Kai Deines competed at the Junior Olympics in Florida



It was 95 degrees outside at the University of North Florida. Entering the scorching heat, junior Kai Deines strutted onto the throwing field, headphones in, while listening to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. As the official called his name, the only thing he could envision was throwing far and winning. He was ready to go.

From July 26 to Aug. 1, Deines competed at the 2021 USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Jacksonville, Florida, following his second place finish at the California State Meet. Despite having a week-long stay in Florida, it was all business for Deines upon arrival. 

“I was just there to compete, and most of the time I was just getting in the zone,” Deines said. “To do that I listened to hype music and motivational speeches, ate lots of protein, and stayed off the internet besides rewatching winning Olympic throws.”

On the days he competed, Deines met his competitors. The most interesting information he received from them was about the college process, as several of them had already graduated high school.

“I like how they told me which marks to hit and how to work to get good looks from colleges, along with the best head coaches and favorable colleges I should look for,” Deines said. “They helped me know more about what I am going to do in the near future and gave me goals to work towards.”

When it was his turn to throw, Deines fouled out of the shot put competition by losing his balance and falling out of the shot put ring after his throw. 

“My energy was so ramped up and the adrenaline was pumping so much at the last moment, so instead of focusing on technique, I just wanted to throw it out there fast,” Deines said. “And as a result, I was out of control.”

However, after learning what he did wrong in shot put, Deines bounced back and threw 167’ in the discus competition—the second farthest he’s ever thrown. He placed sixth in the 17-18 year old division, the last place to qualify for All American. 

“I was stoked. It was a real nail-biter for me but when I got the results I was jumping up and down because I achieved my goal of making All American,” Deines said. “I didn’t fly out to Florida just to get seventh, so I was glad to walk away with an amazing achievement.”