Big Sandy Track and Field Athlete Wins Medals at Junior Olympics, Breaks Records

by Joy D. Lanham

In this unprecedented year of COVID-19, one record-breaking Big Sandy athlete did not allow this virus to dampen his determination. Michael Jitjaeng, a Senior at Big Sandy High School, spent his summer training and competing in amatuer Track & Field meets across the United States.
His first meet was the Leander Spartans Championship, held on June 20th near Austin, where he competed in the Discus, Shot-put, and Javelin events. He started the season off by placing first place in Discus with a throw of 166' 3.50". This momentus throw broke a 42 year old Big Sandy High School record for Discus set by Greg Grissom in 1978 with a throw of 163' 7". Michael also placed 2nd in shot-put and 3rd in javelin.
This stellar throwing sports athelete went on to rock the Dallas USA Track & Field Dynamite Track and Field Championship on July 4th by taking 1st place in both Discus and Shot-put. Michael didn't slow down as he went on to compete in the Amateur Athletic Union West Coast Junior Olympic Games in Las Vegas, NV on July 10th. He broke his own discus record by throwing 167' 11" and walked away as a Junior Olympic and National Championship Silver medalist in both Discus and Shot-put.
For his season finale, Jitjaeng competed in both discus and shot-put at the AAU Junior Olympic Games National Track & Field Meet in Satellite Beach, FL on August 8. This event is the largest amatuer Track & Field Meet in the nation. He received All-American recognition in both events for finishing as part of the top 8 elite athletes in the country by finishing 5th in Discus and 7th in Shot-put.
Michael Jitjaeng is the eldest of 5 boys and is the son of Mike and Celina (McIver) Jitjaeng. His talents don't stop on the athletic fields, as he is currently academically ranked 1st in his graduating class with a GPA of 4.2. He intends to represent the University of Texas or Texas A&M in Track and Field throwing sports. He aspires to major in Aerospace Engineering or similar fields of study that involve robotics or aeronautics. He enjoys building and flying radio controlled ariplanes and drones.
This 5' 11", 175 lb, dedicated student and elite athlete started the spring season of 2020 with the goal of winning the Texas State 2A title in Track & Field for Discus and Shot-put. After two meets, the season ended due to the COVID-19 school shutdowns and cancellation of UIL activities. With the future unknown, this determined young man continued to train in the hopes that sporting events would resume and he was able to compete at state. When that didn't happen, his family enrolled him in USA Track and Field and the AAU Track and Field league. This stellar performer just wouldn't let anything get in his way!
Michael wants to thank the many coaches that have helped him reach these pretigious achievements.