Youth Xpress Track Club preparing for Junior Olympics National Championships

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Coaches Rico Griffin and Keturah Maurice have watched the Youth Xpress track club excel in the field of competition. They train at Gulfport and Pass Christian High Schools.

Griffin says the Youth Xpress has more youngsters 5 to 18-years-old giving their all in practice.

"We're really picking up steam," stated Griffin."We started about two years ago and the first group we had consisted of 17 members. Last year we had 27. This year we have 32, so it's really picking up."

Aneisha Bell completed her sophomore season at Biloxi High and had a fourth place finish in the shot putt at the Class 6A State track and field championships.

She'll be competing in both the shot putt and the discuss in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bell said,"It takes a lot of hard work and your mind to do the shot putt. You just can't get out there and throw it like a softball or something. You really have to put your mind to it. The same with the discuss, a lot of technique."

Bell hopes to throw the shot putt at least 40 feet and propel the discuss 100 feet,11 inches.

Heaven Maurice will be entering the 7th grade at Pass Christian Middle School in August. She qualified to compete in the turbo javelin, shot putt and the high jump.

She has thrown the javelin 27 feet and her best distance in the shot putt is 25 feet.

Maurice said,"The different techniques and the different ways you practice it. The shot putt you have to have strength in your muscles, like the javelin. But your wrist has to be according to the right regulations."

Maurice placed 8th at the National Junior Olympics last year in the long jump.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.