HUMBLE, Texas -- The last champions were crowned as records were challenged and broken on “Championship Sunday”, the final day of the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships, July 27, at Turner Stadium.
The girls eight and under 400 meter finals was nearly deja vu from yesterday’s semi-finals, as Jayla Cigar-Dingle (Inglewood, California) of Los Angeles Jet and Kayleigh Stargell (Mableton, Georgia) of Full Throttle Elite both broke the National and Junior meet record (1:09.11) again as they finished first (1:07.92) and second (1:08.55), respectively. Their times from yesterday were just a tad faster,1:07.91 and 1:08.28.
Joshua Gresham (Bowie, Maryland) of Track Express Elite Club, took home the title in the eight and under boys 400m with a quick 1:05.60, just .1 of a second off the National and Junior Olympic meet record set by Anthony Valentine last year.
Dylan Carter (Maryville, Tennessee) won his second gold medal of the championships, throwing 44.46m/145-10 in the 11-12 boys discus, breaking the Junior Olympic meet record of 40.81/133-10.
In the 9-10 boys 400m finals, Dorian Friend (Houston, Texas) of Northside Striders Aldine Youth won gold in the boys 9-10 400m finals with his Junior Olympic record breaking time of 58.60, .14 better than the 1997 record and only .15 off the National record.
The 17-18 men’s 400m finals saw all out effort on full display, as Quintaveon Poole (Tennille, Georgia) of Star Track TC dove at the finish line to finish just ahead of Jack Cager (Killeen, Texas) of Running Start Track Club to take the title, 46.92 to 47.01.
Miles Jones (Oakland, California) of 3M Track Club successfully defended his title in the eight and under boys 1500m finals. He crossed the finish line in 5:18.53, just seven seconds behind his National and Junior Olympic record time of 5:11.00 from last year.
Kendrick Law (Haughton, Louisiana) of Spar TC found himself in third place in the 9-10 boys long jump going into his sixth and final attempt. That all changed after he landed though, as he jumped 5.08m/16-8, not only good for the title, but he also broke the National and Junior Olympic meet record of 4.97m/16-3.75.
Brandon Miller (O’Fallon, Missouri) of Ultimate Speed Academy continued his dominant championship performance, winning the 11-12 boys 1500m and setting the Junior Olympic meet record with his speedy 4:23.01. He was under a second behind the National record (4:22.05). He also won the 800m yesterday in a record breaking 2:05.42.
Octavia Gee (Sugar Land, Texas) had an outright dominant performance in the girls eight and under shot put, demolishing the National and Junior Olympic meet record (7.34m/24-1) with every throw, breaking it with a 7.59m/24-1 toss on her first attempt before unleashing a massive 8.11m/26-7.25 throw on her fifth attempt. She was the only competitor to mark past 21 feet, as every throw went over 24-9.75.
Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) of Full Throttle Elite took home another gold as she finished first in the 13-14 girls 100m hurdles with a 13.83. She won the 200m yesterday with a 24.62.
The photo finish of the day belonged in the 13-14 boys 100m division, courtesy of Christopher Williams (Baytown, Texas) of Port Arthur Track Club and Jordan Byrd (Albuquerque, New Mexico) of Big Red Express. The duo both finished in 11.15 and had to be decided by the hundredths place. Williams just edged out Byrd, 11.141 to 11.149.
Stacey Onyepunuka (Avondale, Arizona) of the Arizona Rising Suns Track Club and Nkoyo-May Usoro (Phoenix, Arizona) of Do Right Educational Sports had an epic “Grand Canyon State” duel in the girls eight and under 100m, with Onyepunuka finishing in 14.42, just ahead of May-Usoro’s 14.43 as they raced into a slight headwind (-1.0).
The girls 9-10 100m group saw a wicked 3.7 headwind, as Tia Outlaw (Raleigh, North Carolina) of Track Xplosion was the only competitor to finish under 14 seconds as she claimed gold with a 13.99.
The boys eight and under 4x400m relay team of Chad Gaffney (Lawrenceville, Georgia), Devin Williams (Dacula, Georgia), William Zyon Davis (Buford, Georgia) and Jaiden Patterson (Dacula, Georgia) of JackRabbit Track set the National and Junior Olympic meet record with a 4:40.82, almost four seconds quicker than the 2013 record.
The North Texas Cheetahs 11-12 girls 4x400m relay team of Alyssa Harris (Flowermound, Texas), Jayla Hollis (Red Oak, Texas), Destini Jeter (Wylie, Texas) and JaEra Griffin (Glenn Heights, Texas) ran a 3:55.54, breaking the National (3:56.63) and Junior Olympic meet (3:56.86) records.
Today concludes the 2014 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. Next year’s championships will be held in Jacksonville, Florida,July 27 to Aug. 2, 2015 at Hodges Stadium at campus at the University of North Florida. For full results, click here