* Auhmad Robinson got the morning started with his 400 meter win in 47 seconds flat in the boys 17-18 division
- - -
- - -
SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA -- The final day of the AAU Junior Olympic Games on Saturday at Satellite Beach High School saw a laundry list of championship finals.
And they sure didn't disappoint.
From Klein Forest graduate Auhmad Robinson's lightning-fast 400m win (above), to AJ Green's near national record in the 800m, to triple winners across various age groups and whip-fast relays and a hotly contest men's throw battle, the culminating day of the Games' had something for everyone.
Check below for recaps on every race, fun facts, our picks for athletes of the day and most valuable athletes of the week, plus specific videos from specifically culled moments.
Fun Facts From The 2020 Installment Of The Games:
- A total of 703 athletes are competing from the state of Florida -- Texas has the next most entries with 263, followed by California (130), Pennsylvania (130), Georgia (126) and Virginia (102).
- A total of 2,148 athletes and 290 teams are competing at this year's games
- The team with the most athletes this year is Fast Lane TC, with 44; Ashburn Elite has 36 athletes followed by New England Elite with 31
- Four national records were broken this year, albeit a scaled-down version of the AAU Junior Olympic Games that needed a venue change after the shutdown of Hampton University due to COVID-19
- There were five triple winners this week: Makeriah Harris, 14yo (200mH, 100mH, 200m), Marcus Ford, 8&Under (400m, 800m, LJ), Madison Brooks, 10yo (100m, 200m, 400m), Dasia Reed, 11yo (100, 200m, 400m), Skyler Franklin, 13yo (100m, 200m, 400m)
- AAU Coach of the Year: James Wilkerson -- "off the track, he leads his club in food drives for local pantries and socks and clothing drives for the homeless"
- AAU Club of the Year: Delaware Elite Track Club -- "the club was recognized by the City of Wilmington as an outstanding youth club"
MILESPLIT'S MOST VALUABLE GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE #AAUJOGAMES
Saucon Valley, PA, 18
- - -
Diggs dug deep for two fantastic performances across four days at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, posting a new US No. 2 mark in the 200m of 23.79 (+0.5) and a US No. 4 all conditions time of 11.60 (+2.7) seconds in the 100m. More than that, she did so across some fantastic fields, proving she was not afraid to line up against some premier competition. Next up for Diggs is the University of Florida.
MILESPLIT'S MOST VALUABLE BOYS ATHLETE OF THE #AAUJOGAMES
Tampa Hillsborough, FL, 16
- - -
Really, can you think of any other athlete that deserves this honor? The Florida sprinter ended the 2020 track and field seasonthis week with an emphatic statement at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, producing two wind-legal US No. 1s in the 100m (10.29) and 200m (20.33), the latter of which became a new sophomore class and 16-year-old age group record. His 200m time also set new precedence as an AAU national record. Better yet, Knighton was only in his second year of track and field.
Charles Oliver and AAU
Let's get real for a second. The idea of holding a sporting event, no less a track and field championship featuring thousands of participants, anywhere in the current environment of COVID-19 is an uphill battle. But over the course of four days at Satellite Beach High School, AAU was able to orchestrate and execute a safe proceeding as it constantly reminded those in attendance what it would take to ensure the continued procession of activity -- ultimately, what it would require of others. That delivery of its plan deserves a huge shout out, to Meet Director Charles 'Coach O' Oliver, who figured out the logistics and Xs and Os of the meet, to the entire AAU staff for making sure its safety protocols were met, both on and off the track.
SATURDAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RECAPS:
- - -
Girls 9yo 1,500m RW: Lakeland, Florida's Alexandria Dodson scooped up the win in a time of 11:16.36.
Boys 9yo 1,500m RW: Samuel Sylvester, native of Fay, North Carolina, won the two-person field in 11:10.28.
Girls 10yo 1,500m RW: Wisconsin youngster Cianna-Terese McKenzie went toe-to-toe with Paityn Dilworth in the final stages and earned a winning time of 9:46.39, which was just seconds ahead of her competitor's 9:48.82.
Boys 10yo 1,500m RW: Nathaniel Samson scored a victory in a time of 9:27.78.
