Son of MP NCO leaps over competition
Omar Craddock, the 2012 National Collegiate Athletic Association indoor champion participates in the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Craddock, the son of a 21st Theater Sustainment Command Soldier, was the highest placed collegian at the Olympic Trials but failed to make the team. (Photo courtesy of PhotoRun)

SEMBACH, Germany-- Anxious and tense, he stands on the track ready to compete in the triple jump competition. Reaching down deep inside, he sprinted to the takeoff board. Holding nothing back, he leaps in the air with every ounce of energy he could muster.
To this day, his 2007 jump at the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic is still the longest jump in U.S. history by an intermediate division male.

For Omar Craddock, this is the beginning to a very successful career in track and field. His never-give-up attitude was instilled in him by his parents Benny and Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Craddock, 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, human resource noncommissioned officer in charge.

"I'm so proud of him," said Michelle. "I talk about him all the time. I have pictures up all over the office."

"I'm a very proud father," said Benny. "My Facebook page is a reference of all his accomplishments."

A recent accomplishment for Omar was the opportunity to compete in the Olympic trials.

"I have a lot of memorable moments but one that I know I will never, ever forget is competing at the Olympic Trials," said Omar. "It's a dream for all athletes to make it to the Olympics but just to have made it to the Olympic Trials is an honor within itself."

Omar didn't make the Olympics this time, but he has not giving up hope of becoming a gold medalist.

"I missed making the actual Olympic Games by a few inches away from my personal record," said Omar. "After competing at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., I fell just short of the third position by placing in fourth."

"I cannot and will not miss another Olympic team." "I've gotten back to training already and will continue the hard work over the next four years."

Currently, Omar is a student at the University of Florida, which he on a full scholarship due to his athletic skills. He placed first in the 2012 Southeastern Conference indoor championships and the National Collegiate Athletic Association indoor championships.

Off the field, Omar is a model student and is majoring in journalism.

"I like the media and being involved with different events. In journalism you get the chance to involve yourself with many venues and people in general and it brings life to written word," said Omar.

Omar was selected as one of the "Hero of the Week" award winners by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command because of all of his hard work and devotion.

"I thank you all for the Hero of the week reward, said Omar. I would also like to thank everyone that supports me and those of you in the military whether stationed in the United States or somewhere overseas. I don't want anyone to think that it goes unnoticed."

Omar will continue to improve and train until he becomes an Olympic champion. Although the next Olympics are in 2016 he has now set his sights on a world championship.

"The summer of 2013 is an International Association of Athletics Federation World Championship, so my focus now is preparing to make that team and move onto the next level of my career, and show the world the reason why I should have made this year's Olympic Team."

Page last updated Tue August 7th, 2012 at 00:00