Mike Kennedy's 2015 World Youth Championships Prospects-June 26 Update


At Cali, Colombia, July 15-19


At Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois, June 30-July 1

Boys Report | Girls Report

June 26 Update


Eighth in a Series--Compiled by Mike Kennedy (e-mail mkentrk@aol.com )


The shape of the U.S. team that will be select in Tuesday and Wednesday at Benedictine University in Lisle (Il.) had shifted any number of times over the past two months and will probably continue throughout the two day of competition. Injuries have taken their toll and continue to do so but they are somewhat balanced by the emergence of new and exciting athletes. As always some event that looked to be weak has gotten stronger while a couple of our better events have struggled. One thing that has continued is the overall high level off competition that has resulted in the likely prospect that there will be about 50 performers will achieve performances that would likely place them in World Championship finals. In the past there as been a successful attempt to limit the number of qualified athletes that get left of the team to two or three. That challenge looks to be even tougher this year. Remember, opportunities that allow athletes to gain that experience are limited and can advance an athletes progress by up to two years. Hopefully the USATF and Youth groups will be able to see that no deserving athlete is denied that opportunity. It is very easy to determine what it takes to make a WYC final. What follow is a quick look at each event and out prospect for success. The standard of what it takes to make a WYC final, based upon an average of the last two WYC is provided with each event. The list for both the boys and girls provide a much deeper look at each event. Athletes that have requested entry into the U.S. Trials are in Bold-Face. Most but not all athletes will qualify but there will also be a small number of athletes who will scratch before the meet begins.



Marks likely needed to make a WYC final

100--10.82. 200--21.53. 400--47.08.

This year there were at least thirty athletes who ran under 10.80 with legal wind for 100 meters but just eight have applied for entry into the U.S. trials--probably due to football. Add to that the fact that T.J. Brock of Chaminade (West Hills, Ca.), the fastest Youth runner with a legal 10.34 and a wind-aided 10.20, was injured as he finished the 100 in his Section final and London Dunn of DeSoto (Tx.), a 10.52 runner, suffered the same fate in his regional meet .That has resulted in a very competitive situation between state champion Josh Eiker of Galesburg (Il.) with best of 10.53, 21.02, Shamon Ehiemua of Marshall (Missouri City, Tx.) also a double state champion with best of 10.67 and 20.89 and Maxwell Willis of Bowie (Md.) yet another double state champ with best of 10.51 and 21.25. The 400 figures to be a battle between state champions Keshun Reed of Martin (Arlington, Tx.)., who has run 45.75, and Josephus Lyles of T.C. Williams (Alexandria, Va.), who ran 45.99 in winning the New Balance Outdoor nationals. Lyles, if he chooses, could interject himself in the 200 where he as run 21.0e. All in all a very strong group should qualify for Lisle.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final


1,500--3:53.17 (worth 4:10.5 for 1,600).

3,000--8:27.29 (worth 9:03.5 for 3,200).

2000 Steeplechase--5:54.57.

The distances should present a series of challenges. At the beginning of the year it looked like there could be a breakthrough resulting a couple of runners dipping under 1:50 for 800 but Terrell Jackson of University (Memphis, Tn.), who had run 1:50.63 indoors, saw his season end with and injury. Sophomore Rey Rivera of Old Bridge (Matawan, N.J.) has been outstanding running 1:50.82 in winning the New Jersey MOC and could get a big push from double state champion Hari Sathyamurthy of Brownsburg (In.), who run 1:51.50 and maybe Cameron Cooper of Oak Park (Mi.), the Emerging Elite winner at the New Balance meet in 1:52.06. In the 1,500 there were twelve runners who bettered the WYC qualifying standard of 3:59.0. The problem is none of them are entered. This is partially due to the face the 1,500 sees just limited action. The best entered 1,600 runners are Jacob Ogden of Dana Hills (Dana Point, Ca), at 4:08.34 and Anthony Berry of Central (Traverse City, Mi.), at 4:09.03. The 3,000 will feature Aidan Tooker of Saratoga Springs (N.Y.), who was second at the Penn Relays in 8:27.37 and came back three weeks later to run a terrific 8:51.52 in finishing fifth at the Loucks Games 3,200 in New York. Ogden could also show here based on his 8:59.12 best. Another runner to watch is Phillip Rocha of Arcadia (Ca.), who ran 8:26.94 for 3,000 enroute to an 8:59.24 at the Arcadia Invitational. Tooker has a choice to make because he is the best steeplechaser have run 9:06.37 for 3,000 meters. That’s converts so something close to 5:55.0 for the 2,000 steeplechase. One problem for Tooker is that, at this time, the competition does not appear to be that strong.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final

