“Like my mom said that we are kind of similar body wise, White said. “We are not all muscle. We are skinny, but we still have muscle, the strength to run the 400 and come out fine. She is my inspiration. I really look up to her.”
At the end of the month White will have a chance to be like Felix and bring home the gold in the Junior Olympic Championships in Houston. White qualified for the Junior Olympics Championships after a strong showing at the Alabama Sports Festival.
“She is ranked first in the 400 with a time of 56.81,” said her dad Steven White. “She is second in the 200 with a time of 24.31 and second in the 100 with a time of 12.19. Now she is headed to Houston for the Junior Olympic Championships in the last week of this month. We will be down there for a week and hopefully, she can bring back first place in all three of them.”
The rising junior at Lincoln High School said she didn’t feel any pressure that day at the Sports Festival.
“I just wanted to run to have fun,” she said. “It wasn’t as big as Regional, so my mind level wasn’t focus on beating everybody. I was there to have fun.”
Being apart of Bobby and Barbara Humphrey’s AAU track and field team out of Birmingham has given White several opportunities such as the Sports Festival and the Junior Olympics. White’s father said she has been running for them since she was in the seventh grade.
“We met them at state four year ago,” he said. “She was beating a lot of the big schools and she actually broke a record in the seventh grade at the County meet. We meet him at the state meet in Gulf Shores and he was asking me who was the young lady beating all the grown folks up here. I said who Shelbi White and he said yes that is her. He asked her can she join their club, because she was good and he wanted to train her. We got together and that summer she joined the club. She has been with them since then.”
Since joining their AAU team, White has traveled all over all the country for track meets. She has traveled to Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia.
“It is big, because it is a lot of competition and you have to stay on your ‘A’ game to come back with the hardware,” Shelbi said.
The 200 and 400-meter distance Class 4A champion said experiencing the opening ceremony of the Sports Festival is an experience that she will not soon forget.
“It was awesome,” White said. “I like the way they set it up. It is a parade and all the athletes will go around the stadium. We will go to our seats, they had the fireworks and they song the National Anthem.”
She said getting to see the most recognizable mascots in the state was one of her most memorable moment.
“Walking in the parade seeing everybody faces and expressions,” White said. “Big Al and Aubie the Tiger was there giving us high fives. It was fun.”
Going into next week’s events White and her dad only have one thing on their minds on one that and that’s back the gold.
“I want to bring back a medal,” Shelbi said. “I want the gold.”
Her dad said they have been working hard every day to put her in position to win the gold.
“We have been practicing everyday and our goal is to bring the gold back home,” Steven said. “We are going to Texas to represent Alabama, the high school and bring back some medals to show that some good things come out of Alabama.”
Steven hopes that in 2016, Shelby will be making her name know on an international stage like the Olympics.
We are looking forward to continuing the hard work and bring back some hardware from the championship. Our goal is run in the Olympics one day. Within the next four to six years we are planning on getting to the Olympics.”