'05 Junior Olympic Championships invade Indianapolis
Melvin Jackson II
USA Track & Field
INDIANAPOLIS - More than 6,000 of America's next generation of track & field stars will invade Indianapolis for the 39th USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships to be held July 26-31 at the Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium, located on the IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) campus.
The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships is the largest and most visible youth athlete developmental program in the world. Many of today's Olympic stars got their start by competing in the USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.
"USATF is very pleased to be able to bring our biggest meet in terms of participation to the hometown of our National Office," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "Junior Olympics is an important part of the athlete development program, and it also embodies our grass roots efforts. The result is an expansive, high-quality meet that is exciting for everyone involved."
The championship is a national competition with entry based upon qualifying standards for each event. The Junior Olympics feature the following age division: Bantam (10 and under), Midget (11-12), Youth (13-14), Intermediate (15-16) and Young Men/Women (17-18).
Team USA members from World Youth will spark the invasion
Ebony Collins cruised to a world championship record in the girls 400m hurdles at the 2005 IAAF World Youth Championships in Morocco. Collins, of Los Angeles, Calif., ran 55.96 seconds to win her second medal in a personal best time by two seconds in the girls 400m hurdles.
Earlier this month, Collins clocked the fastest youth time (57.87) ever by a female in the 400m hurdles to conclude the USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee. Collins' time in the 400m hurdles bettered the previous intermediate girls' division record time of 58.84 set in 2001 by Talia Stewart. A 16-year-old, Collins' performance also bettered the young women's division 400m hurdles record of 57.94 set in 2001 by Tiffany Ross of Miami, Fla. Later in the afternoon, Collins of Los Angeles, Calif., ran 11.82 to finish second in the 100m dash.
Bianca Knight, of Ridgeland High School in Mississippi, won the World Youth 100m crown in Morocco, then later grabbed a silver medal in the girls' 200m finals. She ran the fastest 200m (23.06) time ever by a high school freshman at last year's USATF Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore. In addition to the 200m, she was also the 2004 USATF Youth Outdoor intermediate girls champion in the 400m (53.22). In 2003 Knight was named the female athlete of the meet at the USATF Junior Olympics in Miami, Fla.
Cordera Jenkins of Dickinson, Texas hurdled 13.35 seconds to win gold in the 110m hurdles final to grab the first medal for the boys at the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Scott Roth of Granite Bay, Calif., went head to head in the boys' pole vault final against Yansheng Yang of China, who won the gold medal. Both Roth and Yang cleared 5.25m/17-2.75 to set the IAAF World Youth Championship record in the boys' pole vault with Scott grabbing the silver medal because he had more misses than Yang.
Bryshon Nellum of Los Angeles, Calif., ran a personal best to win a bronze medal in the 400m for Team USA at the World Youth Championships in Morocco.
Walter Henning of Long Island, N.Y., improved his intermediate boys hammer throw record to start the first day of competition at the 2005 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The 16-year-old Henning tossed 65.66 meters/215 feet, 5 inches, to win the intermediate boys hammer throw. The St. Anthony High School junior bettered his previous record of 56.15m/184-03 set last year at Morgan State in Baltimore, Md. Henning also surpassed the New York State Varsity record by tossing the 12-pound hammer 68.49 m/224-8.5. He has the 13th farthest throw ever in U.S. high school history.
Dan Haddock of Paradise Valley, Ariz., a javelin thrower and World Youth team member, holds the Region X Junior Olympic record for the intermediate boys division at 51.40m/168-7. He had a runner-up finish at the 2004 Junior Olympics with a throw of 52.09m/170-11.
For more information on the 2005 USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, including results, photos and complete coverage of this year's event, please visit the USATF website at www.usatf.org.