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June 19-24, 2007 Indianapolis

DyeStat on-site coverage

US Junior Nationals
The 10 most compelling matchups at Indy
- and other lists

by Steve Underwood

1. Acosta vs. Centrowitz vs. Borchers vs. Forys in Men’s 1500 – For a lot of track junkies, this matchup is not only more attractive than anything in the junior meet, but anything in the senior meet, too. This was Sam Borchers OH’s coming out party last year, as he ran the equivalent of an 8-second PR to go from his 4:12 mile PR to 3:46.32.
With all the excitement over the preps, it’s Oregon fr AJ Acosta’s 3:42.40 that’s the best PR here. AJ would be smart to make it a fast race; he’s a good kicker, but matching Borchers is tough for anyone. A hard, even pace would probably be best for Centro, too, as he’s in the same boat. Forys will kind of be in new territory here; he hasn’t run an open race at this speed, and this level, in the mile.

2. Chanelle Price vs. The Big Girls in the Senior 800 – The PA megastar is moving on up, despite the presence of new 2:03 runner LaTavia Thomas from her own state in the junior race. But why not? If she can improve even a little on her 2:02.76, she’ll be right in the mix. All year long, Price has been executing these tremendous solo runs. She knows how to go out hard, really hard. This will be her first chance to run at this level with her peers on the clock. The competition in Thursday’s 3rd heat includes 1:59 runner Hazel Clark, but Price is seeded 3rd and at least three will advance to the semis. Others in the meet: Sub-2 runners Alyshia Johnson, Nicole Teter, and Alice Schmidt. Fun!

3. Coward vs. Thomas vs. Great Collegians in Women’s 100H – There will be a great prep matchup here, but it may not be for first or second place. Jackie Coward TN is unbeaten this year and beat Vashti Thomas CA at Arcadia. But then Thomas uncorked a stunning 13.03 at CIF to move to #2 all-time. No doubt they want another crack at each other. But an equally big story is the crazy improvement by Virginia Tech hurdlers Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin since their senior prep seasons. Harrison, a PA prep, has come back from sr. season injuries to move to 12.98 for 5th in the NCAA. Castlin, a 13.73 performer in GA last year, has gone 13.10/12.82w.

4. Anthony vs. The Field in Women’s PV – After skipping NON, Tory Anthony CA is back here in Indy. Not only are NON champ Shade Weygandt TX and Rachel Laurent LA going to challenge her, but also fellow 13-footers Allison Stokke CA, Melissa Gergel IL, and Stephanie Foreman AR. Anthony should defend her title here, but there is a lot of prep depth in one place here.

5. Tauro, Hasay, Murakami vs. Collegians in Women’s 1500 – This will be interesting on several levels. It will the first big mile/1500 for Tauro since she lost to Alex Kosinski at NIN. She was magic here last year and has been running well late this spring, though not quite at last year’s level. Jordan has done 4:39 for 1600 last year and this will be her first big test at 1500/mile since she lost to Kosinski in Sacramento Meet of Champs. Murakami isn’t quite as fast, but very talented and could break out.
Former WA prep Jessica Pixler has improved tremendously at Seattle-Pacific down to 4:19 1500 and Baylor frosh Nicole Jones – who skipped her sr. year to become a Bear early – has run 4:20.

6. McCorkel vs. Roche vs. Super Collegians in Men’s pole vault – The Class of 2006 was a super one for prep vaulters, and Jordan Scott (GA prep at Kansas) and Scott Roth (CA prep at Washington) have already made the leap into the 18-foot club as college freshmen. Spencer McCorkel AR and Casey Roche CA, who competed against them last year as juniors, will get another crack at them here. Maybe McCorkel can get 3 more inches to his recent 17-09.

7. Ke’Nyia Richardson and Tori Anthony vs. The Big Girls in the Senior TJ and PV – It hasn’t received as much attention, but guess what? CA triple jump superstar Ke’Nyia Richardson has also moved up with the pros and is seeded third behind only Erica McLain and Shani Marks. She may also compete in the junior TJ. Tori Anthony CA is also declared in both the senior and junior PVs. She is seeded 15th in the senior event.

8. Primm vs Ferris (again) in Men’s 800 – Dylan Ferris NC, third to Primm and James Gilreath last week, will be fresh this week and hopes to have a new plan to throw at Primm. Cory has withstood everything thrown at him all spring, though, since a rough NIN outing. Should be another great race with Aaron Stockstell IA (1:50.18) possibly in the mix.

9. Mayo vs. The Field in Women’s 100 – Gabby Mayo NC’s best chance to repeat is here. NON Champ Chalonda Goodman is not in the meet, so her top rivals will be Brittany Long GA, Shayla Mahan MI, Candyce McGrone IN, Ashton Purvis CA, and LaKya Brookins SC.

