YPSILANTI, Mich- Stellar youth athletes continued to shine on the field in finals and on the track in prelims as day four of competition on Friday took ace at Rynearson Statium on the campus of Eastern Michigan University.
The day got under way on the track with the 100 meter prelims. The top eight in each division based on time advance to Sunday's finals.
Robin Reynolds (Miami Northwest Express) was all over the track today. She first won her heat of the Intermediate Girls' 100, then the long jump, and then immediately after winning the long jump (5.91 meters/19 feet 4.75 inches) She was back on the track forthe 400 qualifying heats. After easily winning her relim, smiling and out of breath, Reynolds said, " I feel good. That long jump was a good warm up." Reynolds had the best time from the prelims in the 100 at 12.10, followed by Jennifer Madu in 12.18. The Miami star also advanced in the 200 with the fastest time, and was the second-fastest 400 advancer. She won all three events in the Youth division in 2008, but this year she has moved up an agedivision, which presents new challenges and competition.
Other competitors to watch for in the 100 finals include Matthew Terrell (Indiana Storm Track Club), and Courtland Walls (The Heat Track Club) in the Young Mens' division. Both dipped under 11 seconds in the century, and also qualified yesterday for the 200 finals.
Kendall Baisden (Motor City Track Club) produced another solid prelim performance for the Youth Girls' in the 100, zipping to a 12.37, and she will be among the favorites in this race along with the 200, where she was the leading qualifier yesterday.
In the Young Mens' 1,500m prelims Alfredo Santana advanced to the finals with the fastest time at 4:05.82, and he will be looking for his second victory after his stellar performance yesterday in the 5,000.
On the girls' side, Jacqueline Adams (Equilizers Track Club) was the top qualifier in the Youth division as she won her heat in 4:46.99. "I took it easy today," Adams said. "I knew that it was only a prelim, and I hope to break 4:40 on Sunday, and I also want to win."
The 400 heats saw Daesha Rogers (Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Dept.) clock the fastest Bantam Girls' qualifying mark, running a 1:03.51. Raevyn Rogers again had a blazing performance on the track in the Youth Girls' prelims, clocking a 55.81 to help earn her way to the finals as the top seed.
In the Intermediate Boys' 400 prelim, it took under 52 seconds to make the finals. The top qualifer, Jake Spuller (Michigan Accelerators), led the way in 50.18, followed by Teron Evans (Second Chance) in 50.48. Keith Griffen (Juventus Track Club) ran 48.61 in the Young Mens' division to enter the finals with the top qualifying time.
Highlights from the field event final included the Bantam Boys' shot put, where Chase Cord (Northwest Express) won with a giant put of 8.16m/26 feet 9.25 inches. Third place finisher Jaiden Woodbey, explained his ket to how to throw the shot put far. He said, "When you throw you use all your anger to throw it as far as you can, and it's all about form." Woodbey was also the runner up in the triathlon with 810 points.
Two days, three events, three wins, and three PR's later, Taylor Heim (Cornhusker Flyers) couldn't ask for more. She won the Midget Girls' shot put, discus and javelin. "I am happy because I got three PR's but shot put is my favorite," said Taylor as she displayed her medals.
Winning the Midget Girls' high jump, Alexandria Florent (Southern California) was smiling on the podium as she was holding up her first place medal. She explained how she got into high jump, " I couldn't run because of growing pains in my knees and legs, so I started to high jump. The first year I did it, I didn't know what I was doing. Last year I got a lot better, and this year I am even better. I really like it. "
The Youth Boys' javelin title was captured by Hunter Hopkins (Rockwall Mustang Track Club). The second place finisher, James Rowland (The Pride Track Club), who also took third in the discus, said his favorite part of throwing the javelin "is when it lands," because at this point he can see how far he threw. Rowland says he has been throwing the javelin for five years, since his dad (his coach) told him to give it a try because it was something new.
Timothy Glover (Central Illinois) won his third straight javelin title, taking the Young Mens' gold with a throw of 59.37m/194-9. After his win, Glover shrugged and said, "I guess I am happy how I threw today with it being windy, but it is not my best throw. I have thrown 62.88m, so I was hoping for something closer to that."
It was a tight finished in the Young Womens' triple jump. Briana Scott's (Triple Action) leap of 11.56m/37-11.25 was only two and half inches further than Tristine Johnson (Durham Striders) jump of 11.50m/ 37-8.75, but it helped her seal the title.
In one of the final field events of the day, Jeremy Tuttle (unattached) smashed his competitors in the Intermediate Boys' discus throw, 50.19m/164-8. Barry Kimbrough (North Shore Breeze) finished second in this event after winning the shot put yesterday.
Avione Allgood (Vegas Valley) has earned herself another title after a superb throw of 43.21m/141-9 in the Intermediate Girls' javelin to wrap up day four of the USA Youth championships competition. Allgood was the shot put champion yesterday.
For more information and complete results on the 2009 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit: http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/USAYouthOutdoorTFChampionships/schedule.asp