The 2019 AAU Junior Olympic Games Jumps Preview


- - - 

The jumps are sure to be full of fireworks at this year's installment of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. The nation's top age group jumpers will descend upon Greensboro starting on June 29 to vie for national titles at North Carolina A&T University's BB&T Stadium. 

From an elite young talent like 12-year-old Elizabeth Deen, to promising high school athletes like Jahnelle Saunders, Jaden Halliburton and Johnny Brackins Jr., the Games will be stock full of high-level individuals. 

But the most accomplished of any will be Panther Creek's Morgan Smalls, who owns two top 10 all-time high school marks in the high jump, both indoors and out. 

Smalls can draw upon big meet experience she's acquired at NBNINBNO and various North Carolina State Championships over the years. 

Her extensive list of accolades from the 2019 campaign includes a NCHSAA 4A state meet win in the high jump and triple jump, her aforementioned national title in the high jump at New Balance Nationals Outdoor (6-2.25), as well as a first place showing in the high jump at New Balance Nationals Indoor, where she established her overall PR of 6-3.25 and became the second best jumper indoors, only to Olympian Vashti Cunningham.

At the AAU Junior Olympic Games, Small will compete in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. 

In the 12 year-old division, local favorite Deen will look to keep her outstanding season rolling with a potential triumph in the long jump.

The Greesboro native has an unblemished record in 2019, which includes event wins at the Guilford County Middle School Championships, the AAU Region 25 Qualifier and at last weekend's Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational. 

Deen's impressive 20-0.5 effort at Region 25, an age group world record, stands as the top overall seed mark on the girls side, regardless of age-group.

Brackins Jr. will be one of the prohibitive favorites entering triple jump action for the boys 15-16 division. The rising junior from Lees Summit High School (MO) took first place honors at the AAU Region 15 Qualifier with a jump of 47-9.5. 

This effort followed a scholastic season that saw him net a runner-up placement at the MHSAA Track and Field Championships and a victory at the Gary Parker Invitational, where he set a new pr of 48-10.5. 

Among the events that appear to be anyone's for the taking is the boys 17-18 division high jump, where a trio of athletes will make their way to the runway with identical top seed marks.  

Elijah Wilson (DE), Trenton Barnecott and Jaden Halliburton will begin competition with recent 6-8 clearances anchoring their resumes. 

In long jump action, look out for a pair of athletes with 24-plus foot marks. Trey Thomas (TX), who owns a mark of 24-0 in the 15-16 division, and Anthony Woods II (KY), the owner of a leap of 24-2 in the 17-18 division, should both contend for national titles in their respective divisions. 

Up Next: 

  • Sprints Preview (12 p.m., Wednesday)
  • Hurdles Preview (6 p.m., Wednesday)
  • Throws Preview (12 p.m., Thursday)
  • Distance Preview (8 a.m. Friday)
  • Jumps Preview (12 p.m. Friday)

Related Links: 

Jumps Top Seeds

Girls High Jump  

9yo: Nia Armstrong, Tampa, FL, 4-02.00

10yo: Samaria Freeman, Charlotte, NC, 4-06.00 

11yo: Daisha Brunson, Elk Grove, IL, 4-08.00 

12yo: Ma'Syiah Brawner, Millville, NJ, 5-01.00 

13yo: Pryncess Jackson, Richmond, VA, 5-03.00 

14yo: Sky Schuller, Coppell, 5-06.00 

15-16yo: Annika Bynum, Wadsworth, IL, 5-06.00 

17-18yo: Morgan Smalls, Fuquay Varina, NC, 5-10.00 

Girls Triple Jump

13yo: Chelsi Williams, Lakeland, FL, 36-04.75 

14yo: Alexis Willis, Mount Holly, NC, 36-06.50 

15-16yo: Kendall Jordan, Burlington, NC, 39-05.25 

17-18yo: Morgan Smalls, Fuquay Varina, NC, 41-08.25  

Girls Long Jump   

8 & Under: Alaiyah Choice, Chester, VA, 12-10.25

9yo: Kayden Dennis Winter, Haven, FL, 13-00.25 

10yo: Kenzie Crooke, Fishers, IN, 14-07.00 

11yo: Jayla Newton, Orlando, FL, 15-02.50 

12yo: Elizabeth Deen, Greensboro, NC, 20-00.50 

13yo: Kayleigh Stargell, Mableton, GA, 17-04.25 

14yo: Jordyn Taylor, Denham Springs, 17-11.00 

15-16yo: Kiara Strayhorn, Jefferson City, 19-04.00 

17-18yo: Morgan Smalls, Fuquay Varina, NC, 19-08.00  

Boys High Jump 

9yo: Javon Johnston, Pittsburgh, PA, 4-00.00

10yo: Alaun-Miguel Christian, Douglasville, GA, 4-08.00 

11yo: Shawn Church Jr., Virginia Beach, VA, 5-02.00 

12yo: Kingston Williams, Princeton, TX, 5-02.00 

13yo: Carl Summers, Saint Louis, MO, 5-02.00 

14yo: Michael Downing, Rolesville, NC, 5-10.75 

15-16yo: Tommy Christie, Warrington, PA, 6-06.00 

17-18yo: Jaden Halliburton, Nashville, TN, 6-08.00 

Boys Long Jump  

8 & Under: Raymond Queen IV, Owings Mills, MD, 14-01.00

9yo: Aiden Opore, Suwanee, GA, 15-07.00 

10yo: Jamarin Simmons, Tallahassee, Fl, 15-05.75 

11yo: Brayden Henry, Abilene, TX, 18-05.00 

12yo: Zakr Roberson, Kirkwood, DE, 18-03.50 

13yo: Malik Wood, Pembroke Pines, 19-11.00 

14yo: Peyton Jones, Chesapeake, VA, 20-11.00 

15-16yo: Trey Thomas, Rosharon, TX, 24-00.00 

17-18yo: Anthony Woods II, Louisville, KY, 24-02.00  

Boys Triple Jump  

13yo: Kendred Walker, Greenville, SC, 42-01.50

14yo: Damarion Dean, Marion, AR, 41-10.50 

15-16yo: Johnny Brackins Jr., Lees Summit, MO, 47-09.50 

17-18yo: Joseph Palmer, Louisville, KY, 48-07.50