The Internet Home of Track & Field

US Juniors Preview - Women

June 19-24, 2007 Indianapolis

DyeStat on-site coverage

Life gets toughter for preps as college freshmen are eligible for this meet. Five high school girls are defending champions -- Gabby Mayo (200), Jessica Beard (400), Danielle Tauro (1500), Ke'Nyia Richardson (TJ), and Emily Pendleton (DT) -- but all face serious competition this year. Vashti Thomas and Jackie Coward rank US#2 and 3 all time among high school hurdlers, but they rank behind Virginia Tech's mighty duo of Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin here. The best chances for high school gold would seem to be the 100 and 200 (a bunch of fast preps), pole vault (Tori Anthony), TJ (Ke'Nyia Richardson, if she confirms her entry), and Emily Pendleton (DT).

by Mike Kennedy

Despite the fact that U.S.A. Track and Field has decided to send a limited team to the Pan-Am Junior Championships in Brazil in July a number of outstanding individuals are enter this week at the U.S. Junior Championships in Indianapolis. Here is a look at how the events stack up.

100 Meters

Last year at this meet junior Gabby Mayo of Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.) burst on the national scene finishing second in the 100 in a stunning 11.16 and then went on to finish second in the World Junior Championships in Beijing. After a slow start this season, Mayo, whose seasonal best is just 11.43, finished second last week in the Nike Outdoor championships to Chalondra Goodman of Newnan (Ga.) by just .02, running 11.58, and defeating Brittany Long of Therrell (Atlanta, Ga.) and Tiffany Townsend of Killeen (Tx.), two of the top prep sprinters in the nation. Goodman and Townsend are not entered but Long, who has a best of 11.31 this season, is entered. State champions Shayla Mahan of Mumford (Detroit, Mi.), who has run 11.37, and local favorite Candyce McGrone of Warren Central (Indianapolis), with a best of 11.40, are both threats to make the final . Freshman Ashton Purvis of St. Elizabeth (Oakland, Ca.) was the state runner-up in 11.41 and has a best of 11.40. Another runner to watch is LaKya Brookins of Seneca (S.C.), who had an outstanding indoor season in the 60 meters with a best of 7.28 and has run 11.61 this spring. Jeneba Tarmoh of Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Ca.), who was third last year, is resting this summer after running 11.27 in her state meet and Bianca Knight of Ridgeland (Ms.), who was fourth, is entered in just the 200. Kenyanna Wilson of Peoria (Az.), also a state champion, was sixth last year and has a best of 11.61 this year.

200 Meters

Gabby Mayo of Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.) won here last hear in an outstanding 22.88 but has not demonstrated that she is in anything close to that form this year with just a best of 23.71. Porscha Lucas was forth last year in 23.22 while running for East (Plano, Tx.) but as since moved on the Texas A&M, where she advanced to the NCAA semifinals and has run a wind-aided 22.79. Bianca Knight of Ridgeland (Ms.), second here last year in 22.94, has a best of 22.97 this year in winning the Simplot Indoor games to set a national high school indoor record. Brittany Long of Therrell (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ashton Purvis of St. Elizabeth (Oakland, Ca.), are also entered here. Long is the State 3A champion and has legal best of 23.49 and 23.03 with no wind gage present. Purvis, who set a national freshman indoor record of 23.55, was second in her state meet and has a best of 23.24. Shayla Mahan of Mumford (Detroit, Mi.) Candyce McGrone of Warren Central (Indianapolis, In.) were both unpressed in winning their state meets. Mahan’s best is 23.49 and McGrone tops out at 23.67.

400 Meters

While the high schoolers are dominate in the short sprints the challenge from the college freshman should be a little more substantial in the long sprint. Still, defending champion Jessica Beard of Euclid (Ohio), the national high school leader at 51.63, should prevail. Brandi Cross of South Carolina, who was second last year as a prep while running for Marshall (Missouri City, Tx.), has been injured this year, will be looking to improve on her 52.87. Myra Hassan of Southern California was just fourth in the California state meet last year in 54.66 in running for Gardena (Ca.) but has improved this year to 53.25.
Two preps who could have an impact are Breehana Jacobs of Laurel Highlands (Uniontown, Pa.), with a best of 53.58 and Alishia Usery of McCluer South-Berkeley (St. Louis, Mo.) with a best of 53.55. Both won the 100, 200 and 400 in their state meets.

