The Internet Home of Track & Field

USATF Junior Olympic Championships

Tues.-Sat., July 24-29, 2007

Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut CA

DyeStat On-Site with Doug Speck, Rich Gonzalez and Mike Kennedy

Day 1

Full Results - Rich Gonzalez Story - Mike Kennedy Sums -

Doug Speck Photo Album
- Rich Gonzalez Photo Album - DyeStatCal Coverage -

  • Andrew Blaser ID took the first day Decathlon lead in YM with 3,576 points
  • World Youth Champ Curtis Beach was in 4th in the YM Deca after injury in the high jump
  • John Coyle ID overcame a fall to win the YM steeple in 6:12.89
  • Victoria Dunlap TN grabbed the first-day lead in the YW heptathlon with 3,103 points

Day 1 YM decathlon leader Andrew Blaser ID - Photo Doug Speck
 World Youth 4th placer Curtis Beach NM, 4th in YM Decathlon Day 1after an injury in the HJ event - Photo by Rich Gonzalez
 YW Day 1 heptahlon leader Victoria Dunlap TN - Photo by Doug Speck

Day 1 Recap - Top Athletes Overcoming Adversity

By Rich Gonzalez, DyeStat.com

WALNUT (July 24, 2007) -- One of the globe's top youth all-arounders twisted an ankle during one of his top events, but appeared undeterred.

One of the nation's top young steeplers endured a late-race spill, but proved himself unfrazzled.

And hundreds of America's rising young stars endured warm temperatures in the mid-80s to post fine marks throughout Tuesday, emerging unaffected.

But folks, things are just starting to heat up.

Curtis Beach remains in the hunt for the Young Men's Decathlon title, John Coyle celebrates after earning himself a national crown in the Young Men's steeplechase, and the mercury is expected to soar into the low 90s on Wednesday -- the second of six days of action in the USATF Junior Olympics National Track and Field Championships at Mt. San Antonio College.

Multi-events competition, steeplechase finals and race-walk titles played out on Day One, which saw roughly 500 of the expected 7,000 athletes turn out to kick off the annual age-group extravaganza.

Headlining the early action was the Young Men's Decathlon competition, which saw Idaho's Andrew Blaser bolt out to a big 3,576-point opening-day effort that left his three main nemeses still within 150 points of the top spot with Wednesday's five events remaining.

Blaser, a state hurdling champion at Meridian HS this past spring, will open Day Two decathlon action with his best event -- the 110-meter high hurdles, where he has timed a personal best 14.10. But the University of Louisville-bound talent will need a big catalytic mark there as current decathlon second-placer Isaac Teichgrab and third-placer Daniel Gooris are known Day Two standout performers, when the hurdles, pole vault, discus, javelin and 1500 meters remain on the dais. Then in fourth is Beach, who placed fourth in the recent World Youth Championships in Ostrava (in the Czech Republic) and as a high school junior-to-be is considered a technically proficient rising star.

Blaser and Beach battled form the outset as expected, with the much taller and more toned Blaser opening a nice 96-point cushion over Beach after the first three events -- the high hurdles (where Morrey Brown and DeShawn Shead each clocked 11.27 to lead the 22-person field), the long jump (where Blaser's 21-10.25 effort was the top mark) and the shot put (dominated by Gooris' 43-11.75 heave).

Beach was expected to carve a big chunk out of the deficit in the fourth event -- the high jump, where Beach had cleared 6-08 recently. Instead, a bad twist of fate occurred. Beach tweaked his left ankle at takeoff in one of the early heights, then opted to pull himself off the event apron to seek medical treatment, thus clearing only 5-08.75, or nearly a foot below his personal best.

But Beach, who earlier admitted this meet was more a family vacation to Southern California rather than an all-out competition after such a long season, returned an hour later to post the fastest time (50.24) in the decathlon's final first day event, the 400-meter dash.

Blaser, who is turning out to be a recruiting steal for Louisville, may need to come up big in the pole vault and the 1500, which happen to be two of Gooris' best events although the New Mexico talent (Cibola HS) is strong in all the throws and has an excellent shot at the overall title.

The Young Women’s heptathlon was off to a barn-burning start as several of the top multi-eventers gathered are also proficient hurdlers. The racking up of points started quickly in the barrier event as eight girls in the 26-athlete field scored at least 800 points in the 100-meter high hurdles. From there, however, it was Tennessee's Victoria Dunlap who shifted into overdrive with the top high jump mark (5-07) and fine efforts in both the shot put and the 200. Dunlap hails from Brentwood Academy, situated in a neighborhood haven for top multi-eventers where Coach Gary Kinder's famed Kindersport club is stationed.

Dunlap holds a 106-point lead over West Virginia's Chelsea Carrier, with Southern California's Kiani Profit (from Muir HS in Pasadena, a short drive from the Mt. SAC track) leading a very tight pack battling for third. Profit stated early in the meet that she recently made her collegiate commitment and will attend the University of Maryland beginning in the fall.

The most exciting race of the day came in the Young Men's 2,000-meter steeplechase, where the aforementioned John Coyle rode a major adrenaline rush following a late-race spill to earn the title. Coyle, from Idaho, lost his footing trying to clear a hurdle with just over a lap remaining to go from within two strides of the lead to a few seconds in arrear. Undeterred, he gathered himself and unleashed a fine surge in the last half lap to reel in the leaders. Coyle won in 6:12.89 to Coloradoan Spencer Carter's 6:13.35. Three runners finished within 1.4 seconds of the winner.

