The students: Twins Graham Bazell and Jason Bazell, 12
School: Clarksville Middle
Special achievement: Their running team, the DC Redwings, won the National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championship. The competition was held in Georgia in November. The team won in the 11- and 12-year-old divisions. "In cross country, you can run as an individual but also as a team [of at least five runners]," Jason said. Their younger sisters, Alicia, 6 and Kayla, 8, who attend Pointers Run Elementary, are also competitive runners.
How did they get involved with running: "I've been running for a few years. My dad runs. I'm good at it so far," Graham said. Jason credits his brother with getting him started. "It keeps you in shape," said Jason. They started running with the Howard County Junior Striders team, but were spotted by the DC Redwings coach at a competition. Both brothers then joined the Redwings, a more competitive team.
What did they enjoy about the Junior Olympics? "It was fun and you got to see other people run, see how the other kids did," said Jason. Graham agreed: "You get to meet a lot of people. We got a medal and we got our picture taken."
Their plans: Both want to continue with the sport when they reach high school and hope they might compete in the Olympics one day.
Other activities: They both swim on an indoor team. Graham plays flute, and Jason plays trombone in the school band. They also play in the Howard County Middle School GT band.