AAU All-Stars: 10 Elites Who Competed As Kids

----- 
Article By Allie Woodward For FloTrack written in 2016.

Before they were NCAA and world champions, these stars were the fastest kids in AAU! 

Kendall Baisden

AAU Records
-Girls 200m (13 years old): 24.03
-Girls 200m (15-16 years old): 23.42 
-Girls 400m (13 years old): 54.72 
-Girls 400m (14 years old): 53.05
-Girls 400m (15-16 years old): 52.71


Baisden is one of the most successful youth and junior runners in U.S. history. She was a member of two world junior gold medal-winning 4x400m relays and was the 400m world junior champion in 2014 before she chose to run for the Texas Longhorns. As a freshman, she finished third in the NCAA 400m indoors and outdoors. As a sophomore, she finished runner-up in the NCAA outdoor 400m. And before signing a professional contract with Adidas in 2016, Baisden was the top collegiate finisher in the 400m at the USATF Outdoor Championships, where she finished seventh.

 

Ajee Wilson

AAU Records
-Girls 800m (15-16 years old): 2:07.08
-Girls 1500m (15-16 years old): 4:34.51
-Girls 3000m (13 years old): 10:13.41 

Wilson established herself as a force early in her career by earning titles like world youth and world junior champion in the 800m, to name a few. She originally committed to run for Florida State, but decided to sign a professional contract with adidas instead. She took the crown in the 800m at the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2014 and earned silver in the 800m at the World Indoor Championships in Portland. Wilson went on to make the Rio Olympics and win the 2017 U.S. outdoor title in the 800m en route to making the 2017 world team.


Shamier Little

AAU Records
-Girls 400m Hurdles (15-16 years old): 57.83 

As a freshman at Texas A&M, Little was the NCAA champion in the 400 meter hurdles and defended her title as a sophomore in 2015. As a senior, she earned eight first-team, All-American honors not just in her marquee event, but also the 400m and 4x400m relay. At the 2014 World Junior Championships, Shamier was champion in the 400m hurdles, and only year later she returned at the senior level and was a silver medalist in the event. Little went on to earn second at the 2017 U.S. Championships in one of the deepest 400m hurdles races of all time with a personal best of 52.75.

 

Kendell Williams

AAU Records
-Girls 100m hurdles (13 years old): 14.42 
-Girls 100m hurdles (14 years old): 13.82 

Williams, a former multi-event athlete for the Georgia Bulldogs, set a U.S. junior record in the heptathlon at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona to earn "Athlete of the Meet" honors. A four-time NCAA Indoor champion in the pentathlon and two-time NCAA Outdoor champion in the heptathlon, Williams racked up six national championships at Georgia. Before her senior season even began, Williams represented Team USA at the Rio Olympics. In 2017, Williams won her fourth career NCAA pentathlon title to become the first man or woman to win an event four years in a row at the indoor championships. That spring, she added another SEC and NCAA heptathlon title to her resume and represented Team USA at the 2017 World Championships in London after winning the U.S. title in the heptathlon with the second-best heptathlon score (6,564) by a collegian outside of the season. 


Hannah Cunliffe

AAU Records
-Girls 100m (14 years old): 11.86 

The Washington native won three state titles as a senior in the 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay, and competed for Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championships, where she finished fourth in the 200m. During her freshman year at Oklahoma, Cunliffe was the runner-up in the 60m at the Big 12 Championships, where she ran a personal best of 7.28 and earned second-team, All-American honors. After transferring to Oregon for the 2015-2016 season, Hannah made an instant impact for the Ducks in the sprints and relays. She led the squad to a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100m to clinch the Pac-12 title, but pulled up with a hamstring injury in the 2017 NCAA Prelims. Cunliffe went on to set the collegiate record in the 60m dash and then clinched the 2017 NCAA indoor title.


J-Mee Samuels

AAU Records
-Men's 200m (17-18 years old): 20.58


The former Arkansas Razorback was a three-time All-American and gold medalist at the 2005 Pan-American Junior Games. Samuels went on to compete as a professional specializing in the 100m. He represented Team USA at the 2007 World Championships and won bronze at the 2007 Pan-American Games. 

Shawn Barber

AAU Records
-Men's Pole Vault (17-18 years old): 18-03.50

Barber's duel Canadian-American citizenship allowed him to represent Canada in several world championships, and made Ohio proud as a three-time NCAA champion in the pole vault for Akron. In 2015, he set a collegiate record of 5.91m to win the pole vault title at the Texas Relays. As a pro, he won gold at the Pan-American Games and World Championships in 2015. 

Aldrich Bailey

AAU Records
-Men's 400m (17-18 years old): 45.45

Bailey set a U.S. high school record of 45.19 in the 400m at his Texas Regional meet in 2012. He committed to run at Texas A&M before transferring to the University of Texas his senior year. Bailey found success as a Longhorn, where he was a two-time Big 12 champion, taking both the 4x100m relay and 200m titles in 2016. He was also a member of 4x400m relay team that placed fourth this year at NCAA Indoors. He qualified for the world indoor 400m team in 2018.


Randall Cunningham

AAU Records
-Boys High Jump (15-16 years old): 7-02.00

Major athletic talent runs in the Cunningham family. Randall Cunningham Sr. was an NFL quarterback and sister Vashti Cunningham, a high jumper, turned pro right out of high school. For Randall Cunningham Jr., success in the high jump superseded his talent as a high school quarterback. Before he committed to USC, Randall set USATF and AAU records in the high jump and was named the Nevada Track and Field Gatorade Athlete of the Year. As a Trojan, he was a U.S. Junior National high jump champion and won the NCAA high jump title in 2016. 

Sam Humphreys

AAU Records
-Men's Javelin Throw 800g (17-18 years old): 225-07


Humphreys competed for a club team during his high school years and was the No. 7 performer on the all-time high school javelin list. During his career at Texas A&M, he was a three-time Big 12 champion, and won the NCAA title in 2013. Humphreys made the U.S. Olympic Team in 2012 after winning the meet title at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and finished runner-up at USA Outdoors in 2013. 


Robert Griffin III

AAU Records
-Boys 400m Hurdles (15-16 years old): 51.77 
-Men's 400m Hurdles (17-18 years old): 49.56


Though RG3 didn't run track after his All-American freshman year at Baylor, he was an undeniable Texas talent on the AAU circuit. Plus, he still managed to win a Heisman Trophy and play in the NFL, which are rather elite athletic accomplishments.







Comments