Daelin Spry, an 8-year-old from Jackson County, became the county's first youth track and field silver medalist with a second-place finish in the boys' javelin throw recently during the AAU Junior Olympics held at North Carolina A&T.
Spry, a member of the Jackson County Flash Elite Track Club, placed second among 79 competitors with a throw of 88-09. His distance measured four inches behind first-place finisher Lonnie Buggs from Fort Worth, Texas.
Spry led until the final throw of the competition from Buggs.
"I want people to know how hard it is to accomplish — even though it's my son — how hard it is to accomplish what we have accomplished," said Spry's coach and father, Allen.
Reaching the Junior Olympics requires a top-16 finish in the state and a top-six finish at regionals. To then take second place in a field of competitors who have qualified through those stages is quite a feat, the older Spry said.
"It's a great accomplishment for Jackson County for us to end up with a silver medalist," he said.
Spry's second-place finish in the javelin betters his brother Donavon's third-place finish in the event two years ago.
Jackson County's Trey Ransom also medaled at the Junior Olympics this year, taking sixth in the javelin in the 15-year-old age group.
The Jackson County Flash Elite Track Club now has five All-Americans in its history.