One of fastest inline skaters in the country lives right here in Wichita Falls.
Jake Johnson, a member of the SW Speed Skating Club, has been speed skating for about a year now. But, the 8 year old took home a silver medal at the 2011 USA Roller Sports Indoor Speed Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana last week. The silver was for an overall performance, as Johnson finished in the top three in the 200, 300 and 400-meter races.
"He actually had to do each one of those races four times, so he skated 12 times in order to get through all of the skaters that made it through nationals," SW Speed coach Steve Misner said. "It's quite an accomplishment."
It Misner who first noticed Johnson skating at the rink.
"I was skating around Skateworld one day, and somebody said 'hey, would you like to try out for the speed skating team?' " Johnson said.
Actually, Misner was taken aback by the whole Johnson family. He says seeing the entire family on professional, expensive speed-skating equipment, caught his eye.
So, what makes a speed skater like Jake so fast?
Like excelling at any sports, there are a ton of reasons, like: staying low, crossing corners, running hard, starting fast and finishing strong. Jake even tells you that "muscle memory" is key, a rare statement from a kid his age.
"His technique and training got him to where he is today," Misner said.
Hard work aside, Jake still has fun skating. His reason is quite simple.