ST. LOUIS - Sydney Juszcyk was told she couldn’t play football anymore. So she decided to take up track and field and break a national record.
The 14-year-old will be an incoming freshman at Trinity Catholic this fall. Just two weeks ago, she won two national championships in the javelin: one at the USA Track and Field Jr. Olympics in Lawrence, KS, and another at the AAU Jr. Olympics in Michigan. It was the latter where she broke the 14-year-old girls national AAU record, throwing 140 feet, 4 inches.
"My goal is to go to state and hopefully win as a freshman,” said Sydney, who isn’t shy about her lofty yet attainable goals.
She said she was devastated when she was told she could no longer play football. However, she found inspiration watching Lolo Jones compete for the USA in the summer Olympics.
“Watching that documentary on her, really, made me think, that looks fun, ya know? Why don’t I try it?” asked Sydney.
It wasn’t soon after she was throwing bamboo sticks in her backyard and hurdling over tires.
“We started throwing these bamboo sticks and they started going further and further and further,” said Peter Juszczyk, Sydney’s father and coach. “You show her something or give her something, she’s gonna give it one hundred percent and [she] sets the bar high. It’s never good enough or far enough.”
Sydney actually threw 144 feet at the Jr. Olympics in Lawrence and feels she could throw up to 155 feet if she makes the perfect throw. She’s also not content on her athletic endeavors as a whole.
“I want to be able to try every event, almost, ya know, and just see where I shine best in besides javelin,” said Sydney.
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