Boys 11yo 1,500m RW: Leander's (TX) Isaiah Edwards, the youngest brother in a family of race walkers including Judah and Isabella, won his field in 8:25.30. He won by over 90 seconds.
Girls 12yo 1,500m RW: Bettendorf, Iowa-native Charlotte Smith covered the distance in 13:03.12 to earn top honors.
Boys 12yo 1,500m RW: Oregon native Eli Dilworth produced a winning time of 8:27.14.
Girls 8&Under 400m: A race to the line ensued between Leighla-Rachelle Herriott and Jacayla Obas, though it was Herriott who nipped Obas by a half a second to win in 1:10.20. Obas was second in 1:10.70 while Melodi Ashford was third in 1:13.92.
Boys 8&Under 400m: Marcus Ford flew to the finish line in a winning time of 1:09.81, while Fort Myers, Florida's Cyprian Red was second in 1:10.58 and Georgia-native Landon Bradley was third in 1:10.97.
Boys 9yo 400m: Prince-Terry Kemp prevented young phenom Victor Jaimez-Solorio from earning triple gold as he held off the Californian at the line in 1:04.18. Jaimez-Solorio was second in 1:04.71 while Kentwann Wooten was third in 1:06.78.
Girls 10yo 400m: Madison Brooks dominated with a winning time of 1:01.88, while Anaiah Berry was second in 1:04.55 and Khloe Washington was third in 1:06.28.
Boys 10yo 400m: Authoring a winning time of 1:03.24, Southfield, Michigan native Braylon McQueen claimed the top honor. Quentin Smith followed in second (1:04.51) while De'Angelo Ford was third in 1:04.52.
Girls 11yo 400m: Dasia Reed became the first athlete of Saturday's action to break 60 seconds, and she won her age group with a winning time of 58.77 -- that effort was even faster than her age-group boys counterpart and it was just over a second shy from the AAU national record of 57.07. Brianna Henderson was second in 1:00.44 while Demi Dunbar was third in 1:00.80.
Girls 12yo 400m: Mekenzie Rogers ran 57 seconds during her preliminary earlier in the week and followed with a winning time of 57.07 on Saturday, narrowly eding out second-place Anna Vidolova and Damira Allen, who ran 57.60 and 57.97, respectively.
Boys 12yo 400m: Riverview, Florida's Jacobey Mobley ran a winning time of 54.42 seconds, while teammate Michael Merritt was second in 56.44 and Georgia native Jaylen Irish was third in 56.97.
Girls 13yo 400m: Part of three wins acros the week, Hollywood, Florida native Skyler Franklin posted a winning time of 56.29 seconds. Aaliyah Barnes followed in 58.16 while Kashia Hoo was third in 58.93.
Boys 13yo 400m: Jacksonville (FL) athlete Jalen Cooper scored the win in 53.89, Justin Elwin was second in 55.51 and Kendrick Joshua was third in 56.65.
Girls 14yo 400m: In one of the best 400m finals, Hollywood's (FL) Christin Facey outlasted double-winner Makeriah Harris of Plaquemine (LA) to win in 55.14. Harris followed in 55.74. Kirah Copeland was third in 56.13.
Boys 14yo 400m: Donovan Terry and Jamari McIvory both leaned at the line, but it was Terry who authored the winning performance of 51.65, while McIvory was second in 51.73. Christopher Adams, who would later go on to finish second in the 800m and medal in the 100m, was third in 52.19.
Girls 15-16 400m: North Port, Florida's Kylah Buckle won in 56.43, while Twaneise Johnson was second in 57.01 and Sanaa Hebron was third in 57.19.
Boys 15-16 400m: Judson Lincoln, of Columbia, Maryland, became the first boy to break 50 seconds, winning his age group final in 49.45 seconds. Christian Parker was second in 49.52 while Kai Graves-Blanks was third in 50.07.
Girls 17-18 400m: An incredible feat lined up in this heat featuring a houst of girls who could contend for a title: Michaela Rose, Hali Murphy, Halyn Senegal, Chanice Spicer and Christal Facey. But in the end, it was Facey who measured her race just right, winning in 55.10. Spicer, the Alabama native, was second in 55.13 while Senegal scored a third-place medal in 55.39.
