Wednesday, Newkirk will be in Sacramento competing in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships. Newkirk will compete in the pentathlon — events include the 80-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, shot put, high jump and long jump — in the girls’ midget division (athletes born in 1998-99). Newkirk can hardly wait.
“I’m really, really excited,” she said. “I will definitely be nervous, but I’m just going to do my best and not be really disappointed if I don’t win because this is my first year (of competing in the event).”
Indeed, the amazing part of Newkirk qualifying for the Junior Olympics is she only recently started training in January with Team Onalysis, a club track team based in San Francisco. But like most things she’s undertaken in her life, Newkirk excelled from the get-go. While her favorite and probably best event is the 100 — Newkirk’s best time in the 100 is 13.8 seconds — she’ll be doing the pentathlon to take advantage of her variety of skills.
“My coach (Otis Campbell) said I was good enough to do the pentathlon, so he put me in it,” said Newkirk, who qualified for the Junior Olympics after finishing third in the pentathlon at a meet in Modesto last month.
Newkirk’s PRs (personal records) in each of the events in the pentathlon include 15 seconds in the 80 hurdles, 3:03 in the 800, a throw of 20 feet, 6 inches in the shot put, 4-2 in the high jump and 14 1 3/4 in the long jump. Newkirk would love nothing more than to set personal bests in all of her events — “Getting PRs when you don’t expect it is unbelievable,” she said — but Newkirk won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t get a PR, knowing she’s still a relative novice to the track and field arena.