McCullough smashes hammer meet record on day one of Junior Olympics


Glen McMicken
Special to USATF
USA Track & Field

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- California's Connor McCullough smashed the meet record in the young men's hammer throw Tuesday in the top performance on day one of the 43rd USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at North Carolina A&T State University's Irwin Belk Track.

McCullough, the World Junior silver medalist last year,uncorked a massive 77.67 meters/254-10 to beat runner-up Bradley Bolton by more than 40 feet and take down the old meet record of 67.64m/221-11 set in 2007 by Jordan Stray.

Georgian Lauren Chambers of Throw1Deep also had a stellar performance in the young women's hammer, setting a national youth record with her 53.55m/175-8 toss. Chambers bettered the previous record of 49.60m/162-9, set in 2006 by Gabriella Midles.

In multi-event action, Jordie Munford of the SoCal Comets won the youth girls' pentathlon with 3,292 points, and Joseph Delgado of Team Idaho dominated the youth boys' event with a score of 3,548.

Racewalk finals saw wins go to Nicolette Sorensen and Nathan Roberts in the youth division; Caitlin Palacio and Casey Kiefer in the midget division; and Maranatha Weed and Steven Berry in the bantam races.

Daina Levy added another hammer title to the Throw1Deep trophy cabinet, taking the intermediate girls gold to go with Enrique Gaitan's win in the intermediate boys.

Steeplechase top honors were captured by Destiny Jenkins and Ryan Gil in the intermediate division, and by Melissa Parks and David Smith in the young women and young men.

Competition resumes Wednesday with day two of the decathlon and heptathlon slated to start at 8 am.