Droogsma wins gold, silver at AAU Junior Olympic Games
Originally published at http://www.gulfbreezenews.com
Written by: Jason Thompson
Austin Droogsma followed up his two state championships in the discus and shot put with a gold and silver medal, respectively, at the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games August 1-6 in Houston. The gold and silver are the sixth and seventh medals Droogsma has won in the last four years.
“It was awesome. I was real happy with my performance,” the son of Mike and Trish Droogsma said. “I had four throws over 180 feet.”
The 6-4, 315 lb. Droogsma had to advance out of regional and national qualifying to get to the Junior Olympic meet, held at Humble High School.
“The facilities there were amazing. Their jumbotron rivaled that of Mississippi State’s (University),” Droogsma said.
The journey to the Junior Olympics began where the one during track season ended less than a month earlier – at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Droogsma won both events with throws of 174 feet, six inches (discus) and 54 feet, five inches (shot put).
“It was a very small meet. It was go out and throw and head home,” Droogsma said.
A month later, in early July, Droogsma was back at UNF for the National Qualifying meet. Again, Droogsma won both events with throws of 178-6 and 55-2, respectively.
“The second place guy threw, like, a 145,” Droogsma said.
Droogsma, who broke his father’s GBHS-discus record this spring, won nationals with a throw of 180-3. His best shot put throw was 54-9.
“I just had a bad day (with shot put),” Droogsma said. “I was having trouble with my technique and my footwork. I’m just glad we were able to use a separate ring. We would’ve been there for hours.”
Droogsma has offers from eight schools. NCAA athletes are allowed five ‘official visits,’ where the school pays for the athlete’s trip to the school. Droogsma plans to visit Florida State, Clemson and Mississippi State.