Relay and multi-event records headline day two at Junior Olympics


Glen McMicken
Special to USATF
USA Track & Field

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Befitting a day that saw 1996 Olympic champion and American record holder Dan O'Brien as a guest starter, Gunnar Nixon of the Eastside Steppers broke an 11-year-old record in the intermediate boys' decathlon Wednesday in the top individual performance on day two of the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at North Carolina A&T State University's Irwin Belk Track.

Nixon scored 7,000 points to beat the old standard of 6,896, set by Washington's Tim Morse at Seattle in 1998.

Another Junior Olympic record fell in the midget girls' pentathlon, where Jasmyne Graham of the California Rising Stars scored 3,346 points to best the old record of 3,121, set in 2002 by Kiani Profit.

The Speed City TC rolled to a national midget boys' 4x800 relay record, as Jerone Jackson, Jayson Levias, Brenden Scott and Chris Wilcox teamed up to clock 9:19.93, almost six seconds better than the old mark held by the Titans TC.

2007 World Youth team member Howard Shepard helped his Texas Stars TC to a dominant win in the young men's 4x800, with the quarter missing the national record of 7:35.27 by only a tenth of a second. Texas Stars also picked up gold in the intermediate boys' race.

Other multi-event winners on the day included Neamen Wise of the Central Florida Gliders in the young men's decathlon (6,956); Akira McSwain of the Continental T-Belles in the young women's heptathlon; Alex Gochenour of the Cornhusker Flyers in the intermediate girls' heptathlon; Ayron Monroe of the Marlboro Boys & Girls Club in the midget boys' pentathlon; Carlie Queen in the bantam girls' triathlon; and Thomas Graham of the California Rising Stars in the bantam boys' triathlon.

Racewalk titles were claimed by the Miami Valley TC's Erika Shaver (young women) and Jacob Gunderkline (young men), while Claudia Ortiz of the South Texas Walkers won the intermediate girls' division and Michael Nemeth of the Wings of Moon was victorious in the intermediate boys' race.

Relay golds in the 4x800 went to the United Stars (young women), Wings of Eagles (intermediate girls), Glenarden TC (youth boys), Motor City TC (youth girls) and the 3M TC (midget girls).

Competition resumes at 8 am Thursday with the young men's 5000-meters.