Athlete of the Week: Liam Christensen
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - He's the newly crowned national champion in the javelin toss. Fresh off winning the gold medal in the Junior Olympics outside Houston, 15-year-old Liam Christensen is back in the Lowcountry where he also picked up Athlete of the Week honors.
The Mount Pleasant Track Club has won state championship titles 10 years in a row, but Christensen hit a new high mark this year.
"It's a really big deal. It's the first national title in our program's history. We've had 40-some, 50-some All-Americans, which is Top 8 in the country, this is our first one," said the team's coach, Michael Flournoy.
Christensen is a national champion and a gold medalist, but it wasn't just handed to him.
"I know still have a lot of work to do and things to get better at. I'm only 15, I think I can get better, keep improving. Hopefully," he said.
"He's been working 12 months a year for the past two-and-a-half years. That's most of the work right there. Winter when it's 30 degrees and raining, he's out here throwing with me," said Flournoy.
Christensen started strapping on his spikes for the javelin just a few years ago, but his goal was always the top spot on the podium.
After reaching that spot, he's now looking beyond it.
"Long-term I think the goal is junior worlds, maybe the Olympics if I can get there," the teen said.
"He's the hardest worker on the team. He comes out here, knows what he wants to do with a singular goal in mind. We've been talking about winning a national championship for over two years," Flournoy said.
All those throws in the Lowcountry led to that winning throw in Texas. It was definitely a thrill for Christensen.
"It wasn't really that different. It was scary. I gave it everything I had. Everyone was waiting for the mark to be announced and I got it by .6 meters," he said.
It was just enough to land him the gold medal.
But there's no telling where this Athlete of the Week will land in the future.