11 years old.

Kovacevich has qualified for three events: 800 meter race (0.497 miles)

with a qualifying time of 0.02:24.82; the 3000 meter race (1.864 miles), qualifying

at a time of 0.10:38.44, and the 1,500 meter race (0.932 miles), qualifying at a

time of 0.033:56.74.

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for

track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.

USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched

events of Olympic broadcasts, and the number one high school and junior high

school participatory sport. There are more than 30 million runners in the United


To get to the Junior Olympics, Matthew had to attend and complete in

separate preliminary meets at Barnett Stadium in Houston. Kovacevich qualified

for the Junior Olympics in the 1500 meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 56.74

seconds on Saturday and qualified in the 3000 meter run and 800 meter run the

previous week.

USATF Junior Olympics meet will be held July 21 at Turner Stadium in


Kovacevich has been invited to run this week in the Amateur Athletic

Union (AAU) finals to earn a spot in the AAU National event July 28-August 2 in

Des Moines, Iowa. He is trying out for the same three events that qualified him

for the Junior Olympics.

While qualifying for the Junior Olympics was thrilling for the young athlete,

so was the opportunity to meet Olympian Track and Field Gold Medalist and

United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Carl Lewis. Kovacevich hopes to follow in

his footsteps or strides.