Local aiming for 2016 National Team
EDMOND, OK -- With his sights set on representing the United States internationally, Mt. Juliet's Andrew Kittrell brought home three goal medals from the 16th annual Endeavor Games hosted June 14-15 at the University of Central Oklahoma.
An all-comers athletic competition for athletes with disabilities, the Endeavor Games serves as a one of several qualifying events for those hoping to compete at national and international events.
Andrew has a goal of making the 2016 USA Paralympic Track and Field Team.
Kittrell, a rising freshman at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, blistered the track to win his age group in the 100 meter, the 200 meters and the 400 meters.
Born with Amniotic Band Syndrome -- which resulted in the congenital loss of his left leg below the knee, a right club foot as well as affecting the fingers on both hands -- Kittrell ran a 12.91 in the 100 meters; a 27.37 in the 100 meters and a 1:07.45 in the 400 meters.
Andrew is the son of Michael and Tammy Kittrell and he plans on playing football and basketball at MJCA in addition to running track for the Saints.
While his times in Oklahoma were outstanding, he knows he's got work to do in order to be considered for a spot on Team USA.
"Technique is a lot of it," Andrew said during a break from working out with the Mt. Juliet Christian basketball team.
"I've been told I run like a football player, so I've got to work on keeping my arms tight against my body and getting my knees higher," Andrew said.
If he runs like a football player, it's because he ran for 1,069 yards as an eighth grader last fall for the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy middle school team.
"I love contact and my favorite position is linebacker, but I had the chance to run the ball a lot last year.
"I know I've got to do more in the weight room for all sports -- but especially for track.
"I've got to get my legs stronger and focus on the little things."
For a guy who has already undergone seven major surgical procedures, don't bet against him.