FES Student Competes at Jr. Olympics in CA
Fortville Elementary third grader, Doran Bennett, recently ventured to Sacramento, California where he competed in the 2022 Track & Field Junior Olympics. He advanced through regionals and competed in three events at the national level which included the 400m, 200m, and long jump.
Doran has been running track since he was four years old. What started as a fun way for him to get more involved in his community after moving to Indiana “then spiraled into an absolute passion of his,” says his mother, Mia Bennett. Doran began running recreationally at the YMCA and eventually progressed to join an Indiana Youth Track Association (IYTA) team. These IYTA competitions led to his appearance in the Junior Olympics, after qualifying at the state and regional levels.
Overwhelmed and shocked are two words that Doran’s mother uses to describe the family’s realization that Doran would be traveling to nationals. Everything happened so fast that it was a challenge for an eight year old to fully understand what a unique and prestigious opportunity this was, until he actually arrived.
When he arrived at the event in Sacramento, seven-thousand athletes, 30-thousand spectators and numerous coaches and judges put this incredible experience into perspective. Doran finally realized the magnitude of his accomplishments. “This is huge, Mom,” he said. Unlike his competitions in Indiana, participating in nationals also meant that eight-year-old Doran had to be completely independent on the field by checking himself in and getting to his events without a parent or coach escorting him.
Competing in the Jr. Olympics taught Doran a multitude of lessons, such as learning he can successfully navigate a new experience on his own and also realizing that the world is much bigger than what he previously knew. The shift from Indiana to California also showed Doran that as good as he was in Indiana, there are always bigger goals to reach for with greater competition.
Doran says that from this experience, he has learned to “have fun and work hard, and that first is not always important.” Doran has a bright future ahead of him and believes this is only the beginning of his track career. He also recently earned the title of 13th in the nation for long jump. As of now, Doran is still running multiple times a week and hoping to make his return at nationals next year.
Congratulations Doran on your incredible accomplishment!