Steph Gemar takes first at Jr. Olympics
With a top discus throw of 136 feet, 1 inch, Steph Gemar took first at the Region 8 USA Track and Field Junior Olympics on July 6.
The win earned Gemar a chance to compete at USA National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, N.C., at the end of July. That competition is for the the national title.
Gemar trains year round for at least one hour a day at the Mobridge –Pollock high school track to prepare herself for meets.
“It’s a lot of time put into training, doing research, going to camps. I have been working towards nationals for five years,” said Gemar.
She is excited about taking first, due to the extra challenge. With the top athletes in the Midwest competing for a spot at nationals, the competition was fierce.
“It was a good competition. I only won by a couple of feet, and it was nice to see more talent than I normally see in the area. It was fun,” said Gemar.
Gemar has had enormous feedback from friends and the community, receiving cards and phone calls of congratulation. Strangers have stopped her on the street to offer her a support. Her friends have cheered her on, and shown her support when she has a meet coming up.
Gemar is not only a talented athlete, she is also very intelligent; and academically geared. Entering her senior year at the end of August, she hopes to narrow down her choice of colleges. With multiple schools interested, some are offering her scholarships in hopes of persuading her to attend. Gemar, who spends her spare time reading, has her eye set on a school in the realm of the Ivy League to pursue a degree in international relations or political science.
Although Gemar has been working towards a national title her entire high school career, she is struggling with the decision of going to the national competition. Last year she hurt her ankle in a basketball game and although the injury was not serious she is worried the constant competing, and little to no rest might lead to more serious problems. She is weighing the decision and may stay home and rest up to prepare for the next season and college.