Leleux soars in day 3 of 2006 USATF Junior Olympics


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

BALTIMORE - Field event finals were the main attraction Thursday at the 2006 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Hughes Stadium at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.

The Championships are 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). Entry for this championship is based on athlete performances at preliminary, Association, and Regional levels of the 2006 USATF Junior Olympic Program.

Morgan Leleux of New Iberia, La., who took third at the 2005 Junior Olympics, crushed the competition in the Youth Girls pole vault, setting a Junior Olympic and Youth National record with her winning clearance of 3.40 meters/11 feet 1.75 inches. The previous JO record of 3.32m/10-6 was set by Jenny Green in 1999 and the previous Youth National record of 3.20m/10-6 was also set By Jenny Green in 1999. Danielle Nowell of Ardmore, Okla., was second with 3.25m/10-8.

2006 USA Youth champion Kason Covington of YMCA Team Idaho broke the Junior Olympic record in the Youth Boys triple jump with a hop, skip, and a leap of 13.19m/43-3.25. The previous record of 13.17m/43-2.5 was set by Michael Roberts in 1993.

2005 World Youth team member and Junior Olympic champion LaRoya Johnson of Houston, Texas repeated her win in the Intermediate Girls long jump with a leap of 6.09 meters/ 19 feet 11.25 inches. Karyn Dunn of Pomona, Calif., was the runner-up with 5.83m/19-1.5.

Other winners include Alexa Harmon-Thomas of Draft Pick Academy in Kansas City, Mo., who won the Bantam Girls high jump with a clearance of 1.35 meters/4 feet 5inches. 2005 Youth Men's javelin champion Matthew Kosecki won the Intermediate Boys javelin with a throw of 55.43m/181-10. David Moore, who took third at the 2005 Junior Olympics, won the Young Men's javelin with a heave of 59.84m/196-4. 2006 Region 5 champion Josh Ballenger won the Youth Men's discus with a toss of 51.46m/168-10.

First rounds were completed in the 200 meters, 800m, and 4x400m relay. Heading into the final of the Young Women's 200m, 2006 World Junior team members Porshca Lucas and Gabrielle Mayo have the fastest qualifying times, clocking in at 23.73 and 23.74 respectively. 2005 Junior Olympic Midget Boys 800m and 1,500m champion Elias Gedyon of Quiet Fire has the fastest qualifier going into the finals of the Youth Boys 800m. The United Stars team of Jonae McAllister, Acoya Goines, Channelle Price, and Benita Taylor ran the fastest time in heats of the Intermediate Girls 4x400m relay while the Track Houston team of Frederick Hamilton, Trey Payne, Jordan Sampson, and Eric Sanderson are leading in the Youth Boys 4x400m qualifiers with 3:29.64.

For more information on the 2006 USATF National 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.