Last summer at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Virginia, Nock was running in an event and suffered a major hip injury that nearly derailed her junior season in track and field at SHS. She was in tears because she lost out on a chance to medal at the Junior Olympics and she was in serious pain.
But Nock worked extremely hard and the work has paid off — this year she was able to medal at the 2011 AAU Junior Olympics in New Orleans, placing 8th in the long jump on Aug. 1, erasing the sting of last year.
“Words cannot describe how good it feels to win a medal at JO’s this summer. I am so happy,” Nock said. “Last summer, I was so hurt — literally — that I couldn’t place at the JO’s. It feels so good to be in the top 10 in the country in the long jump.”
Thanks to donations from Spalding High and others in the community, Nock was able to represent her state and her track club, the Next Level Track Club, in Louisiana and finished in the top 10 out of 120 girls 17-under in the country. She felt that she would have a good series of jumps at the JO’s this year because she set several personal-bests in a summer meet at St. Pius X the week prior to the Games.
“I told my dad that I’m going to jump 18 feet at the JO’s. I felt that good,” Nock said. “I jumped 18 feet , ran a 12.4 in the 100 meter dash and 25 flat in the 200 at St. Pius. I was ecstatic.”
Nock’s dad, Richard Arnold, had no doubt she would do well in New Orleans.
“She put in the hard work. I think at first she was trying to protect her hip and she didn't fully go 100 percent,” Arnold said. “Once she got over that, it was a matter of time before she was where she needed to be.”
It wasn’t easy for Nock at the Junior Olympics, however. She scratched on her warm ups and she fretted because her club coach, James Trapp, was in South Carolina at the time. Nock texted Arnold about her fears and he texted Trapp. Trapp gave Arnold some simple advice.
“He told me to tell Dominique not to change a thing,” Arnold said. “Just keep plugging away and she’ll do fine. And what happens? She jumps an 18-5.”
Nock said she is looking forward to her senior track season and participating in the Junior Olympics next summer.
“I’d like to thank everyone who gave donations for my trip to New Orleans for the JO’s,” she said. “I’ll try to represent again next summer in Houston.”