Three North Alabama natives headed to the Olympics


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Three North Alabama natives will represent the United States of America, as well as their home towns in the Tokyo Olympics.

Hartselle’s Quanesha Burks placed third in the long jump at the Olympic Trials, qualifying her for the Summer Games. The former Alabama Track & Field star is excited for the opportunity and overjoyed to be able to represent the area that helped to make her who she is today.

“It’s a blessing to be like one from my hometown in a small community, really just representing myself, but Hartselle, the University of Alabama and the state of Alabama,” said Burks.

Huntsville’s JuVaughn Harrison will compete at the Olympics in not one, but two events. The former Columbia High School standout qualified for the long jump and high jump. He will become the first American man to represent the United States in both since Jim Thorpe in 1912.

“To be in a category of that magnitude it’s just great pride and he’s representing Huntsville well but he’s representing our country well,” said Columbia track and field head coach Ryan Shea. “I think he’ll do very well at the Olympics as long as he stays healthy. He has a shot to win both events.”

Madison’s Zach Harting swam his way to victory at the Olympic Trials and earned a spot on Team USA after winning the 200M butterfly finals with a 1:55:06.

“It’s weird to say Zach Harting Olympian. It’s a humbling experience but also super awesome at the same time. It’s hard to put into words,” said the former Bob Jones standout.

The Tokyo Olympics run from July 23, 2021 – Aug 8, 2021.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.