It’s back to the grind for all of us this week. Atlanta schools have started their spring semesters, and parents are heading back to work. During times like this it’s important to look forward to the good things, like that Team Atlanta tryouts start again in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. If you still need something to keep your new year’s procrastination going, check out these Jewish track and field athletes who made it BIG!


Jillian Schwartz is an American-born former pole vaulter who competed internationally for Israel. Born to a Jewish family in Illinois, she wanted to take up pole vaulting at her local high school but was not allowed as girl’s pole vaulting was not permitted in Illinois until 1997. She decided to move to Arkansas to train in her desired sport. She represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics and competed at five consecutive World Championships in Athletics from 2003 to 2011. She competed at the NCAA Championships while at Duke University and gained All-America honors on three occasions. she took the runner-up spot on three occasions at both the USA Outdoor and USA Indoor Championships. Schwartz competed at the Macabiah Games in Israel in 2009, winning the gold medal in the pole vault for the United States. After gaining Israeli citizenship in 2010, she set Israeli records of 4.60 m in the pole vault both outdoors and indoors and competed for Israel at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and 2012 Summer Olympics.


Steven Solomon is an Australian Olympic sprinter. He is a five-time defending Australian 400 meters champion. Solomon was born in Sydney, Australia where he and his family attended Central Synagogue, Sydney’s largest Orthodox congregation. Solomon first began formal track training in 2009, the year he won the Under-17 All-Schools Championship in the 400m. Solomon competed for Australia in the Maccabiah Games as captain of the junior soccer team that same year. He was named the 2009 Maccabi New South Wales Junior Sportsman of the Year. In 2011, he broke the 30-year-old national junior record in the 400m. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London at the age of 19, Solomon competed in the finals of the men’s 400m race, placing eighth. At the 2013 Maccabiah Games, Solomon won a silver medal in the 400m race. At Stanford in 2013, he established a new freshman record in the 400m. In 2014, he set a new Stanford record in the outdoor 400m with a time of 45.36 and ran a 500m in 1:01.44, the third fastest time ever at that point.

Track and Field Tryouts will be held on January 20th from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, and the 23rd from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the MJCCA fields 4 and 5.  Tryouts for all individual sports will occur January 20th, 23rd, 27th, and 30th. You can find our full tryout schedule –> HERE