WALNUT, Calif. -- Tyler Sorensen of Lafayette, Calif., moved up an age division and won a second straight national race walk title Tuesday, taking top honors in the youth boys' 3000-meter walk at 15:01.51 to help kick off the 41st USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College. Sorensen, who competes for the Diablo Valley TC, won the midget boys' title last year.
His younger sister, Nicolette, captured gold in the midget girls' 1500 walk with a time of 7:43.20 for the family double.
The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships is the largest and most visible youth athlete developmental program in the world. The Junior Olympics feature the following age divisions: 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 2007 USATF Junior Olympic Program.
Sarah Higgens of Greenwood, Ind., moved up from a silver medal effort in '06 to win the young women's 2000 steeplechase in 7:13.72, with fellow Hoosier Brooke Bierhaus of Bloomington's Indiana TC clocking 7:34.12 to take the intermediate girls' event.
In the young men's 2000 steeplechase, John Coyle of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, raced to a 6:12.89 for the gold, while Jonathon Phillips of Port Orchard, Wash., won the intermediate boys' race in 6:13.50.
Youth girls' gold in the 3000 walk went to Taryn Wrotny of Monmouth Junction, N.J., who won in 17:30.63. Caitlin Palacio of the Umoja TC from San Jose, Calif., was the podium-topper in the bantam girls' 1500 walk at 8:41.98, and William Katzman of the Albuquerque TC took gold in the bantam boys' race at 10:02.91. Nathaniel Roberts of Salem, Ore., TC added the midget boys' 1500 title to the bantam boys' gold he won in '06, covering the distance in 7:24.37.
Multi-event golds went to Cadija Caldwell-Harris of Chandler, Ariz., in the youth girls' pentathlon, and Curtis Clauson of Edmonds, Wash., in the youth boys' pentathlon. Caldwell-Harris, who represents the Arizona Cheetahs, scored 3,361 points, while Clauson totaled 2,954.
Last year's young women's heptathlon champion, Victoria Dunlap of the Continental T-Belles in Nashville, Tenn., leads after the first day's events with 3,103 points. In the intermediate girls' heptathlon, the 2006 youth girls' pentathlon gold medalist, Shanay Briscoe of the Northwest Flyers in Cypress, Texas, had 3.020 points to lead after day one.
Neamen Wise of Altamonte Springs, Fla., scored 3,068 points to lead the intermediate boys' decathlon after day one's five events. Team Idaho's Andrew Blaser of Meridian, Idaho, led after the first five events in the young men's decathlon with 3,576 points.
Competition resumes Wednesday at 8 a.m. with the young men's decathlon 110 hurdles. The meet is being webcast at http://usatfyouth.sportnet.com. For more information and complete results, visit www.usatf.org.