Local track and field team is running for teammate who has cancer

There are 10 athletes from the team that will be competing at the Junior Olympics

VICTORIA, Texas — Ten “Sho up ‘N Sho out” track athletes have qualified for the Junior Olympics. This summer track program has been going on for 12 years and coach Robert Gadsden or “coach Boobie” (is how the athletes know him), had been coaching for eight of those years. While he’s been a coach for the team, over 20 previous athletes have received athletic scholarships. This year is more special than all the other years because athlete Keimryn Lee who is not running, but still on the team, has 0steosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer that begins in the cells that form bones, and all the athletes are running in her name. Coach Boobie says he continues to coach because he wants the athletes to believe they can over come anything.

“If she can do that fight… we are going to run for her,” says Gadsden. “Let her take care of her business and we are going to keep running for her.”

Lee was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and the team wears shirts with her name on it, along with a yellow ribbon in support of her fight. Lee has an older sister on the team, Keiyanah who has been running track since she was seven and likes to run because her family is on the team with her. Keiyanah runs in the 400 M, 200M,  100 M hurdles and competes in long jump. Keiyanah hopes to earn a scholarship in the future.

“Everybody cares about her and she’s not fighting alone and we are all with her, says Keiyanah. “It’s very special and heart touching.”

Also competing in the junior Olympics is Averie Barefield who has been competing for eight years. This 15 year old from attends East High School and competes in shot put and discus. When she is not training, she likes to play games like Minecraft. Barefield hopes to one day receive a scholarship in track and field, get educated in psychology and hopefully compete in the Olympics. Barefield calls all of the members on the team her cousins, brothers and sisters because they are so close.

“Definitely my coaches and track family of course, and my competitive nature,” says Barefield. “I always want to win, I think that helped a lot. I lift a lot that helps. It’s just those steps that help me a lot”

The Junior Olympic games have already started, but the team will not have an athlete competing until Monday August 2nd. The competition will continue through Saturday August 7th in Humble.