Harmon-Thomas' meet record highlights opening day of Junior Olympics
Amanda Stewart & Abbey Doran
USA Track & Field
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Alexa Harmon-Thomas' record-setting performance in the Youth Girls' pentathlon highlighted the first day of the 2010 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento, California. The meet will be held July 27- Aug. 1 at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.
Harmon-Thomas' (Lawrence, Kan.) new Junior Olympic meet record of 3,534 points broke the previous mark 3,521 points, set by Alyissa Hasan in 2001. In the Young Women's heptathlon, Allison Reaser (Together Elite, El Segundo, Calif.) finished the first day of competition to lead with 3,027 points.
John Lint (Flying J's, Westerville, Ohio) won the Youth Boys' pentathlon with a score of 3,153 points, a large improvement on his seventh place finish in the event at the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships, and MEN'S DECATHLON.
In the Intermediate Girls' 2,000m steeplechase, Amy-Eloise Neale (Snohomish TC, Snohomish, Wash.) led the race in its entirety, taking an early and solid 75 meter lead over the rest of the field to finish in a time of 7:09.61. Neale, a runner not foreign to the awards podium, won last year's Youth Girls 3,000m and 1,500m runs to add to her 2007 and 2008 3,000m event championship titles.
In the Intermediate Boys 2,000m steeplechase, Dillon Worley (Northwest Flyers, Klein, Texas) led most of the race by nearly 50 meters until he was challenged by Pleasanton Heat's Parker Deuel (Alamo, Calif.) with 200 meters to go. After dueling back and forth, Worley finished with the win in 6:12.87 to Deuel's 6:14.23.
Defending champion Melissa Parks (Norfolk Optimist, Norfolk, Neb.) reclaimed her title in the Young Women's 2,000m steeplechase (7:13.14), and Joshua MacDonald (Castro Valley TC, San Leandro, Calif.), the 2008 Junior Olympic runner up in the Intermediate Boys steeplechase, won the Young Men's event in 6:03.25.
Returning Youth Boys 3,000m race walk champion, Nathaniel Roberts (Salem Track, Salem, Ore.), defended his title while beating the rest of the field by more than a full minute to finish in 15:02.94. Roberts' teammate Isaac Marvin (Salem, Ore.) won the Bantam Boys 1,500m race walk in 7:49.46, and Constantine Yap (Equalizers TC, Alhambra, Calif.) won the Midget Boys event with a time of 8:02.79.
Caitlin Palacio (Lsi Sprint, San Jose, Calif.) returned to defend her title in the Midget Girls 1,500m race walk (7:35.02) and better her previous year's performance by nearly 30 seconds, and South Texas Walk's Julisa Juarez finished first in 8:31.82 in the Bantam Girls division. Moriah Cionelo (Albuquerque Cougar TC) won the Youth Girls 3,000m race walk in 16:57.34, also bettering her entry time by 30 seconds.
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/.