110 HH (36 inches)--13.74 (worth 14.07 over 39-inch hurdles).

400 LH (30 inches)--52.35 (worth 53.85 over 36 inch hurdles).

The hurdles, especially the shorter race, reflects the event at the senior level--very strong. The top four Youth eligible hurdlers will all be in attendance. Sophomore Damion Thomas of Northeast (Oakland Park, Fl.) leads the way with a wind-legal 13.64. The U.S. uses 39-inch hurdles while the rest of the world’s Youth run over 36 inch barriers. The difference is about .30 seconds and to make the WYC final it takes about 13.74 give the Yanks a .40 advantage. The battle for the places will be intense with Norman Grimes of Canyon (Tx.) at 13.71, Isaiah Lucas of Cypress Falls (Houston, Tx.) at 13.78, and sophomore Joseph Anderson of Upland (Ca.) at 13.83. Grimes is in a class by himself in the 400 hurdles with his 50.80 two weeks ago in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational. In Havana, Cuba. Just as with the shorter hurdle race the U.S. runs over 36-inch hurdles while the rest of the world uses 33-inch hurdles. However, Grimes did run over the higher hurdles in Cuba. Cory Poole of East Orange (N.J.) is the next fastest hurdler at 52.93.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final

High Jump--6-9

Pole Vault--15-7

Long Jump--23-10 ½

Triple Jump--49-6

Jaron Brooks of Henry Clay, Lexington, Ky.) has been an excellent big-meet high jumper winning both the indoor and outdoor National New Balance meets with clearances over 7-1. The WYC qualifying standard, as well as a mark that is likely to make the W, is 6-9. There are five other jumpers entered that have met that standard including Isaiah Holmes of Oakmont (Ca.) at 7-0 and Darius Carbin of Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Ca.) 6-11. Armand Duplantis of Lafayette (La.) has been a dominate force in the pole vault whose best of 17-4 set a national high school freshman record. Sophomore Riley Richards of China Spring (Tx.), with a best of 16-6, is just the lastest in a long line of the vaulting Richards family. In all there are nine vaulters entered who have bettered the WYC standard of 15-3. The U.S. suffered a real blow when sophomore Ja’Mari Ward of Cahokia (Il) the national Youth leader with best of 25-7 ¼ in the long jump and 51-11 in the triple jump was injured in Cuba two weeks ago Justes Nance of Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) achieved the long jump standard last week in finishing second at the New Balance National with a jump of 24-5 ¾. He is the only other long jumper entered with a qualifying mark although Holmes is close at 23-9. No other triple jumper has meet the WYC standard of 48-6 ¾.



Marks likely needed to make a WYC final.

SP (5-kilograms)--60-1 (worth 57-1 with 12-lb. high school shot).

DT (1.5-kilograms)--183-0 (worth 173-0 for 1.62-kilo high school disc)

HT (5-kilograms)--230-0 (worth 215-0 with 12-lb high school hammer).

JT (700 grams)--227-1 (worth 212-0 with 800-gram javelin).

The shot put and Discus throw will be one of our strongest areas at the WYC. It was beginning to look like Jordan Geist of Konch (Saxonburg, Pa.) and Adrian Piperi of The Woodlands (Tx.) where going to have these events all to themselves and they still are dominate. Geist is the shot leader at 69-1 with Piperi in second at 65-5 ½. Until two weeks ago Piperi was the discus leader at 188-2 and Geist was third at 186-2. For most of the season Charles Lenford of Oceanside (Ca.) was seen as a better shot putter with a best of 61-8 but that was before he won the state meet discus with a toss of 195-4. At time the U.S. has just one hammer thrower who has met the WYC standard of 230-0 but he is a good one. Bobby Colantonio of Barrington (R.I.) has a best of 243-7 with the 12-lb. high school hammer. The rest of the world’s Youth used a 5-kilo (11-lb) hammer. The difference is about 15 feet and if you add that to Colantonio’s best it makes him a contender for a medal. Grayson Hill of Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.) and Liam Christensen of Academy Magnet (North Charleston, S.C.), with bests of 200-3 and 198-8 respectively will be trying to reach the WYC qualifying standard of 227-1. The U.S. throws an 800-gram javelin while the rest of the world throws a 700-gram spear. The difference is about 15 feet. . Athletes at the U.S. trials will use a 700-gram javelin.


