Love leads record rush on final day of Junior Olympics


Glen McMicken
Special to USATF
USA Track & Field

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Neither rain, nor wind, nor any other force of nature could stop the Carolina Elite's Bryce Love Sunday as he won his third individual gold in record-setting fashion, stunning the crowd with a 50.75 in the midget boys' 400 on the final day of the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic National Championships at North Carolina A&T State's Irwin Belk Track.

Love, who set a pair of national youth records in the 200, started his day with a win in the 100 at 11.79 into a stiff wind, and then made the best of terrible weather conditions to rip his own 400 record to shreds, slicing more than a second off the time he turned in Friday in the prelims.

Miami Northwest ExpressTrack Club's Robin Reynolds also notched her third individual gold of the meet, taking the intermediate girls' 400 in a near-national-record 52.15, missing the mark by only .04. Kristyn Williams of Dallas Gold also turned in a lifetime best in second with a 52.59. Reynolds earlier raced to bronze in the 100, after previously winning the long jump and 200.

Another South Florida athlete, Aaron Hanna of Miami Dade TC, shettered the national record in the midget boys' shot put, throwing the six-pound ball 15.77 meters/51-9. Silver medalist Malik McMorris also topped the previous record with his 15.27m/50-1.25 effort. Jasmyne Graham of Cal Rising Stars chopped more than three-tenths off the midget girls' 80 hurdles record, winning in 11.94.

Meet records fell in the youth boys' discus, where Grant Hill of Huntsville won with a toss of 57.63m/189-1, and in the bantam girls' 1500, with Daesha Rogers knocking almost 10 seconds off the previous best with her 4:51.62. She returned just over an hour later to win the 400 in 61.78. In the young women's javelin, World Youth team member Ashley Aldredge of Peak Performance set a meet record with a throw of 45.27m/148-6.

Raevyn Rogers of Wings TC made quick work of the youth girls' 400, stopping the clock at 54.01 to add that gold to the one she won yesterday in the 800. Claudia Francis of Team Evolution was another double-winner, adding the intermediate girls' 1500 gold to the 800 she won yesterday.

Marielle Hall of Juventus TC, who was on Team USA at the World Youth Championships,was dominant in the young women's 1500, winning by more than 10 seconds in 4:33.62. Howard Shepard of the Texas Stars TC completed the middle distance double with gold in the young men's 1500, winning in 4:01.97 with a superb homestretch sprint.

Youth girls' throws double gold went to Kennedy Blahnik of Wisconsin, who won the shot put at 14.69m/48-2.5, after taking top honors in the discus Friday.