800 Meters

Chanelle Price of Easton (Pa.) was third in the meet last year in 2:06.23 but her improvement this year—running 2:02.76 last week—has caused her move up to the senior meet and challenge the national high school record of 2:00.07 set by Kim Gallagher of Upper Dublin (Ft. Washington, Pa.) in 1982. However, there are still plenty of top flight runners who will be in action. LaTavia Thomas of LSU, who was eliminated in the heats last year but advanced to the NCAA semifinals this year, has the fastest time with a 2:03.89. Challenging Thomas will be one of the prep surprises of the season. Christal Washington of South Broward (Fl.), until last week had a best of just 2:10.90 in winning her state meet, but then stunned the crowd at the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro (N.C.) by winning her section of the 800 in an unpressed 2:05.83. Two others who could figure in the final placings are Dominique Jackson of Fairfield (Ca.), who closed with a rush for second to Price last week in a personal best of 2:05.65 and Danielle Bradley of Baylor, who has run 2:06.51.

1,500 Meters

College runners Jessica Pixler of Seattle-Pacific and Nichole Jones of Baylor look to have a slight edge. Pixler, who splits here time in the fall between soccer and cross country, has a best of 4:19.81 and Jones has a best of 4:20.04. Defending champion Danielle Tauro of Southern Regional (Manahawkin, N.J.) has concentrated on relay duties much of the season but was the state 1,600 champion in 4:44.35. Sophomore Jordan Hasay of Mission College Prep (San Luis Obispo, Ca.), who will run the 3,000 in the World Youth Championships in the Czech Republic this summer, is dropping down in distance here and has a best of 4:39.13. Shannon Murakami of Saugus (Ca.) is also entered with a best of 4:42.50 for 1,600.

3,000 Meters

Nicole Blood of Oregon, who had a magical first three years in high school but struggled last year, what with moving across country in the middle of the school year, appears to have rebounded based on her 16:19.15 for 5,000.. Caitlin Lane of Greenwich (N.Y.) has run 9:48.75 and Alexandra Banfich of Culver Academy (Culver, In.) has run 10:36.47 for two miles. Shelby Greany of Suffern (N.Y.) has a best of 6:44.63 for the 2,000 steeplechase.

5,000 Meters

Nicole Blood of Oregon, off her 16:19.15 at the NCAA West Regional, looks to be a solid favorite. Marissa Treece of Glen Lake (Maple City, Mi.) won the Nike Outdoor Nationals last week in 16:36.34 and has the next fastest time followed by Karen Summers of Ohio University at 16:40.04. Sophomore Emily Sisson of Marion (Omaha, Nb.) has a best of 10:29.79 for two miles.

3,000-Meter Steeplechase

A’Seret Dokubo of Southern Illinois Carbondale is the leading entrant at 10:07.20. Stephanie Garcia of Virginia had a personal best of 10:15.83 in the NCAA regionals. Kauren Tarver of Serrano (Phelan, Ca.) is the top prep entered with a 4:48.38 for 1,600 meters.

100-Meter High Hurdles

This figures to be one the premier events of the meet. Leading the way are collegians Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin, both of Virginia Tech. Last year Harrison’s season was cut short by injury but she is sure making up for lost time. In addition to her third place finish in the NCAA 400 hurdle final, she was fifth in the short hurdles with a personal best of 12.98. The time is fourth on the American junior list and eighth on the world junior list. Castlin was another runner who has made great strides in the last year. As a senior at Chapel Hills (Douglasville, Ga.) she was a state champion with a best of “just” 13.73. This year she has a best of 13.10 legal, a 12.82 wind-aided and made the NCAA final. Junior Vashti Thomas of Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Ca.) won the California State meet in 13.03 to move to No. 2 on the all-time high school list. Jacquelyn Coward of West (Knoxville, Tn.), set the national high school indoor record of 60 meters with a time of 8.17 and has a best of 13.17, which ranks No. 3 on the all-time high school list. Two other hurdlers who could be a factor are Julian Purvis of St. Elizabeth (Oakland, Ca.), who was second in the state meet at 13.32, and April Williams of Skyline (Dallas, Tx.), who was third here last year and has a seasonal best of 13.37.

400-Meter Low Hurdles

Queen Harrison of Virginia Tech is a solid favorite off her third place 55.81 in the NCAA championships, provided she has confirmed her entry, but after that the event could be a high school affair. Last week in the Nike Outdoor Championships, Ryann Krais of Methacton (Norristown, Pa.) ran 57.26, Jacquelyn Coward of West (Knoxville, Tn.) clocked 58.23 and Leslie Njoku of McNair Academy (Jersey City, N.J.) ran 59.93 and all are entered. Throw in Jamesha Youngblood of Hercules (Ca.), who won the California State meet and has a best of 41.08, and Lizzie Harris of Northwestern (Miami, Fl.), who has a best of 42.21 despite running four event in virtually every meet this spring, and there could be at least six runner under 59 seconds.

