MEDFORD, Ore. — Early this spring McLoughlin seventh grader Jaron Emerson added sprinting to his athletic repertoire. A few months later, he was blowing past the competition.
“I knew I was fast, but I didn’t think I was the fastest kid out here, but I started catching on,” said Jaron. “Some of the eighth graders started helping me, and I got my form down.”
He may have never realized his potential if his mother Laurie, a former track athlete herself, hadn’t encouraged him to give it a try.
“We had seen him run in basketball and baseball so we thought, ‘why not try track,'” said Laurie. “Because it was something that I love to do, I was encouraging him. So I’m excited.”
Jaron says it was a growth spurt that really took his athletic abilities to another level.
“Fifth grade to sixth grade summer I grew five inches, and I got really tall and suddenly I got really fast,” said Jaron.
He got fast enough to nab the best time in the country. Shortly after an April 17th meet, Jaron’s parents found out his time in the 200 meter dash ranked first in the United States.
“We were shocked, said Laurie. “We were just shocked. I mean, it’s exciting. It’s really exciting.”
“She told me over the phone and I told her I didn’t believe her,” said Ralph. “I told her to go double check.”
“When my dad first told me, I didn’t believe him,” said Jaron. “Then I went and asked him again. I made him show me. Then we saw it on the Internet and my time beat everybody else. So I was excited.”
It’s an amazing feat for someone who just started running, but sports have always dominated Jaron’s life.
“He’s always been athletic,” said Laurie. “In every sport he’s ever done, he’s always exceeded in it.”
“I always wanted to play some type of athletic sport as a professional, but I never really thought about it at this level,” said Jaron.