Mike Kennedy's Event-by-Event Summaries

Young Men - Intermediate Boys - Young Women - Intermediate Girls

Young Men (17-18)

2,000 Meter Steeplechase

John Coyle (Region 13) overcame a spill over a hurdle just over one lap (inside water jump) from the finish and went on to win a thrilling race in 6:12.89. Coyle, after falling behind by 15 meters, began to work his way back toward the front and, with about 120 meters remaining, began a hard charge to take him from third to first. Spencer Carter was second in 6:13.35 and Kyle Powers (Region 2) just outlasted Taylor Morgan, 6:14.25 to 6:14.26. Leader splits were, 70.2, 2:26.9, 3:42.7, 4:59.5.

First Day

Andrew Blaser (Team Idaho) was just fourth after the first event with a 11.37 in the 100, worth 780 points but rebounded with a event best of 21-10 ¼ in the long jump to move into first with a two event total of 1514. Blaser also had marks of 40-6 ¾ in the shot put, 6-4 ¾ in the high jump and 53.12 in the 400 for a five event total of 3,576.

Daniel Gooris (Rehoboth Christian, Rehoboth, N.M.), who has done 6,710 with the Junior Implements, was just seventh after two events but led the shot put with a 43-11 ¾, worth 692 points and also led the high jump at 6-2 ¾, worth 714 points and ran 52.26 in the 400 for 713 and a five event total of 3,454. Isaac Teichgrab (Pacific Northwest) also moved up from sixth to third after a two event total of just 1,384. A 42-6 shot put, 6-0 ¾ high jump and the second best 400 of 50.37, worth 798 points, moved him to third after five events with 3,516. Teishgrab should have no trouble improving on his personal best of 5,853 set earlier this year.

Curtis Beach (Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, N.M.), appeared to be a little flat after his fourth place finish at the World Youth (under 18) championships in the Czech Republic, with an opening 11.37 for the 100. He then jumped just 5-8 ¾ in the high jump, where he has a best of 6-6, and finished with 50.24 in 400 for a total of 3,435 points to sit in fourth.

Intermediate Boys (15-16)

2,000-Meter Steeplechase

Matthew Holcolm (Cornhusker Flyers) took the early lead before Jonathan Phillips (Federal Way, Wa.) moved to the front after three laps and then just began to pull away for a comfortable win in 6:13.50. Colin Jarvis (San Diego Roadrunners) was second in 6:19.89 and Steve Magnuson (Pops TC) was third in 6:19.99. Holcomb faded to fifth in 6:25.73.

First Day

Neamen Wise (Florida) took the lead with a 11.26 in the 100, worth 804 points, and never looked back. With marks of 19-0 ½ in the long jump, 36-2 ¼ in the shot put, 5-7 in the high jump and 54.28 in the 400, he scored 3,068 points.

Thomas Filer (Bellevue, Nb) and Andrew Gay (Oregon) went back and fourth between second and third before Filer ran 52.96, worth 683 points and a five event total of 3,033. Gay’s 54.13 for 400, worth 634 points, dropped him to third with 2,988 points. Dakotah Keys (Oregon) was fourth at 2,968 and Kennedy Daugherton (Speeders) was fifth at 2,857.

Young Women (17-18)

2,000-Meter Steeplechase

Junior Sarah Higgens (Cedar Grove, In.), with just a best of 11:25.86 for 3,200 meters, was an easy winner in 7:13.72—just off her personal best of 7:13.72 in the Region 7 meet earlier this summer. Amanda Robles (Southern California Roadrunners) was second in 7:40.39 and Shalela Dowdy (Mobile Parks) was third in 7:48.51.

First Day

Chelsea Carrier (Buckhannon-Upshur, Buckhannon, W.Va.) opened up with a giant 0.64-second improvement in the 100-meter hurdles to record a time of 14.22, worth 947 points. But two events later, Victoria Dunlap (Brentwood Academy, Brentwood, Tn.) had moved into first with event-leading marks of 5-7 in the high jump, worth 855 points and 37-10 ½ in the shot put, worth 631 and a three-event total of 2,305.

Dunlap closed with a 200 in 25.99 for a first day total of 3,103. Compare that with her first day total of 2,963 in her personal best of 4,838, set earlier this year, and Dunlap could take a real shot at scoring 5,000 points. Carrier remained in second with 2,997. Kiani Profit (Muir, Pasadena, Ca.), Akira McSwain (Hunters Lane, Nashville, Tn.) and Jessica Flax (Pearland, Tx.) were locked in a close battle for the next three places with scores of 2,831, 2,828 and 2823, respectively.

Intermediate Girls (15-16)

2,000-Meter Steeplechase

Brooke Bierhaus (Indiana TC) was always among the leaders and, three laps into the race, opened up a big lead. But then she had to hold off Shanna St. Laurent (San Diego Road Runners/Oceanside El Camino), 7:34.12 to 7:37.84. Elizabeth Meier, like Bierhaus, is from Region 7, and was third in 7:41.96.

Heptathlon (15-16)
First Day

Shanay Briscoe (Cypress Christian, Houston, Tx.) was in just eighth place after the first event, the 100 hurdles, where she ran 15.86 worth 732 points—158 points behind the leader Precious Selmon (Crystal City, Mo.). One event later—the high jump—where she ranks No. 3 in the nation with her 5-11½, Briscoe cleared 5-8 ¾, worth 916 points and a total of 1,648, just three points behind Taylor Johnson (Oak Park, Ca.), the second round leader.

Briscoe then won the shot put by almost five feet with a put of 35-6 ½, with 584 points and a total of 2,232, and a lead of 120 points. Brisco finished the first day with a 26.10 for 200 meters, with 788 points and a total of 3,020. Johnson remained in second with 2897 points, followed by Selmon with 2,866, Lorraine Graham, a middle school student from Texas, at 2,824 and Nefertiti Smith, another middle school student from Virginia at 2,807.