AUSTIN (KXAN) - Spencer Dunkerley-Offor has big dreams. The 17-year-old from Austin is ranked number two in the nation in his age group in the 110 hurdles, and he hopes his talent takes him to a good college and maybe even to the Olympic Games.
"It's a challenge," said hurdler Spencer Dunkerley-Offor. "You have to be able to go over the hurdles the proper way. You have the have the speed in between them."
Sixteen year old Evan Nichols prefers simply to run, and his mental persistence keeps him on top.
"I like the 200, because you have a curve inside of it," said runner Evan Nichols. "People get tired by the 150, but I can keep on pushing myself for the rest of the 50 yards and finish off and get the win."
Both teenagers train with the Austin Striders running club. Around for decades, this small club has helped produce some big names like Leo Manzano who already has his ticket to the 2012 Olympic Games. He will compete in the 1500 meter race.
Brothers Howard and Harvey Ware coach the two young athletes and dozens more at Gus Garcia Middle School in Northeast Austin several nights a week. They say they have helped more than 1-thousand get college scholarships, but the two longtime coaches never stop learning.
"A good coach will learn things from his athletes, what makes him tick, what they need and what they don't need," said Austin Striders' Founder and Coach Howard Ware.
It is that individualized training and strong spirits Coach Ware says will help Spencer and Evan meet their biggest goal coming up in 2016.
"I really want to go and be in the 2016 Olympics," said Nichols. " I can picture myself with a gold around my neck."
As for future games in 2020 and 2024, several young Austin Striders have their eyes on the Olympic games held during those years.
"I like when I run, because it makes you get faster and stronger," said 8 year old Dejah Okonji.
"It makes me happy," said 9 year old Major Faught.
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