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NEWS | Aug. 4, 2016

628th ABW Command Chief's son competes in USATF Junior Olympics 2016

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar 628th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

While the 2016 Olympics begin Aug. 5 in Brazil, the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics took place in Sacramento, Calif., July 25-31.

One military family member from Joint Base Charleston, S.C.  participated in the 50th annual competition. His name is Andrew Bronson.

Bronson, 14, is the son of 628th Air Base Wing Command Chief, Master Sgt. Mark A. Bronson.

Andrew trains in the pole vault three to four days a week with Coach Tom Reagan at the Park West Recreation Complex in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Participation in this championship is based on athlete performances in the preliminary, association and regional levels of the 2016 USATF Junior Olympic Program.

"Andrew has a background in gymnastics which really helps him flourish in pole vaulting," said Reagan. "To be able to make the Junior Olympics is an accomplishment in itself."

According to USATF, nearly 70,000 youth athletes compete each year in the Junior Olympic Track & Field and Cross Country programs. Many of America's past Olympians began there as young athletes.

During the competition Andrew took 6th place out of 19 competitors in the pole vault event.

"I was very excited to compete, even though the start off is always the most challenging part." said Bronson. "Overall, I am very pleased with how I did. "

The Bronson family is moving this summer to Colorado Springs, Colo. Andrew stated he wants to continue with the pole vault and gymnastics while expanding to a new Olympic event, the decathlon.

"I am extremely proud of Andrew and have always encouraged him to work hard and enjoy what he does," said Chief Bronson. "We have always believed it is important to achieve your goals with hard work but enjoying what you do will make what you do better in the long run."