Chris Neal/The Wichita Eagle
Oliver Bradwell, of Wichita, breaks the 100 meter Junior National Olympic record Sunday morning at Cessna Stadium.
Speed is no problem for Oliver Bradwell, who won the young men’s 100-meter dash for a second straight year at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics.
Soon, he wants to improve his strength and see if that leads him to the Olympics.
Bradwell, a Wichitan who will be a sophomore at Barton Community College, won Sunday’s race at Cessna Stadium with a wind-aided 10.24 seconds. Jaylon Hicks of The Wings Track Club of Missouri City, Texas, finished second at 10.32.
“This is my first time really running down here in front of a big crowd,” Bradwell said. “I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family and coaches. I don’t get too much of that when I’m running out of town.”
Hicks turned in the fastest preliminary (10.33) and semifinal (10.50) time. On Sunday, Bradwell took the lead by the midway point and allowed no serious challengers. He shook off a problem with the starting blocks that caused a restart.
“I was pushing the blocks back, so they had to switch them,” he said. “That just tells me I’m getting out really good and I’m going to have a good start.”
Bradwell finished second for Team Wichita in Saturday’s 200 (20.87) and can now turn his attention to bigger goals. He is considering schools such as Texas A&M, Baylor, Oregon and TCU. He plans to run in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore.
By then, he plans on being more familiar with the weight room.
“I have yet to hit the weights yet,” he said. “I’ve been running 10.2, 10.1, without even touching a lick of weights. Once I hit that, my times should drop really good.”
Bradwell put off a weight routine to concentrate on running form.
“I have to get more leg lift,” he said. “When you do weight work, you have to do it at a time when it won’t affect your running because it could throw you off.”
Team Wichita coach Patrick Simon expects significant improvement, perhaps times closer to 10.0 seconds.
“Once you get on the weight program, obviously there is some adaptation going forward,” Simon said. “By the same token, that’s going to help him tremendously. He wants to compete at the Trials, and I think he has a really good shot to get to the finals at the Trials.”
Sunday’s performance caps a good summer for Bradwell, who ran a personal-best 20.97 in the 200 in the USA Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene in June. He finished third in the 100 with a time of 10.29.
He did all that with his right hamstring causing him problems.
“I haven’t had the healthiest summer,” he said. “I’ve worked through it and ran the best that I could. This is the best way to go out.”
Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or email@example.com.