Having that first trip to nationals under their belt already, a trio of track and field athletes from the Carroll County Recreation Department will look to build on that experience when they head to the USATF Junior Olympics in New Orleans on July 28-Aug. 5.

Jamison Troutt, Jaila Orozco and Alija Orozco will represent the Strikers down in the Big Easy, where Troutt, 17, will compete in the shot put and discus, while Jaila Orozco, 11, will do the shot, discus and racewalk and Alija Orozco, 9, will take part in the high jump.

Carroll County track and field coach Andrell Roberts noted how having that experience is something he can’t teach his athletes and he believes it will prove to be a major factor in putting out some strong performances in New Orleans.

“It does, because I had one athlete that it was his first time last year and he got stage fright. And Jamison, with his first time last year, he got stage fright and he didn’t compete as well as he’s capable of,” Roberts said.

“But I think this year, all three of them, you know, they’ve been doing track for more than a year now. So now coming into their second year and going to nationals, they’ll know what to expect with the atmosphere and you just know how to go out there and do what they’ve been doing. It’s just like another practice — that’s what I try to keep telling them.”

Roberts said the trio have been able to get plenty of work in since qualifying for the national meet.

“Well, after this qualifying meet, we’ve been practicing for about two weeks since then. I really think that after watching them practice, they’re coming along extremely well,” Roberts said. “I’m really pleased with how Jaila is throwing right now.

“With Alija, as far as focusing on nothing but high jump now, his legs are coming along. Monday we had a jump practice, and he’s jumping 10 times better than what we did at district.”

Troutt has been doing a lot of work at camps through the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.

“He’s been working out in the afternoon. So, hopefully, starting Monday, we’ll see exactly where he’s at,” Roberts said.

Roberts expects all three athletes to perform well under pressure against some of the nation’s best.

“Last year, I had three athletes that went to nationals. And this year, I feel we should do extremely well there,” Roberts said.

Read more: Times-Georgian - Strikers headed to the Big Easy