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Two national records, steeplechase, race walk and hammer throw highlight Day 1 of USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships


LAWRENCE, Kansas -- Over the next seven days, nearly 8,000 young athletes will compete for national titles at USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships at Rock Chalk Park, University of Kansas. Action kicked off Monday with the multi-events, steeplechase and race walk.

Watch on demand video of today’s events on USATF.TV+ and follow live all week.

The first national age group record of 2017 Junior Olympics fell in the girls’ 15-16 hammer throw by Danielle Gregory. Gregory, who previously set a PR at the USATF Region 9 Junior Olympic Championships, broke the 2013 record with a stunning last throw of 51.13m/167-9.

In a back-and-forth men’s 17-18 hammer throw competition that saw the lead change multiple times, Jacob Wickey (Medina, Ohio; USATF Lake Erie) won with a best throw of 63.89m/209-7. Ian Frost (Elma, Washington; USATF Pacific Northwest) took second with a mark of 62.89m/206-4 and Silas Hurt (Corona, California; USATF Southern California) finished third.

In the girls’ 13-14 pentathlon, Tierra Hooker (Siklerville, New Jersey; USATF New Jersey) shattered the previous national record of 3534 point to score 3556. The mark surpases not only the Junior Olympic record but also the U.S. national record in her age group.

Pentathlete Tamin Lipsey (Ames, Iowa; USATF Iowa) closed out the boys’ 13-14 competition with 3328 points following dominating performances in the 100m hurdles, high jump and long jump.

In the always daunting steeplechase, young athletes showed no fear of the barriers or the water jump. Faith DeMars (Ballston Spa, New York; USATF Adirondack) won the girls’ 15-16 2000m competition in 7:17.80 and Britney Johnson (Derry, New Hampshire; USATF New England) reigned victorious in the women’s 17-18 with a time of 7:15.93.

16-year-old Quinn Gallagher (Westfield, Indiana; USATF Indiana) posted the fastest 2000m steeplechase time of the day across all divisions, running 6:21.49 to win the boys’ 15-16 race. Colton Ross (Johns Creek, Georgia; USATF Georgia) took home the men’s 17-18 title running a solid 6:23.10.

Race walk took center stage in the afternoon with 1500m and 3000m finals. Christopher Renn (Fair Lawn New Jersey; USATF New Jersey) broke away from the boys’ 13-14 3000m field heading into the seventh lap, finishing well ahead of the competition in 16:58.78. In the girls’ 13-14 division, Grace Endy (Westfield, New Jersey; USATF New Jersey) stole the show in 16:14.69, a full minute ahead of second place.

The youngest stars of the day made fast moves in the 9-10 1500m race walk. Abigail Quinn (Sharpsburg, Georgia; USATF Georgia) bested the girls’ competition in 8:11.98, and Collin Wise (Columbia, Missouri; USATF Missouri Valley) took the boys’ gold in 8:38.37.

Moving up one age division, Annarosa Rodriguez (Cary, North Carolina; USATF North Carolina) established her lead after the second lap of the girls’ 11-12 1500m race walk, crossing the line in 7:27.72. Joshua Sleight (Douglasville, Georgia; USATF Georgia) triumphed in the boys’ race with a clocked time of 8:49.83.

Competition begins tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. local time with the continuation of multi-events. Click here for a full schedule, including Opening Ceremonies with special appearance by two-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton.

Follow along with #JOTF on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.


For full results visit here.

Men’s Hammer Throw 17-18:

Jacob Wickey, Unattached, 63.89m/209’ 7”

Girls 2000m Steeplechase 15-16:

Faith DeMars, Spa City Running, 7:17.80

Women’s 2000m Steeplechase 17-18

Britney Johnson, New Hampshire Tracksters, 7:15.93

Girls Hammer Throw 15-16

Danielle Gregory, Unattached, 51.13 m/ 167' 9" -Junior National Record

Boys 2000m Steeplechase 15-16

Quinn Gallagher, Northside Saints, 6:21.49

Men’s 2000m Steeplechase 17-18

Colton Ross, Major Impact Track, 6:23.10

Girls 3000m Race Walk 13-14

Grace Endy, Westfield Area Y Flyers, 16:14.69

Boys 3000m Race Walk 13-14

Christopher Renn, NJ Striders, 16:58.78

Girls 1500m Race Walk 9-10

Abigail Quinn, Unattached, 8:11.98

Boys 1500m Race Walk 9-10

Collin Wise, Unattached, 8:38.37

Girls 1500m Race Walk 11-12

Annarosa Rodriguez, Unattached, 7:27.72

Boys 1500m Race Walk 11-12

Joshua Sleight, AMP Elite, 8:49.83

Kyle Levermore

Communications Intern, USATF

Ashley Mitchell

Marketing & Communications Manager, USATF

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