Knight In Shining Armor


Grayslake North High School has an Olympic athlete in its midst. Allison O’Connell participated, and placed, in the July 27 through August 2 portion of the Junior Olympics for her Regional-qualifying high jump last season.
“I jumped a Sectional-qualifying high jump, then State, then I got to go to Regionals, and I placed third there. Since the top five go to Junior Olympics, that was my ticket to Jacksonville,” O’Connell said.
The high jump almost came naturally to O’Connell, even though this was her first season participating in it.
“My main event is hurdles, but last March, my coach put me in high jump. I had no idea this would happen,” she said.
Despite her concerns prior to the competition, O’Connell managed to persevere and place 27 out of 78 college level students.
“I was competing with kids who are 17 and 18 years old. Some of them have already graduated high school. I’m a senior competing with freshmen or sophomores in college,” O’Connell said. “Just being able to compete with that level. It was so amazing. The atmosphere was so cool.”
O’Connell is eager to begin the track season and apply her experiences from the competition, bringing home new knowledge, and spending her senior year training to return to the Junior Olympics in 2016.
“I have been training with a professional coach who has trained Olympic athletes,” O’Connell said. “I hope to go to again for hurdles and high jump.”