Nock, a rising senior, put herself in the 2011 Junior Olympics with a long jump of 17-9 at last month’s Augusta Qualifying Meet, which was good enough for second place behind Lithonia High’s Kendall Williams, who jumped 19-4.
“I was going for 18 feet in the long jump at Augusta, but I’ll take 17-9,” said Nock, who placed second in the region in the AAU standings. “The top four finishers at each event qualified for the JO’s and I was in 6th place all day in the long jump. Finally, on my fourth jump, I hit the 17-9. It was great.”
Nock didn’t qualify in the sprint events, finishing 5th in the 100 meters (with a personal best 12.3) and 6th in the 200.
“I think I ran pretty well in the sprints and I was so close to placing 4th in the 100,” said Nock, who tutors area youth at the Rising Stars Enrichment Center on Ellis Road when she’s not practicing or exercising. “It actually was a photo finish and I barely placed 5th.”
Despite not qualifying in the races, Nock was overjoyed to have clinched the Junior Olympics spot in the long jump. Last year, she qualified for the 2010 Junior Olympics with her high school teammates Jenna Wesley and Grenishia Daniel in the 4x1 and 4x4 relays for the Quad City Striders track club. This year’s Junior Olympics are scheduled for July 28-Aug. 13 in New Orleans and Nock is looking forward to going there.
“I’m extremely excited to go to the JO’s again and getting the chance to see New Orleans. This summer has been great — I’ve been working very hard with my new club, Next Level, and my confidence level is up,” she said. “I’m getting stronger and faster, for sure. I really feel good.”
Nock said the beauty of working with the Next Level Track Club is that it’s a Christian-based organization which focuses on more than just running track — head coach James Trapp, who played football with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens, also focuses on personal development as well.
“For us at Next Level, it’s all about getting to that next level, which is college, the Olympics and ultimately Heaven,” said Nock, a devout Christian. “We say a prayer before every meet and we try to live a positive lifestyle off the track as well.”
Before heading to the Junior Olympics, Nock will be taking her talents to Florida, where she will be running in the Orlando Qualifying Meet on July 11-18, where the top eight finishers in each event will also qualify for the New Orleans Junior Olympics. She will be doing more sprint races this time, competing in the 100, 400 and both relay events. She will be in the relay events with three girls from Westlake High: Shay-Shay Porter, Carnika Boyd and Simone Walker, who helped Westlake win the girls state track and field title for the third straight year.
The Orlando meet’s events will be shown on ESPN3.com.
Nock said she’s feeling a bit of pressure to perform with her celebrated teammates at Orlando. She will be running the fourth leg on the relay teams and must display closing speed to finish well.
“It’s a bit nerve-racking because at most schools, they usually save their best runner for the last leg,” she said. “This will definitely be a measuring stick for me.”
Nock said her right hip is feeling better this summer than it did during the spring semester at Spalding. She’s been going to her trainer, Walter Smith of Georgia Tech, at least twice a week for workouts and she said she doesn’t feel any sort of pain. Last year at the Virginia Junior Olympics, Nock suffered an avulsion hip fracture during the 100 meters, a freak accident where the muscle attached to her hip became unattached as she ran.
“I’ve been drinking Muscle Milk and doing whatever I can to get better. I’m excited with my progress,” she said. “I’m looking forward to competing in the JO’s and in school track next spring.”
Nock said the team would like to fly down to New Orleans for the Junior Olympics, but need a sponsor or two to make that happen.
“It would be nice if that happens,” she said.