Boys 17-18 400m: Auhmad Robinson, a Klein Forest High School graduate, wasn't playing around in the final 200 meters. The Stephen F. Austin recruit ran the nation's fastest time of 2020, hitting 46.99+ on the clock -- though the time ultimately rounded up to 47.00. Lewis Freeman was second in 47.94 while Ashton Schwartzman followed in an idential 47.94.
Girls 13yo 3K RW: Calley Starr authored a winning time of 18:12.03.
Boys 13yo 3K RW: Alex Archer secured the age group title in 25:18.88.
Girls 14yo 3K RW: Nikayia Wilder produced the win in 23:20.42.
Boys 14yo 3K RW: Leander's Judah Edwards pocketed the age group title in 17:58.68.
Girls 15-16 3K RW: Leadner's Isabella Edwards made it three golds fro the Edwards' siblings, winning her age group title in 19:51.74.
Boys 15-16 3K RW: Jasem Phillip was the overall winner in 19:43.33.
Girls 17-18 3K RW: Orlando's (FL) Stephanie Towle produced the win in 20:31.21.
Boys 17-18 RW: Grigoriy Zolotarev was the overall winner with a time of 23:53.82.
Girls 12yo 4x100: Black Lightning Track Club posted the win in 51.53.
Boys 14yo 4x100: Spartan Chosen (VA) claimed victory in 46.43.
Girls 15-16 4x100: Fast Lane TC pocketed the victory in 49.10.
Boys 15-16 4x100: Speed Academy 'A' posted the win in 44.34.
Girls 17-18 4x100: Leander Spartans 'A' rolled to victory in 46.90 between the foursome of Autumn Wilson, Hali Murphy, Meghan Wilcox and Tripti Tiwari.
Boys 17-18 4x100: The Greater Houston Track Club squad of David Foster, Everett Tippins, Robert Gregory and Jevaughn Stanley put together the fastest overall 4x100 by a team of high school athletes in 2020, finishing with a nearly impeccable 40.21 seconds. Gregory, a TCU signee, brought up the anchor with a flourish.
Girls 13yo 800m: It was a wild race to the finish with three girls notching nearly identical 2:24 times, but in the end it was Hollywood's Kashia Hoo who claimed victory in 2:24.37. Lucy McLean was second in2 :24.53 and Chiara Bonomi was third in 2:24.78.
Boys 13yo 800m: Taye Newman covered the distance in a winning time of 2:12.19, while D'Andre Ward was second in 2:13.60. Omarion Seymour was third in 2:18.36.
Girls 14yo 800m: Returning from her amazing 1,500m performance on Friday, Kailey Littlefield left little doubt in this one, grabbing a victory in 2:12.13. Grace Vest tried to close the gap late and finished in 2:16.75, whiel D'Yanudra Ford was third in 2:22.88.
Boys 14yo 800m: Christien Stamp took over past 400 meters and finished narrowly past Christopher Adams, winning in 2:07.13. Adams was second in 2:07.22. Donovan Terry was third in 2:10.01.
Girls 15-16 800m: Philadelphia native and Friends' Central athlete Miracle Price bounced around various paces, but eventually made a move with 300 meters to go to claim the overall victory in 2:15.45. Corinn Brewer was second in 2:17.69 while Emoni Saxton was third in 2:18.18.
Boys 15-16 800m: Lorenzo Laurenzano covered a lot of ground in the last 50 meters, stealing a victory away in the last meters in 2:00.28. Jamel Brown tried to hold off Laurenzano as long as he could but finished second in 2:00.34. Tristen Pugmire was third in 2:01.77.
Girls 17-18 800m: Michaela Rose was absolutely on fire through 400 meters, heading through the lap split in just under 60 seconds. The Virginia athlete looked calm and poised through 600m, too, pacing through at just over 1:32. She would eventually finish just above national record pace, finishing in 2:08.04. Louisiana native Halyn Senegal was second in 2:15.96 while Kambry Smith was third in 2:17.09.
