Champions were crowned, the drama intensified and the records continued to fall as “Super Saturday” did not disappoint on the penultimate day at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships on July 26, at Turner Stadium on the campus of Humble High School.
The girls eight and under 400m semi-finals saw three athletes break the National and Junior Olympic meet record of 1:09.11 with some blistering times. Jayla Cigar-Dingle (Inglewood, California) of Los Angeles Jet claimed the top seed for tomorrow’s finals with a 1:07.91 in heat two, just ahead of Full Throttle Elite’s Kayleigh Stargell’s (Mableton, Georgia) 1:08.28. Hometown kid Farah Gasque of Atascocita Titans Track Club also broke the record in heat one with a time of 1:08.35.
Isabella Fauria (Roseville, California) started the day in winning fashion as she took home the 11-12 girls 3,000 meter title, finishing in 10:27.40. She wasn’t done though, as she won the 800m in the afternoon with a time of 2:19.06, holding off runner-up Rachel Glenn (Long Beach, California) of Pacific Coast Shockwaves, who finished with 2:19.40.
In heat two of the 11-12 boys 3,000m, it was a West Coast battle between Maxwell Wilson (Carlsbad, California) of San Diego Waves XTC and 4x800m relay record-holder Alex Maineville (Torrance, California) of Pacific Coast Shockwave, who helped break the record in the 4x800m relay on Wednesday. As soon as they hit the last 200m, Wilson found another gear to finished just ahead of Maineville and take the title, 9:49.12 to 9:51.10
Brandon Miller (O’Fallon, Missouri) of Ultimate Speed Academy ran a 2:05.42 in the 11-12 boys 800m to win the title and break the National record by almost two seconds and the Junior Olympic record by over a second. Miller had previously broken the National record on Wednesday with a 2:06.86.
McFarland Track Club had a dominant performance in the the 3,000m as they swept the boys and girl 13-14 divisions. Devianna Salcedo (McFarland, California) and Melecio Gonzalez (McFarland, California) each won their respective divisions with times of 10:22.29 and 9:15.97.
Makayla Clark (Raytown, Missouri) ran a 2:23.08 in the girls 9-10 800m finals, breaking the Junior Olympic meet record by .08 set back in 1999. Joshua Gresham (Bowie, Maryland) of Track Express Track Club came within .26 of breaking the National and Junior Olympic meet record of 2:33.73 in the boys eight and under 800m with a 2:33.79 as he won the title.
Matias Pellegrino (Denville, New Jersey) of Morris County Track Club won the boys 13-14 long jump title in dominant fashion with a leap of 6.09m/19-11.75. His three next best jumps would all have been good for first place.
Stacey Onyepunuka (Avondale, Arizona) of the Arizona Rising Suns Track Club nearly broke the National and Junior Olympic meet record of 29.48 in the girls eight and under 200m with her 29.51. In the 13-14 girls division, Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) of Full Throttle Elite ran a 24.62 to take home the title.
My'khiyah Williams (Brooklyn, New York) won the 13-14 girls high jump, clearing 1.70m/5-7. She attempted to clear 1.75m/5-8.75, which would have given her the National (1.74m/5-8.5) and Junior Olympics meet records (1.71m.5-7.25).
Tairyn Montgomery (Los Angeles, California) of Los Angeles Jet and Katelyn Gochenour (Logan, Iowa) of Cornhusker Flyers, dueled back and forth in the 15-16 girls javelin. Both girls bested the National and Junior Olympic meet record of 47.26m/155-1 on their second throw with Montgomery throwing 51.23m/168-1 and Gochenour heaving 47.27m/155-1. Montgomery would hang on to win the title.
The 15-16 girls of the 4x100m relay saw a dramatic photo finish between Dynamic Speed Elite’s Candace Hill (Stockbridge, Georgia), Destinee Rocker (Covington, Georgia), Reyna McFadden (Conyers, Georgia) and Zuri Sweeney (Covington, Georgia) and Cedar Hill Blaze Track Club’s BreAyna Johnson (Cedar Hill, Texas), Danyel White (Cedar Hill, Texas), Jazmyn Shumaker (Cedar Hill, Texas) and Kyla Glenn (Cedar Hill, Texas). Thanks to an incredible anchor leg by Glenn to catch up to Sweeney, both teams registered 46.58 and they took it out to the one hundredths, with Cedar Hill just holding on to edge out Dynamic Speed, 46.571 to 46.574.