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Champions crowned as USATF Junior Olympics come to a close

JACKSONVILLE -- The future of track & field is bright in Jacksonville, as 73 young athletes earned titles on the final day of the 2015 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. The USATF Junior Olympic Championships and the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships were both held at Hodges Stadium on the campus of University of North Florida.
Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) turned in another time worthy of a meet and national record with her 13.59 in the 15-16 girls 100mH final. Cortney Jones (Atlanta, Georgia) and G’Auna Edwards (Spring, Texas) did their best to keep up to Tia, finishing in 14.46 and 14.48, respectively.
Daniel Skandera (Santa Rosa, California) had the most peculiar victory of the day that brought the entire crowd to in the 7-8 boys 1,500m. Skandera won the 8-and-under boys’ 1,500m in 5:08.52, which set a new national and meet record by three seconds, competing barefoot.
Ryan Champlin (Arlington, Texas) capped off a great week in the men’s 17-18 400m, going for the win in 47.55. Brandon Cachon (Naples, Florida) finished in 47.62 for second place and Caleb Ogden (Oak Creek, Wisconsin) came in third shortly after in 47.76.
Samantha Watson (Rochester, New York) ran the fastest time in all girls’ divisions to take the 15-16 400m title in 53.55. Sterling Lester (Kennesaw, Georgia) and Honour Finley (Belle Plain, Minnesota) came in for second and third in 54.52 and 55.90, respectively.
One of the more decorated athletes this week was Tyrese Cooper (Miami, Florida), who won another national title as he took the 15-16 boys’ 400m in 47.08. Jandon Briscoe (Harvey, Louisiana) and Brian Herron (Decatur, Georgia) rounded out the top three with times of 48.04 and 48.06.
In the 100m finals, Javonte Ferguson (Jacksonville, Florida) had the top overall time en route to the men’s 17-18 title in 10.62. Darrion Flowers (Fort Worth, Texas) crossed second in 10.76, edging Tyson Spears (Roswell, Georgia) at the line. Spears earned a podium finish with his time of 10.79.
Cassondra Hall (Warner Robins, Georgia) nabbed another national title, this time in the women’s 17-18 100m, with a time of 11.73. Wurrie Njadoe (Seattle, Washington) was the runner-up in 11.91 and Kaylor Harris (Mesquite, Texas) joined them on the podium in 12.04.
Aiden Vennard (Waller, Texas) wrapped up the 15-16 boys’ javelin title with a winning throw of 55.71m/182-9. Brothers Carlan Naisant (Tempe, Arizona) and Marcus Naisant (Tempe, Arizona) finished second and third, respectively, with throws of 55.53m/182-2 and 54.80m/179-9.
In other 1,500m finals, Eugene Grayson (Glenpool, Oklahoma) ran 3:58.79 to overcome a late deficit and take the men’s 17-18 title. David Frisbie (Fremont, California) finished in a close second place in 3:59.82 with Bryce Hoppel (Midland, Texas) third in 4:00.16.
Isabella Fauria (Roseville, Georgia) finished with the top time from all girls’ divisions as she claimed victory in the 13-14 1,500m final, crossing in 4:36.19.
Michaela Rose (Virginia Beach, Virginia) was first across the finish line in the 11-12 girls’ 1,500m in 4:46.96. Fresh off a great 3,000m performance yesterday, Daniela Quintero (Los Angeles, California) came in second at 4:49.92 with Makayla Clark (Kansas City, Missouri) in third at 4:50.18.
Alexis Jones (Norcross, Georgia) had one of the more remarkable performances as she ran away from the pack in the girls 15-16 400mH. Jones finished in 58.86, blowing the field away by nearly three seconds. Jones was the only finisher to run under 1:00.
Robert Dunning (Kennesaw, Georgia) was the only finalist in the men’s 17-18 110mH to go sub-14, crossing the line in 13.96. Amere Lattin (Houston, Texas) and Tyler Guillory (Houston, Texas) came in with final times of 14.09 and 14.10, respectively.
Cha’Mia Rothwell (Durham, North Carolina) ran the best time in the women’s 17-18 100mH to win in 13.81. Gabriele Cunningham (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Brandi Hughes (Sammamish, Washington) also earned podium spots with their times of 13.96 and 14.06.
Click here for full results from the 2015 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships.
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Ryan Stevens
Communications Intern

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