* Graylen Houston in the final event of the 13yo pentathlon, the 1,500m, on Saturday at the AAU Junior Olympic Games
Photo Credit: Cory Mull/MileSplit
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HUMBLE, TEXAS -- Day 1 of the AAU Junior Olympic Games at George Turner Stadium kicked off the 55th running of the event, and things heated up quickly.
Across a handful of finals, athletes grabbed victories on the track and set personal bests.
Below is a running tally of the championships that took place on the first day of action.
1,500m Boys 9yo Race Walk: Blue Thunder Track Club's Preston Schweikert was the only athlete under 10 minutes, winning with a time of 9:59.19. Chandler Smith was second in 10:38.07 and Jeremiah Mincey was third in 10:38.16.
1,500m Girls 10yo Race Walk: It was Isabella Chu out in front for much of the race, as the Ambler OC Track Club athlete won in 9:52.16. Sam Marie-Miller was second in 10:19.63 and Addison Herron was third in 10:43.58.
1,500m Boys 10yo Race Walk: A wild race from start to finish saw Matthew Maerz and Kadesh Lott battle it out from the front. It came down to one final, crazy 50 meters, and it was Maerz who won by less than a tenth-of-a-second. He scored the win in 9:46.76, while Lott was second in 9:46.86. Jeremiah Jefferson was third in 10:01.92.
1,500m Boys 11yo Race Walk: Nathaniel Samson was dominant as he picked up the win in 8:37.81, while Charles Smith Jr. was second in 8:52.79. Smith Jr. held off Josh Fink, who was third in 8:55.49.
1,500m Girls 12yo Race Walk: A pair of sisters from the Mustangs Track Team went 1-2 as Leandra Young won in 9:19.74 and Teandra Young was second in 9:52.37. The pair was the only two to hit under 10 minutes. Chloe McCoy was third in 10:07.88.
1,500m Boys 12yo Race Walk: Texas Independent veteran Isaiah Edwards won another racewalk title, this time covering the distance in 9:17.33. Alyus Decker was second in 9:24.29 and Dorceus Hubbert was third in 9:41.27.
Pentathlon 13yo Girls: D'Asia Duncan continued to shine, scoring 3,318 points to win the event. It was her second straight victory in the event after winning in 2019 as an 11yo -- the 2020 version of the event was not contested.
Her best outing came in the hurdlers, where her 14.68 mark in the 100mH gave her 884 points. She also landed a solid mark in the long jump at 5.11m and went 1.55m in the high jump. Her second-place effort in the 800m at 2:22.35 also gave her 792 points. Lailah Green was second with 2,731 points and Gabrielle Davis was third with 2,632.
Pentathlon 13yo Boys: Sugar Land, Houston-based athlete Graylen Houston landed a big win after five events, totaling 2,584 points. He scorched the track with a 15.55 second performance in the 110mH before notching marks of 5.45m in the long jump, 10.95m in the shot put and 1.40 in the high jump. Alvin Moore, in just his first year of track, was second overall with 2,251 points. Jadon Hopson was third with 1,985 points.
Pentathlon 14yo Girls: Keymani Dillingham of Bradenton, Florida won the event with 3,034 points, producing a very good 100mH time of 15.78 to start things off. Shakayla Lavender was second with 2,891 points and Ma'Syiah Brawner was third with 2,601.
Pentathlon 14yo Boys: Farmington, Michigan's Jaylen Gilmore scooped up the multis win with 2,895 points, cruising for 972 points in the 100mH with a time of 14.02. He also scored 509 in the shot put with a mark of 10.39 and 508 in the long jump with a personal-best effort of 5.63. Kingston Williams was second with 2,776 points and John Loparco was third with 2,736.
TOP PERFORMER OF THE DAY
Jaylen Gilmore, 14, Farmington, Michigan
14yo Age Group Pentathlon Champion, 2,895 points
34-1.25 Shot Put
Running concurrently halfway around the world is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Interestingly enough, a total of 51 United States Olympians have competed previously at the AAU Junior Olympic Games.
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Courtesy of The AAU Junior Olympic Games
|#||name||event||aau alumni||aau sport||aau years|
Women's 800 Meter
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Women's 4x100 Relay Pool
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2019
Women's 800 Meter
2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Briana Williams (Jamaica)
Women's 100 meter & Women's 4x100 Relay
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Men's 4x400 Mixed Relay Pool
Men's 800 Meter
INTERVIEW OF THE DAY
D'Asia Duncan, Orlando, Florida
CONVERSATION OF THE DAY
On heat in Houston
Olivia Ekpone: "How has the heat been for you? A couple athletes were saying how the heat was so much. Did you feel the same"
Nathaniel Samson: "Yeah ... How did they feel?'
Olivia Ekpone: "They said it was really, really hot out there."
Nathaniel Samson: "It was really hot, but I don't think it was as hot as they think."
-- Nathaniel Samson, VO2 Max Track Club
Day 2 of the AAU Junior Olympic Games will bring more race walk finals in the older age groups -- 13 yo to 17-18 -- while the multis will finish up their competitions across the board. In the women's 17-18 heptathlon, Parkview Baptist (LA) graduate Ariel Pedigo is aiming for 5,500 points as she looks to finish her high school career with a top 5 performance all-time in high school history. The decathlon features four athletes within 150 points of one another on the final day of action. For coverage of the AAU Junior Olympics, MileSplit and FloTrack will have live streaming video of the event.