Fans flocked to the Blue Oval Friday to see their favorite athletes, including homegrown favourite, Lolo Jones, compete in the USA Track and Field Championships.
“It`s nice to see people from Des Moines being successful,” said Kon Lueth.
Racing on Friday, Des Moines native Lolo Jones didn’t disappoint, winning her heat on a familiar track.
The fact she’s here drew a crowd of hometown fans and some future local track stars.
“I`m a big track fan,” Pat Allison says. “I`ve been to the Drake Relays for 50 straight years this year so I had to come to this meet, it`s a big meet and I’m enjoying it so far.”
And so is Lolo who was racing in the 100-meter hurdles. Lolo says when she was little, she only dreamed she could compete on the national level.
“I remember walking to the state track meet with a cooler in my hand, I used to live four blocks away and practicing everyday on this track for the junior Olympics only in middle school and never knowing that I’d return as a professional athlete and two time Olympian.”
Now future Olympic hopefuls are coming to watch her, “It`s inspiring seeing them accomplishing their dreams and gives us more inspiration to go after ours,” Kon Lueth says.
Hurdler Lueth is being trained by one of Jones’ former coaches.
“It gives us more confidence in our hurdle abilities seeing that he`s trained Olympians, state champions for many years so it definitely helps.”
Jones says she’s staying focused and thriving off the crowds’ energy.
Crowds she says need show up this weekend. She can’t imagine a better place for the Olympic trials in 2020.
“It would be awesome but we have got to get a crowd. I heard they are doing the best to get the Olympic trials but the main thing to get it would be they have to have a packed stadium.”
“USAA Championships won`t be here again if it`s a half empty stadium,” Lolo warns.
The USA Track and Field Championships continue Saturday from 6:30 a.m.