SACRAMENTO - Youth athletes continued to rewrite the record books as Jasmyne Graham and Sean Lee set National marks at day 5 of the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. The Junior Olympics action can be found at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College in Sacramento, Calif. and will run through Sunday, Aug. 1.
Jasmyne Graham (Moreno Valley, Calif.), who set the Midget Girls 80m hurdle meet record at last year's Junior Olympics, started the morning off with a bang when she set a National Youth Girls record in the preliminary rounds of the 200m hurdles with a time of 26.55. The previous record of 26.63 seconds was set in 1994 by Char Foster.
Kennedy Blahnik (Algoma, Wisc.) claimed her second National mark this week, this time in the Youth Girls shot put. Blahnik, who set the discus record earlier this week, claimed her second title with a distance of 15.88m/52-1.25, easily passing by Teri Steer's mark of 15.59m/51-1.75, set in 1989.
Shortly after, Sean Lee (USA High Jump Club) broke a 33-year old National record in the Bantam Boys high jump. Defending his title from the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships, Lee cleared 1.56m/5-1.25 on his third attempt to surpass David Mosley's mark of 1.55m/5-1 set more than three decades ago in 1977.
Three competitors also smashed the Young Women javelin throw meet record today with the winning toss made by last year's Intermediate Girls javelin throw champion Avione Allgood (North Las Vegas, Nev.). Her throw of 48.33m/158-07 easily bettered the previous record of 45.27m/148-6 that was set last year by Ashley Aldredge.
Tuesday's 2,000m steeplechase winner and two-time 3,000m champion Amy-Eloise Neale (Snohomish TC, Snohomish, Wash.) returned for yet another easy victory in the Intermediate Girls 3,000m run with a time of 10:22.88. Winning the same event in the Youth Girls division, Christine Bayliss (Roseville Express, Roseville, Calif.) crossed the line in 10:03.60 repeat her 2009 Midget Girls 3,000m.
National Youth Girls and Midget Girls 800m record-holder Raevyn Rogers (The Wings TC, Houston, Texas) led the Youth Girls 200m finals for a swift victory in 24.34 seconds. She then returned later in the day for her second easy win in the Youth Girls 800m (2:13.07). In the Young Women's division, Ashley Fields (Buffalo Storm TC, Amherst, N.Y.) was three-tenths of a second off the meet record with 23.76 second finish.
Re-al Mitchell (West Coast Gazelles) blazed down the track in the Bantam Boys 200m in 26.59, finishing nearly 10 meters ahead of the field. Mitchell, whose time was more than a second quicker than the next fastest time of 27.80, is also the top seed in tomorrow's 100m final. Also in the 200m, Deionte Wall (A.W. Brown TC) nudged out National Midget Boys 100m, 200m and 400m record-holder Bryce Love (Carolina Elite, Raleigh, N.C.) by just a few hundredths of a second to win the Youth Boys division in 22.47 over Love's 22.52.
Jarrett Samuels (Track Easter), who finished 6th (7.35m/24-1.5) in the long jump at the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships, claimed the top spot in that event in the Young Men's division with a leap of 7.43m/24-4.5. Samuels also won the event in the Intermediate Boys division at the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships.
Youth Outdoors champion and 2009 Junior Olympic runner-up Michelle Wallerstedt (West O Throws, Omaha, Neb.) bettered her performance to win the Intermediate Girls discus throw with a toss of 44.50m/146-0. She finished head-and-shoulders above her field, tossing out a distance almost ten feet farther than the runner-up.
Other crowd-pleasing performances
Nicole Warwick (Central Valley Roadrunners, Modesto, Calif.) took a lead on the final turn of the Midget Girls 800m before Sydney Gandy (Track Houston, Houston, Texas) began battling back with 25 meters to go. With just enough time to cross the finish line, Warwick got a second wind and pulled ahead to win in 2:19.17.
In the Midget Boys 3,000m, Jacob Ogden (South Orange County Wildcats, Aliso Viejo, Calif. ) dropped more than 8 seconds from his second-place finish earlier this month at the USA Youth Outdoor Championships to win the event in 9:51.96.
Brian Knight (USATF Pacific) finished first in the Boys Ambulatory 800m, running a strong, controlled pace the entire two laps to finish in a quick 2:04.20.
Finals of the 4x100m relays capped off the day's excitement on the track. The Intermediate Boys relay team from the CL Athletics Stars (Missouri I City, Texas) came from behind to pull ahead of the team from A.W. Brown (Dallas, Texas) in a thrilling final 15 meters, finishing with a time of 41.88 over A.W. Brown's 41.95. The Stars also claimed a title in the Youth Boys division, running the only sub-44 second relay with a winning time of 43.69.
In the Midget Girls 4x100m relays, Quiet Fire TC (Hawthorne, Calif.) led down the backstretch until 3M TC (Oakland, Calif.) overtook them in the last 10 meters for the win in 50.39.
To purchase the live webcast of the meet, visit the USATF online store: www.usatf.org/store/showProducts.asp?category=Videos and to watch interviews with athletes from the meet, visit the USATF YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/USATFweb.
For more information and complete results from the 2010 National Junior Olympic Championships, visit: www.usatf.org/events/2010/USATFJuniorOlympicTFChampionships/.