10. Mayo vs Knight vs. Lucas and The Field in Women’s 200 – Mayo will have a tougher time here, with Texas A&M frosh Porscha Lucas having improved down to 22.79w, the best mark this year among entrants. This event will also supposedly see Bianca Knight, who was runner-up here last year and hasn’t raced since her state meet. There’s also Long, Mahan, McGrone, and Purvis here.

12 More Who We Missed at NON

Along with the aforementioned athletes, here’s some more we are looking forward to seeing that we missed last week.

1. Bryshon Nellum CA – His absence at NON was as strongly felt as anyone’s after his US-leading 20.43/45.54 double (+ two wins with relays) at CIF, not to mention the adulation of the Penn nation after his anchor for LB Poly’s 4x4 there. He will get a sharp challenge from U. of Nebraska freshman Arthur Wims in the 200, but no one appears very close in the 1-lapper. Could be a sweet double for Bryshon.

2. Ke’Nyia Richardson CA – Latest status is “unconfirmed,” but everyone hopes to see the indoor USR-holder and 45-04.25w (#2 a-t, all conditions) performer here (or in the senior event). She hasn’t competed since CIF. It should be a Golden State battle as former CA rival Ashika Charan (Texas A&M), Jamesha Youngblood, and Vashti Thomas are top entrants.

3. Bianca Knight MS – The Ridgeland MS sr is entered in just the 200. She has struggled with injury problems since her state meet and has not yet run a post-season meet. Her PR of 22.94 came here last year in losing to Gabby Mayo.

4. Jamesha Youngblood CA – The NIN champ in LJ/TJ will be back here after skipping NON. She has the best LJ marks of 20-06 and 20-11.75w. She will get battles in the LJ from NON champ Shakia Forbes VA, Ashika Charan (Texas A&M, 3rd as CA prep last year), and possibly Ke’Nyia Richardson CA (20-10.50, but not confirmed in this). She will also battle Richardson and others in the TJ, and NON placers Ryann Krais PA, Coward, and Leslie Njoku NJ in the 400H. VA Tech star Queen Harrison (55.94) is the favorite, there, though.

5. Terry Prentice CA – Graduation kept the Golden West and CIF 110H/LJ champ out of NON. He will be in the 110H mix in a good field that includes Johnny Dutch NC, Brendan Ames WY (another NON absentee), Bryce Brown IN, and collegian Darius Reed. He will be one of several in the 24-6 to 25-foot range in the LJ, challenged by collegians and some relatively unproven preps.

6. Rynell Parson TX – The super soph sprinter from San Antonio (10.32 100) has had a few injury problems and struggled at Golden West. He’ll try and get back on track in the century here, but it won’t be easy against Nebraska collegian Arthur Wims, WA prep Ryan Bailey and others.

7. Jeshua Anderson CA – Will he show up here? The new US record-holder in the 300H (35.28) was a no-show, no-call after being the 400H headliner last week at NON. If he comes to Indy, he’ll face last week’s 1-2 in sensational GA jr. William Wynne and CA super soph Reggie Wyatt.

8. Joe Canavan CA – The intense Californian putter, US#2 at 67-01, will return to action here in against old rival Nick Robinson (now UCLA) and preps Ben Stephen IN and Colin Boevers UT.

9-10-11. Shayla Mahan MI, Ashton Purvis CA, LaKya Brookins SC, Kenyanna Wilson AZ – These girls will mix it up in the short dashes with Mayo and others (Brookins 100 only) in the 100/200 with a good shot for medals. Wilson won the Golden West 100.

One More Who Will Be Interesting To Watch

Nicole Blood, U. of Oregon, in Women’s 3000/5000 – She’s not a prep, but made her fame as one. Lots of prep fans will want to see how Blood does here, though the competition isn’t super and it will be hot out there. Maybe NON champ Marissa Treece MI, with a PR 15 seconds off Blood’s, could give her a race.

Three Going for Double-Doubles (Back-to-back NON/USATF Sweeps)

Jessica Beard OH – 06 NON/USATF and 07 NON champ PR’d here last year in 51.89. New PR came at OH state meet with 51.63. She’s the solid favorite with 06 runner-up Brandi Cross (U. of South Carolina) probably her best challenger again.

Emily Pendleton OH – 06 NON/USATF and 07 NON champ is looking to get back in 180s and challenge Suzy Powell’s USR of 188-04. The field will be hard pressed to push her if she’s at least in high-160s form.

Walter Henning NY - 06 NON/USATF and 07 NON champ will lead a strong field with that odd 6 kg junior ball and chain. He holds the record in that, too, at 235-00, which he used to qualify for World Juniors.

Not Going For a Double-Double (apparently) – 06 NON/USATF and 07 NON shot champ Kamorean Hayes is not entered here.

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