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Records continue to fall at Junior Olympics


Melissa Beasley
Elite Athlete Coordinator
USA Track & Field
(317) 261-0478 x335

Field events and running preliminaries took center stage at the 35th annual USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento on Thursday. This is the final meet of the Verizon Youth Series.

The meet, being webcast live by USATF, in cooperation with i2sports, is taking place at California State University, Sacramento, site of the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

Matthew Kosecki (Track Houston) and Josh Johnson (Crenshaw Cougars) both set national records in the bantam and midget boys mini javelin throw on Thursday. Kosecki’s throw of 37.46m/122-11.00 was over seven meters longer than the previous record of 30.17m, while Johnson’s throw of 37.58m/123-03.00 was over ten meters better than the previous mark of 26.33m. The previous marks were set in Decatur, Ill., during the 2001 USATF Youth Athletic Championships earlier this month. This is the first year that the mini javelin is being contested at the national level. In the midget girls mini javelin competition, Leigh Petranoff, competing unattached, lowered her own record mark by nearly five meters with a winning mark of 35.32m/115-10.00. Petranoff, daughter of former Olympian and former javelin world record holder Tom Petranoff, set the previous mark (30.22m) at the Youth Athletics meet in Decatur earlier this month.

In other field event finals on Thursday, Tomas Navarro, competing unattached, won the young men’s discus throw (51.71m/169-08.00), as Jesse Williams (Junior Striders) finished first in the high jump (2.15m/7-00.50) in the same division. Elzbieta Wojcicka (unattached) won the young women’s long jump (6.15m/20-02.25), while Abby Emsick (Cornhuskers) claimed the title in the young women’s discus (45.91m/150-07.00). Kiwan Lawson, competing for Capital City, claimed the young men’s long jump title with a mark of 7.28m/23-10.75. Ryan Shuler, competing unattached, won the youth boys pole vault (4.12m/13-06.25).

Also on the field, Jesse Samples, competing for Santa Cruz TC, won the intermediate boys high jump (1.95m/6-04.75), while Tianna Madison (unattached) won the intermediate girls long jump (6.00m/19-08.25). Justin Hoskins (Grand Rapids) won the intermediate boys long jump (7.19m/23-07.25). Beau Whitney captured the youth boys discus throw title (49.71m/163-01.00) and Bobbi Buyck won the youth girls pole vault (2.85m/9-04.25). Both Whitney and Buyck are competing unattached. In the midget shot put, Kyle Bell (Fresno Flames) won his competition with a mark of 14.58m/47-10.00 while Jocelyn Martin (Glenarden) won her competition with a mark of 11.23m/36-10.25. In the bantam girls shot put, Gemma Washington, competing for Quiet Fire, claimed her title with a mark of 8.52m/27-11.50. In the boys high jump, Jameson Harris, competing in the midget division, won with a mark of 1.60m/5-03.00, while Lester White (Riverside SW) claimed the bantam boys title with a mark of 1.40m/4-07.00.

On the track, local favorite Robyn Stevens (West Wind Flyers), won her second title of the meet with a win the in young women’s 3000m (10:09.40). Stevens, who recited the Olympic Oath during Wednesday night’s Opening Ceremonies, graduated from Vacaville (Calif) High School in June 2001. Life Sports’ Delia Cesar won the intermediate girls 3000m (10:18.78), while Valley United’s Jose Melena won the youth boys 3000m (9:26.15). Merideth Snow (Cornhuskers) won the youth girls 3000m (10:11.65).

Michael Thomas (New World TC) won the youth boys long jump (6.21m/20-04.50), while Tiaerra McLaurin (Young Achievers) captured the youth girls long jump title (5.56m/18-03.00). In the high jump, Alison Worthen (Pre TC) won the midget division (1.45m4-09.00), while Desirae Payton (Speed City) won the bantam division (1.40m/4-07.00) and her second title of the meet. Payton won the bantam girls triathlon (1359) on Wednesday. In order to be eligible to compete at the 2001 USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Championships, athletes had to advance through association and regional competitions. USA Track & Field is comprised of 57 local Associations across the country, advancers then moved on to one of the 16 Regional competitions.

Athletes here in Sacramento compete in one of five age divisions, determined by birth year. Those age divisions are Bantam (1991 or later), Midget (1989-90), Youth (1987-88), Intermediate (1985-86) and Young Men/Women (1983-84).

For more information on the 2001 USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Championships, all USATF Youth programs and the Verizon Youth Series, including complete results, visit the USATF web site at

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