Boys 17-18 800m: AJ Green was on a mission in his first lap, crushing through the first split in 51.9. He came through the 600m split at 1:20-high and then closed as hard as he could, finishing less than a second shy of national record pace in a winning time of 1:50.48. Caden Norris was second with a time of 1:52.31 -- a major PR for the Texan -- while Adam Mason was third in 1:52.91.
Girls 8&Under 100m: Jasmine Wilson was first in 15.00, Taylor Allen was second in 15:13 and Leighla-Rachelle Herriott was third in 15.72.
Boys 8&Under 100m: Two Tampa athletes went one-two, with Isaiah Lassiter winning in 14.09 and Terrance Walker following in 14.38. Zaharie Williams was third in 14.41.
Girls 9yo 100m: Miami, Florida's Ariyana Gray was first in 14.16. Ava Edwards followed in second in 14.28 and Kniyah Cook was third in 14.37.
Boys 9yo 100m: A tight contest up top saw Zion Graham produce a winning time of 13.64. Terrilous Woodard was second in 13.83 and Deshuane Alexander was third in 14.90.
Girls 10yo 100m: Katy, Texas' Madison Brooks was first in 13.61 while Davika Medley wasn't far behind in 13.99. Jewel Domingue was thir din 14.02.
Boys 10yo 100m: Antrell Johnson broke the 13-second barrier and was just a hair off the national record, finishing with a winning time of 12.86 seconds. Kashe Johnson was second in 13.20 and Eli Dunham was third in 13.36.
Girls 11yo 100m: Dasia Reed won another event, this one her third of the meet, in 12.79 seconds. Demi Dunbar was second in 12.98 and Joslyne De La Neuz was third in 13.32.
Boys 11yo 100m: Long Beach Sprinter athlete Brooklyn Ross won his third event, going 12.97 seconds. Caleb Stanley was second in 13.24 and Mario Pratt was third in 13.82.
Girls 12yo 100m: Mekenzie Rogers won her second title of the week -- she narrowly missed the sprint triple, losing by a hundredth of a second in the 200m -- with a time of 12.55. Quinn Cowell was second in 12.87 while A'Rhyana Taylor was third in 13.18.
Boys 12yo 100m: Riverview's Michael Merrit outlasted his teammate, Jacobey Mobley, this time at the distance, winning in 12.10. Mobley ws second in 12.21. Jaylen Irish was third in 12.43.
Girls 13yo 100m: Winning her third event of the week, Skyler Franklin produced a winning time of 12.18 seconds. Aaliyan Barnes was second in 12.34 while Aleesa Samuel was third in 12.39.
Boys 13yo 100m: Conyers, Georgia native Jayden Whidbee was first in 11.97, while Jalen Cooper followed in 12.05. Tony Williams was third with a time of 12.16.
Girls 14yo 100m: Talented young Georgia athlete Grace Smith, of the Smyrna Elite Track Club, surpased Christin Facey in the final meters, winning with a time of 12.18. Facey was second in 12.42, while Kaymin Sales finished in third in 12.61.
Boys 14yo 100m: Terrell King blasted out of the blocks from Lane 5 and scooped up victory with a time of 11.25 seconds, edging past Jason Woods (11.41) and Avian Edwards (11.42).
Girls 15-16 100m: College Station, Texas native Elnita Green secured victory in 12.15, while Cynteria James was second in 12.18 and Jada Smith was third in 12.51.
Boys 15-16 100m: Recently-minted 200m AAU national record holder Erriyon Knighton continued with his incredible string of performances, exploding past his competition through 30 meters en route to a winning time and new US No. 1 effort of 10.29 (-0.4) seconds. Deland's Kevar Williams was second in 10.75 and Jeremiah Davis was third in 10.94.
Girls 17-18 100m: An incredibly talented final included the likes of Talitha Diggs, Chanice Spicer and Autumn Wilson. And from the gun, all three seemed to be in the hunt. But it was Diggs and Wilson who began to break through at 40 meters. Unfortunately, however, Wilson pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury while Diggs continued on with a whirlwind all conditions time of 11.60 (+2.7) seconds. Spicer followed in 11.77 while Samirah Moody was third in 11.83. Meghan Wilcox also broke 12 with a time of 11.89. Wilson was able to finish the race following her injury. Digg's effort goes down as a US No. 4 all conditions mark and the second fastest overall performance at the distance of her career.