George Patrick of Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tn.) has yet to compete in a traditional decathlon but his marks indicate he should be able to score over 7,200 points.



Marks likely needed to make a WYC final




Candace Hill of Rockdale County (Conyers, Ga.) was the favorite to win the U.S. trials in the 100 and 200. But that was before the stunning 10.98 win at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle last week. Now……….well now she is the overwhelming favorite and must be regarded as a solid pick in Cali, Colombia. All Hill did was smash the World Youth record of 11.10 set last year by Kaylin Whintey, the reining World Junior (under 20) champion in both the 100 and 200. Hill has a personal best of 23.05 in the 200 with the promise of more to come. Lauren Rain Williams of Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Ca.) is the slight choice for second with bests 11.37 and 23.19. The sophomore is a very steady performer but there figure to be challenges especially in the 200 where Symone Mason of Southridge (Miami, Fl.) has run 23.37 and Twanisha Terry of Northwestern (Miami, Fl.) has a best of 23.55. Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn (Birmingham, Al.) won the New Balance Nationals in a wind-aided 11.33 last week. Samantha Watson of Rush-Henrietta-Sperry (Henrietta, N.Y.) is the leading entrant in the 400 at 52.69 and would be a great challenge for Mason, who has run 53.07. McKinley McNeill of Parkland (Winston-Salem, N.C.) is not far behind at 53.40.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final


1,500--4:26.54 (worth 4:46.0 for 1,600 meters)

3,000--9:26.82 (worth 10:08.0 for 3,200 meters)

2,000 steeplechases--6:52.82.

Speaking of choices, Watson has dozy. In addition to the 400 she is also entered in the 800--an event she won easily at the New Balance Nationals in 2:07.02. Or would she consider a double? No, that won’t happen. Sanity will prevail. If she chooses the 800 she could run up against sophomore Julia Heymach of Lamar (Houston, Tx.), who was third at Brooks PR meet in a personal best of 2:05.64. However, Heymach will probable chose the 1,500 where she has run 4:23.51. She also has a best of 4:41.31 for a mile which converts to 4:39.68 for 1,600. However, the 1,500 contains it own dangers for Heymach because the very talented sophomore Allie Schadler of Rio Rico (Az.) is waiting with a best of 4:43.18 for a mile, which converts to 4:41.54 for 1,600. One thing for sure there will be hot competition and that should result in fast racing. It looks like a safe bet that Destiny Collins of Great Oak (Temecula, Ca.) will have the 3,000 pretty much to herself. However she doesn’t have a whole lost to prove after her State meet performance tree weeks ago. Where she ran 4:41.30 in finishing third in the 1,600 but cam back 2 hours, 20 minutes later to win the 3,200 in 9:53.76 for to become the seventh fastest high school performer of all time. The 3,200 converts to 9:12.8 for 3,000 according to the conversion the Track and Field News conversion tables. Freshman Rylee Bowen of Sonoma Academy (Santa Rosa, Ca.) has a bests of 7:11.43 for the 2,000 steeple chase 10:50.92 for the 3,000 steeplechase.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final

100 HH (30 inches)--13.77 (worth 14.07 with 33-inch hurdles).

400 LH--60.06.

The toughest event at the U.S. Trials has to be the 100 hurdles. Just to make the finals the athletes will have to probable run under 14.00. Eight of the eleven fastest Youth hurdles in the national have run under……..13.74. The final will be way tougher than the WYC final. Mecca McGlaston of Dublin (Ca.) leads the way at 13.18. How good is that? McGlaston now ranks as the sixth fastest high school hurdler of all time. Will McGlaston have the race to herself? Probably not. Last week at the New Balances Nationals Tonea Marshall of Seguin (Arlington, Tx.) ran 13.12, Alexis Duncan of DeSoto (Tx.) ran 13.18 in a slightly wind-aided race that saw McGlaston finished in 13.18. If you thing this trend of great hurdles is going to away any time soon. Think Again. Consider the following. The entire field lost to an eight grader. Sophomore Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.) set a world Youth record in the 400 hurdles last year, winning the U.S. Juniror Championships in 55.63 to become the second fastest high school performer of all time. Last week she won the New Balance Nationals in 55.87 so another record could be on the cards in not at the U.S. Trials maybe in the friendly 1,000-meter altitude at Cali. Competition could come from Reonna Collier of Vacavilla (Ca.), who was third last year at the the U.S. Juniors in 58.55 but Brandee’ Johnson of Nansemond River (Suffolk, Va.) has run 57.63 in winning a sperated race at the New Balance Narionals. The 400 urdles is almost as tough at the 100 hurdles with six runners entered with best of 59.99 or faster.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final





