Maxwell officer's daughter finishes near top in Junior Olympic race



by Col. Matthew Brand
Spaatz Academic Centers


1/10/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery, Ala., finished 26th out of 405 runners in the 11-12 year old division at the 2013 United States of America Track and Field Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships held last month in San Antonio.

The eldest daughter of Col.Mike Tyynismaa, Officer Training School deputy commandant, and his wife, Kristin, ran the 1.8-mile course in 11 minutes, 11 seconds. The race was only her second cross country event ever, the first being the regional qualification event in the Huntsville area in November.

Amaris began training after Col. Tyynismaa noticed from her soccer experiences and her mile times at school that she was seemed to show real endurance capacity. "I took her to the OTS track with a stop watch, and she ran a 5:36 mile, and right then I knew I had to get her into a cross country program."

Amaris began training with Darryl Woods at the Cleveland Avenue YMCA off Rosa Parks Avenue in Montgomery. "Coach Woods has been a very positive influence for so many Montgomery kids at the YMCA, and he really helped prep Amaris for this race," Col. Tyynismaa said.

Amaris will likely continue to train at distance running while continuing to pursue her other athletic passion this spring by playing for both the Maxwell Flyers recreational soccer team and the Montgomery Streaks, an off-base club soccer team. She was a midfielder on the Under-12 Maxwell All Star Soccer team that finished second in the Alabama State Games in June.