OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – KFOR is celebrating two local rising track stars: Ahmad Abdul-Haqq and Annelaine Westmoreland.

The metro area students competed against athletes from all over the country at the 2023 USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, returning home with All-America honors!

The  All-America designation is an annual honor “bestowed upon an amateur athlete from the United States who is considered to be one of the best amateurs in their sport.”

Ahmad Abdul-Haqq won honors in the 400m dash.

“I had some doubts at first, but it all worked out in the end,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad picked up speed for his top-tier finish, placing second in that heat to qualify; he finished 8th in the final race.

“I made it. It’s the best thing in the world, really,” he added.

Annelaine Westmoreland won honors in high jump.

“I was pretty nervous getting ready to jump over the bar,” she said.

“[While] I was competing I needed to move my mark back a little bit because it was a little too close,” she added.

Westmoreland competed in several events, including long jump, shot put, the 80 meter hurdles and the 800, but she “leaped” to her personal best in high jump, placing sixth.

The student athletes and their families credit The Eastside Steppers with getting them to the podium.

The Eastside Steppers is a long standing community-centered, non-profit organization that has promoted youth track and field in the Oklahoma City area for youth more than three decades.

Learn more about the team and their upcoming events here.

Coach Keitha Wyatt said part of the track club’s strategy has been developing champions on and off the field.

“[It’s] not all about winning. Winning to me is about starting in one spot and progressing and seeing a difference. It’s correlated with academics..it’s correlated with life in general,” she said.

“We want to develop scholar athletes who will excel throughout school and within society. Our core expertise is using the disciplines of track and field as a vehicle in developing essential life skills for youth,” Wyatt added.

Ahmad and Annelaine are already focusing on their footwork for next year’s games.

“[I’m going to] keep working hard,” said Annelaine, saying she hopes to place in the top three in high jump.

“[You’ve] got to believe you can [win] first before anything else,” said Ahmad.

“As long as you have your gifts, you can take off and run with it,” she added.