EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. -- The top youth athletes in the nation will gather at the 2013 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships and World Youth Track & Field Trials to compete for national honors. The World Youth Trials will take place June 26-27, while the Youth Championships will continue through June 30th at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Athletes ages 16 and 17 will compete for a chance to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Youth Championships next month in Donetsk, Ukraine. In the USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships, athletes compete in six divisions from Sub-Bantam (age 8 and under) to Young Men/Women (ages 16 and 17).
Kenzo Cotton (10.41) and Joseph Reagan (10.43) will face off in the 100-meter dash. While on n the women’s side, Ariana Washington (11.18) and Hannah Cunliffe (11.38) are sure to have a fierce battle for the title.
Christopher Platt (46.60) leads the field in the 400-meter looking for a trials championship, but Ryan Clark is sure to challenge as he is entered with a best of 47.10. For the women, Olivia Baker, Kendall Ellis, and Alexandra Watts lead the field as all three athletes have run under 54 seconds coming into the trials.
In the distance events, Garrett O'Toole arrives in Edwardsville with a season’s best of 3:49.89 in the 1500m, seven seconds ahead of his competition as he looks to make the World Team. Elijah Armstrong has the top time in the 3000m (8:35.86) and the second-fastest time in the 1500m (3:56.91).
In the sub-bantam division of the Youth Championships, Jalien Hicks has his eye on three national titles in the 100m, 200m, and 400m. Hicks comes in with the top time 100m and 400m and second-fastest time in the 200m for the boys sub-bantam division (age 8 and under).
Jada Hicks has the top time in the 100m (12.30), 200m (25.28), 100m hurdles (14.18), and 200m hurdles (28.14) for the women’s youth division, ages 13-14.
Nataliyah Friar will compete in one on the track and two in the field at the youth championships. Friar enters with the high mark in triple jump (12.24m/40-2) and the long jump (5.94m/19-6), she’s a top-10 entrant in the 100m (11.99) for the Young Women’s division, ages 17 and 18.
Kendal Drewery will stay busy at the youth championships. Drewery will compete individually in the 200m (26.86), 80m hurdles (12.50), the long jump (5.00/16-5), and Pentathlon (2430). Drewery stands good chance of winning all four event, as he comes in the with leading marks in the 80m hurdles, the long jump, and Pentathlon for the Midget division, age 11 and 12.
Karsten Wethington will compete in the long jump and triple jump at the Youth Trials, where he has the second-best mark coming in at 7.23m/23-8.75 and 14.75m/47-10.75. Ashlie Blake leads the women in the discus (47.85/157-0) and is second in the shot put (15.63/51-3.50). Both are competing at the Youth Trials and will seek a spot at the World Championships in Ukraine.
Tiana Poirier-Shelton will compete in the long jump and the triple jump at the Youth championships in the girls youth division, ages 13 and 14. She arrives with the best mark in the long jump (5.54m/18-2.25) and the second-highest mark in the triple jump (10.94m/35-10.75).
Brandon Adams leads the field in the long jump by a good margin at (6.22m/20-5) for the boys youth division. Adams will also compete in the 100m (11.44) and 200m (23.77) in the youth division, ages 13 and 14. His mark in the 200m is also the top mark.
Rashea Smith will compete in the javelin throw, the shot put, and the 100m dash at the youth championships. Smith has the top mark for the javelin at (41.15m/135-0) for the boys youth division, age 13 and 14.
For more information on the 2013 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships and World Youth Track & Field Trials including start lists and live results, visit www.usatf.org