Local youth qualifies for track and field nationals
By JOHN MAGERS, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Jul 19 2008, 12:54 AM

Eureka’s Steven Bravo has qualified for the Junior National Track and Field Championships in Omaha, Neb., which take place on July 27. Bravo, who is 13 years old, qualified by throwing a discus 117 feet and placing third at the Junior Olympic trials in Livermore on July 12 and July 13. Bravo is one of the many successful athletes to come out of head coach Morris Norrise’s Respect Track and Field Club along with Kyle Holberg and Joey Adams - who both qualified for the 3,000-meter race walk in the youth boys (ages 13 through 14) division in 2007 - and Katie Gambrill, who took third at nationals in the shot put in the same year.

Although Bravo will enter nationals ranked 38th, Norrise believes he can be competitive based on his state results.

“He’s been ranked in the top three in Northern California for the past two years,” Norrise said. “And even though he’s going to have his work cut out for him, if he can get another 20 feet on his throw, he can most definitely do well.”

Norrise added that Bravo has vastly improved his technique in the four years the two have been working together, and this should show in Nebraska.

“He’s gotten better with his technique as far as his spin,” Norrise said. “When we first got with him, he didn’t know how, but now he has it down and throws it further and straighter.”

If Bravo qualifies in the top three at nationals, he will be named an All-American in the youth boys division and will receive a plaque - like Gambrill did in 2007 for her placement in the shot put - from President Bush.

Bravo would also be invited to Jamaica for the Junior World Championships, which take place in August.

However, no matter what happens, Norrise is proud of Bravo’s accomplishments and wants him to do the best he can.

“I’m hoping he can become an All-American,” Norrise said. “But I also want him to have fun and try to set a personal record.”