U.S. Youth, Junior and national high school record holder Vashti Cunningham of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nv.) has opted for the U.S. Junior championships but Alicia Moellering of Villa Duchesne (St. Louis, Mo.) and Madison Yerigan of Stanwood (Wa.), both 5-10 jumpers are ready to step in and make the U.S. team. They are the only two entrants who have meet the WYC qualifying standard. Making the standard should note be a problem since eight entrants have bettered the 12-5 ½ WYC standard. Colleen Chancy of Smithson Valley, Tx.) and Carson Dingler of First Presbyterian (Macon, Ga.) lead the way at 13-6. followed by Rachel Baxter of Canyon (Anaheim, Ca.) at 13-3. Sophomore Tara Davis of Agoura (Agoura Hills, Ca.) is the U.S. Youth leader in both the long jump, at 20-6, and the triple jump, at 41-6 ¾. Freshman Maya Evans of Vista Peak (Aurora, Co.) with her 19-11 ¾ long jump, is the only other qualifier that is entered. There are three jumpers--Lajarvia Brown of Alton, Il.), at 40-8 ¼ and Payton Russell of Tumwater (Wa.) at 40-8 and Jaimie Robison of De La Salle (Chicago, Il.) 40-7 ½ that could reach 41-4.


Marks likely needed to make a WYC final

SP (3-kilograms)--51-10 (worth 45-10 with 4-kilogram shot).


HT (3 kilograms)--206-11 (worth 186-11 with 4-kilo hammer).

JT (500 grams)--161-4 (worth 151-4 with 600-gram javelin).

In a major surprise, Elena Bruckner of Valley Christian (San Jose, Ca.), the national Youth leader in the shot put at 53-5 ½ and the discus at 182-8 is not entered. Factually the U.S. is deep in both events. However, she was a potential medal winner in both events. There are five other shot putters entered at 48-11 ¾ or better. The U.S. Youths use the international 4-kilo shot while the rest of the world’s Youth use a 3-kilo shot. There is about a six foot difference between the two weights and it takes about a 51-10 throw to make the finals so who ever the U.S. sends has a high probability of making the final. Sophie Rivera of Brentwood (St. Louis, Mo.) is the leader at 53-1 followed by the very consistent big meet thrower Nickolette Dunbar of Whippany Park, Whippany, N.J.) at 51-2 ¾. Four throwers have entered with throws over 160 feet led by Josephine Schaefer of Baraboo (Wi.) at 169-7 and Natalie Noenning of Hartford, Mn.) at 167-6. Rivera with a best of 154-9 could win but you can’t enter three field events and at 175-10 she is sixth best high school javelin thrower of all time. Joining Rivera are Katelyn Gochenour of Marion (Omaha, Nb.) and Tiaryn Montgomery of Redondo Union (Redondo, Beach, Ca.) 164-4. Like the shot put the U.S. uses a different weight--the 600-gram international weight--while the rest of the world’s Youth use a 500-gram implement. The difference is about ten feet and the likely mark to make the WYC final is 161-4 feet. The leading hammer thrower entered is Makena Thomas of St. Anthony’s (South Huntington, N.Y.) at 170-0. Again the U.S. uses the international weight of 4-kilos while the world’s Youth use a 4-kilo weigh. The difference between the two is about 20n feet. The most likely distance necessary to make the WYC final is about 206-11.


The leadings entrants’ aree Jordan Fields of Creek side (St. Johns, Fl.) at 4,886 and Caice Lanovaz of Los Gatos (Ca.) at 4,875. This year the world top 10 counting just two athletes per national is 5,436. The U.S. used international weight and heights while the world’s Youth use lighter weights and lower heights. The difference is about 300 points