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JMA student Valynisia Calhoun qualifies for Junior Olympics

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    Valynisia Calhoun has earned several titles, including two-time indoor national champion in the long jump and All American.
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Valynisia Calhoun is only 11 years old, but the middleschooler is already showing signs of a promising track and field career. The JMA student is raising funds for the upcoming Junior Olympics in Lubbock, Texas.

Calhoun is not a stranger to the Junior Olympics. This is her third time qualifying since she began her track career in 2018.

“I am excited to see how the track will change my life in the upcoming years,” said Calhoun.

Although she is just starting middle school, the junior olympian already has a very impressive track record. Calhoun is ranked 2nd in the long jump and the 80-meter hurdle in the state of Georgia. She is ranked 4th in national rankings for the same events.

Calhoun is undefeated this season and is eager to represent Milledgeville in her upcoming runs.

She encourages anyone passionate about something to keep chasing their dreams.

“Keep pushing,” said Calhoun. “Results don’t show as fast as most would like, but it takes time and hard work to accomplish your goals.”

Calhoun says Olympians Allyson Felix and Tara Davis inspired her. Some local names also inspire her.

“I want to say thank you to Deloria Boone,” said Calhoun. “She is my inspiration from the community.”

Boone was also a long jump champion who graced the halls on JMA. Calhoun would also like to show thanks to her track and field coach, Steve Franklin.

The runner now needs the help of the Milledgeville Community to get her to her next hurdle. Calhoun and her family have organized a BBQ Plate sale to cover the expenses. Already Calhoun has received over $100 in donations.

“It means a lot to me that so many people in the community are helping me out,” Calhoun said.

Plates will be distributed on July 29 at 11 a.m. Prices range from $7-15.

Anyone interested in purchasing a plate to support Calhoun can pre-order by calling 478-457-4311. Donations are also being accepted via Cashapp at $VariahCalhoun.