High Jump

Victoria Lucas of Midland (Tx.) has the top prep jump in the nation at 6-1 and is the leading entrant. Carin Knight of Connecticut is the top collegiate at 5-11 ½, achieved at the NCAA regionals. Defending champion Patience Coleman has a best of just 5-10 this year but was over 6-0 twice last year. Jasmin Day of Arizona was third two years ago and has a best of 5-10 ¾. Jessica Merriweather of Bartlett (Tn.) had been over 5-10 multiple times over the last two years.

Pole Vault

Tori Anthony of Castilleja (Palo Alto, Ca.) is the one to watch. At the California state meet recently she cleared 14-1 ¼ to set the American Junior and high school record. Even better things could be in store as she had two very close misses at 14-2 ½. Anthony also holds the indoor record at 14-2. If Anthony were to falter senior Allison Stokke of Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Ca.) and sophomore ShadeWeygandt of Mansfield (Tx.), both at 13-7, could take advantage. Collegians Katelyn Rodrigue of LSU, at 13-3 ¾ and Alicia Rue of Minnesota, at 13-3 ½, should also contend.

Long Jump

Jamesha Youngblood of Hercules, the California state championship, is the leading entrant with her 20-11 ¾ windy performance and also has a legal best of 20-6 at the Sacramento Meet of Champions. Ashika Charan of Texas A&M, who was third in this meet last year, reached the NCAA championships, where she jumped 20-2 ¼ but did not advance to the final. Her seasonal best is 20-6 ¼. Scottesha Miller of Oklahoma has a best of 20-10 ½. Ke’Nyia Richardson of Holy Names (Oakland, Ca.), second in the California State meet with a legal 20-10 ½, is entered but has not confirmed. The very consistent Shakia Forbes of Bethel (Hampton, Va.) won the Nike Outdoor Nationals last week with a lifetime best of 20-2 ¼. Quin’Shundolyn McPherson of Houston has best of 41-9 ¾.

Triple Jump

Defending champion Ke’Nyia Richardson of Holy Names (Oakland, Ca.) won the California State champion with a wind-aided 45-4 ¼ to become the second longest jumper in prep history but like the long jump, she is entered but not confirmed. Ashika Charan of Texas A&M, who was second here last year, has been very consistent this season and advanced to the NCAA championships where she jumped 42-8 but did not advance to the final. Vashti Thomas of Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Ca.), was second in the California State with wind-aided 42-3 ¼ and also has a wind-aided best of 43-1 ¾. Her legal best is 41-6 ½. Jamesha Youngblood of Hercules (Ca.) was third in the California State meet with a windy personal best of 42-1 ¾.

Shot Put

Tynisha McMillian of Connecticut is the leading putter at 50-6 ¾ but threw just 47-7 in the NCAA Regionals and Sara Neubauer of Air Force, the only other putter over 50-feet, at 50-2 ¾, also struggled in the NCAA Regionals, with an effort of just 46-8 ½. State champions Mary Angell of Byron Center (Mi.) at 49-6 and Karen Shump of Penncrest (Media, Pa.), at 49-0 ¾ are the top two prep performers. Defending champion Kamorean Hayes of Harding (Charlotte, N.C.) is not entered.


Defending champion Emily Pendleton of Woodmoore (Elmore, Oh.) is the national high school leader at 188-3 and will be looking to challenge the national high school record of 188-4 set by Suzy Powell of Downey (Modesto, Ca.) in 1994. Kylie Spurgeon of Owasso (Ok.) has the next best throw at 173-4 and is followed by Mary Angell of Bryon Center (Mi.) at 165-7. Sara Neubauer of Air Force has a best of 160-11


Defending champion Emily Bernhardt of Kentucky threw 182-2 in the NCAA Regionals, which was just a couple of feet short of her personal best 184-6. Allison Horner of Lovett (Atlanta, Ga.), won the Nike Outdoor Nationals last week at 166-11 and is the high school leader at 177-9. Gabriella Midles of Camas (Wa.) has a best of 172-5.


Kansas State 4-A champion Roxanne Grizzle of Tonganoxie is the leading entrant with a throw of 160-2. Marissa Tschida of Loyola Sacred Heart (Missoula, Mt.), the State B champion at 146-8, is next at 158-5. Amanda Peterson of Gig Harbor (Wa.) is the third leading qualifier at 157-1. Tara Ross of UCLA, who had a best of just 137-8 last year, has throw 153-2 this year.