WALNUT, Calif. -- Howard Shepard of the Texas Stars in Dallas ran 1:50.51 to smash his own national record in the intermediate boys' 800, and two other individual national marks fell to highlight fifth-day action at the 41st USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College. In addition to Shepard's stellar effort, Jordan Stray of Centralia, Wash., broke his own national record in the young men's hammer and Xavier Jones of the Greensboro Blazers knocked off the national record in the midget boys' 200. Stray had a best of 67.64 meters/221-11 for the win, while Jones clocked 23.74 to chop .2 off the previous best.
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.
Dallas Gold was the other national record-setter on the day, with a foursome of LaKeidra Stewart, Alex Pegram, Brittany Carr and Victoria Jordan lowering the national record in the young women's 4x100 with a sizzling 44.43. The club set the previous record of 44.56 last year with a completely different quartet.
Margaux Jones of the Rising Stars in Redlands, Calif., broke the meet record in the bantam girls' long jump with a 4.67m/15-4 leap, but won with a wind-aided 4.85m/15-11 effort.
Victories in the long jump went to Raven Sims of the Baton Rouge YMCA in the youth girls' division at 5.76m/18-10.75, and to Bre'yana Wash of DeSoto, Texas, in the midget girls competition with a jump of 5.15m/16-10.75.
Philip Feineberg and Patience Coleman took the top spots on the podium in the young men's and young women's high jump. Feinberg, from Chandler, Ariz., cleared 2.08m/6-9.75, while the Durham Striders' Coleman sailed over 1.75m/5-8.75 to win.
In the javelin, Andrea Hopkins of Lake Oswego, Ore., won the intermediate girls' event with a toss of 44.59m/146-3, and Justin Collins of the Los Angeles Jets took gold in the bantam boys at 39.25m/128-9. Bre'Ann Warren of Greensboro, N.C., won the midget girls' shot put with a throw of 11.95m/39-2.5, with Javan Gray of the Emerald Valley TC in Walterville, Ore., winning the youth boys' shot at 14.84m/48-8.25.
Intermediate boys' pole vault honors were nabbed by Vince Frawley of Midlothian, Texas, who cleared 4.50m/14-9. Andrew Dunkleberger of Throw 1 Deep in Smyrna, Ga., captured the intermediate boys' hammer at 47.65m/156-4, and Myer Krah of the Durham Striders was victorious in the youth boys' triple jump with a 13.14m/43-1.5 effort.
Winners in the 3000 meters were: Amy-Eloise Neale (Snohomish, Wash.) in the midget girls; David Goldstone of the Federal Way, Wash., TC in the midget boys; Danielle Menlove of Provo, Utah, in the youth girls; Marcus Henry of Portland, Ore., in the youth boys; Elizabeth Briasco of Forest Hills, N.Y., in the intermediate girls; and Emily Reese of the Northside Red Runners in Dunwoody, Ga., in the young women's race.
In other field event action, Allison Horner of Throw 1 Deep in Marietta, Ga., garnered gold in the young women's hammer at 49.40m/162-1.
Besides the record run by Jones, Victoria Jordan of the Dallas Gold zipped to a windy 22.84 in the young women's 200 to lead the parade of champions in the furlong. Other deuce winners were: Maria Smith of the My Stars TC in Houston in the bantam girls; Paul Lucas of the Do Right TC in Phoenix, Ariz., in the bantam boys; Jocelyn Miller of Indianapolis in the midget girls; Akawkaw Ndipagbor of Corona, Calif., in the youth girls; Deanthony Thomas of the Southern California Running Cougars in the youth boys; Ashley Collier of the Dallas Gold in the intermediate girls; Shaquille Tubman of the Houston Heat in the intermediate boys; and Darryl Jenkins of the OFF TC in Country Club Hills, Ill., in the young men's race.
A pair of sisters, Claudia and Phyllis Francis of Team Evolution in Laurelton, N.Y., won the youth girls' and intermediate girls' 800 titles. Other two-lap champs were: Kanae Taylor of the Juventus TC in Philadelphia in the bantam girls; Brenden Scott of the New Image TC in North Hills, Calif., in the bantam boys; Paige Rice of PSA Youth in Portland, Ore., in the midget girls; Ryan Silva of the Tucson Elite in the midget boys; Elias Gedyon of Quiet Fire in Los Angeles in the youth boys; Ramzee Fondren of the Detroit Cheetahs in the young women; and Blake Shaw of Afterburners in Houston in the young men's race.
Winners in the 4x100 were: Track Houston in the bantam girls; A.W. Brown of Cedar Hill, Texas, in the bantam boys; Los Angeles Jets in the midget girls; Track Houston in the midget boys; Mobile Parks & Rec in the youth girls; Southern California Running Cougars in the youth boys; Together Elite of Long Beach, Calif., in the intermediate girls; and Hallmark TC of Fort Worth in the intermediate boys and young men.
Competition resumes Sunday at 8 a.m. with seven field event finals. The meet is being webcast at http://usatfyouth.sportnet.com. For more information and complete results, visit www.usatf.org.