Those who know 14-year Joe Waskom know he can run. He started competing in Snoqualmie fun runs while in elementary school. By time he was 12 he won the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship, finishing the 11/12 year-old division 3K race in 9:41.49.
In late July, Joe headed to Jacksonville, Florida for the 2015 USATF Junior Olympics to compete in the 13/14-year-old boys division, running the anchor leg of the 4 x 800 meter relay and the 1500 and 3000 meter individual races with his Bellevue-based Youth Track & Field/Cross Country team, Speed Unlimited.
Joe’s mom Jill said competing in multiple events in the Florida heat and humidity (not to mention dealing with a 3-hour time change) was definitely challenging and she was impressed with his ability to focus and adjust. Jill said she was only a spectator and found the weather conditions unbearable.
Joe’s relay team finished in 10th place and he placed 5th in the 1500m finals. He shined brightest in 3000m race, though.
Jill said luckily Joe had the day off from competition before that 3000m final on August 1, 2015… a day to just rest after multiple days of preliminary individual heats and the relay final.
And the rest did just the trick. Joe won the 3000m race in a time of 9:23:67 – his personal best. The closest competitor was three seconds behind.
Next up is Joe’s first season for running for the Mount Si High School Cross Country team – alongside his fast running sister, Hannah.
Mom Jill said Joe got a couple of days off after returning from the National Championships – and then it was back to training with Coach Sean Sundwall, whose local races through Run Snoqualmie helped develop both Joe and Hannah’s love of running
And yes, Sundwall says he’s very excited to be coaching Joe this Fall in Cross Country and then in Track come springtime.
You can watch video of the race HERE. Congratulations, Joe!