Boys 17-18 100m: David Foster once again showed his overall consistency, breaking away from the field past 50 meters en route to his championship title in a wind-legal and US No. 9 time of 10.53 (+0.5). That time represented the Katy Tompkins High School rising senior's third-fastest time since June and followed a 10.77 effort in the prelims. Eastside Catholic's (WA) Anthony Smith, comparatively, also showed his immense consistency with a second-place performance in 10.64, which out-leaned Alexander Nunley's identical 10.64 by five-thousandths of a second. Smith recorded four 100m performances between 10.62 and 10.64 from June to August.
Girls 15-16 4x400: Ashburne Elite secured victory with a time of 4:14.03.
Boys 15-16 4x400: Empire Athletics, out of Clermont, Florida, won with a time of 3:28.54.
Girls 17-18 4x400: Track Dynamite's lineup of Halyn Senegal, Ida Seesay, Kayla Ford and Marissa Agee produced a six-second win over Leander Spartans, leading to a winning time of 3:51.75.
Boys 17-18 4x400: Greater Houston Track Club rolled to another relay win between the efforts of Bryce McCray, David Foster, Everett Tippins and Robert Gregory in a time of 3:18.59. Gregory ran a sub-47 second anchor split to overcome strong second-half runners from Plantation Heat and New England Elite.
Girls 10yo LJ: Tampa, Florida athlete Ava Fanchi claimed victory with a winning leap of 14-2.5.
Boys 10yo LJ: Quicney McLean posted the overall win with a mark of 13-7.50.
Boys 13yo Discus: Carson McInerney authored a winning throw of 140-7.
Girls 17-18 Shot Put: Florida's Megan Hague reached a distance of 12.70 meters (41-8) to claim victory. Tyniece Barclay was second with a throw of 40-11, while Rebecca Merritt was third with a mark of 40-9.50.
Boys 17-18 Shot Put: The most intense throws matchup took place here, as Cooper Mack and Josiah Harry went back and forth in the circle. Hailing from Watertown, South Dakota, Mack was the only athlete to break 60 feet as he threw a winning mark of 6-15.75. Harry, one of Alabama's top throwers, was second with a mark of 59-4.75. Zane Forist was third with a mark of 59-1.25.
Girls 13yo Discus: Brielle Hudson was first with a throw of 11-7.75.
Girls 8&Under LJ: Marcus Ford sealed his win with a leap of 13-2.
Boys 8&Under LJ: Trina Hubert scored a winning throw of 114-5.
Girls 12yo Shot Put: Zoey Hubert posted a winning throw of 39-9.75.
Boys 12yo Shot Put: Jackson Cantwell notched his second win of the competition, hitting a new 12-year-old national record of 56-7.50 (17.26 meters). His mark surpassed the previous best of 56-6.25 held by Dylan Carter and last accomplished in 2014.
Boys 17-18 Discus: Zane Forist captured the win with a winning throw of 187-7 (57.18 meters). Josiah Harry authored his second runner-up with a mark of 180-4 while Mack was third with a throw of 179-8.
- - -
TOP PERFORMER OF THE DAY
Skyler Franklin, 13, Unattached, FL
It was quite a day for Franklin, who had the task of competing for two national championships in the 100m and 400m -- and in doing so, she would have the opportunity to claim the sprint triple. But that wasn't new to Franklin, who had accomplished the same feat as a 12-year-old in 2019. Franklin dominated early Saturday morning in the 400m, flying to a new personal best of 56.29 seconds. And she ultimately capped off her second straight sprint triple with the 100m, surpassing Aaliyah Barnes in the final meters en route to a 12.18 (+1.1) winning time.
- - -
INTERVIEW OF THE DAY
Prince Terry-Kemp's victory dance says it all:
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY
It tells you something when a US No. 1 athlete leaves a championship win wanting more. But Klein Forest graduate and Stephen F. Austin recruit Auhmad Robinson is hungry for more:
"I had to go out with a bang. This was my last high school race. Just to finish out my career like this is such a a great experience."
- Talitha Diggs, 18, on her last high school race. AAU was where her first major competition began