* Heritage's Alaysia Oakes will be vying for a national title in 2022
Photo Credit: MileStat
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Chasing history. Chasing legacy. Chasing titles.
Those are annual beliefs that breath new life with each AAU Junior Olympic Games, and the 2022 version of the competition won't be any different.
Just what can we expect in the jumps?
In the sections below, we detail which athletes should perform at high levels this year, how history has shaped current athletes and which matchups you should be looking forward to the most when the competition begins in July and August.
Five Athletes To Watch:
Alaysia Oakes, Lynchburg Heritage (VA), 17-18yo, long jump: Few athletes will be as busy as Oakes this week. She's scheduled to go in the 100m, 4x100m, long and triple jump. But it's in the long jump, where she owns a U.S. top 20 mark, where she could contend for a national title. She's ranked No. 11 in the triple jump and has a shot to pull her club, Spartan Chosen, into the finals of the 4x100.
Kendrick Jones, Temple (TX), 14yo, long jump: His star could be rising this year. While he's among the top 10 seeds in both the 100m and 200m, he's far and away the favorite in the long jump, where he owns a seed that's three feet farther than the next best competitor -- 23-1.75. That's a state-championship-level kind of jump. If he gets anywhere near it, he's locking up a national title -- the current mark is 22-5.
Tamiah Washington, Utica (NY), 17-18yo, triple jump: Wherever Oakes goes, she'll find Washington not far off. The New Yorker has had a brilliant end to her high school career and enters as the top seed in both the long jump (19-9) and triple jump (42-2.50).
Kya Crooke, Fishers (IN), 15-16yo, high jump: She won a national title at adidas Outdoor Nationals at this same venue, clearing 5-10.75, which put her at U.S. No. 11 on the season. Can she get close to that mark again, or even surpass it? The Indiana native will sure try.
Addison Richey, Teurlings Catholic (LA), 15-16yo pole vault: Richey will be chasing the sky at AAU -- and that's a good thing. With her 12 foot, 7 inch PR in the pole vault from March, not to mention a runner-up finish at the LHSAA Class 4A Championships, she's got a solid performance under her belt. She's also the top seed in this category. But 13-feet will certainly be on her mind as she looks to make her way upward.
WATCH LIVE: THE 2022 AAU JUNIOR OLYMPIC GAMES
BEGINS AIRING JULY 30 - AUG. 6
Top Event To Watch
Girls Long Jump, 17-18
There is a lot to like about this matchup.
For starters, the event will pit two future-NCAA Division I talents against one another: Washington is headed to Texas Tech, while Oakes is headed to Stanford.
You also have to like the fact that both are individual state champions in their respective events: This spring Washington claimed a New York Division I title with a mark of 19-4.5w, while Oakes won Virginia's Class 3 honor with a performance of 20-3.75.
On paper, however, each athlete's marks are what will separate them prior to competition.
Saying that, the margins will be small. Each athlete owns a top 50 national mark this season.
Oakes has gone a wind-legal 19-8, putting her at U.S. No. 14, while Washington has authored a leap of 19-1, which lands her at U.S. No. 36 -- Oakes, however, scored a 20 at state with her all conditions mark, while Washington went all conditions at state, too.
So what will give?
A lot can happen in a long jump final, and for these two, we're raring to see just what unfolds.
An AAU Throwback
Perhaps the very beginning of Avery Lewis's emergence in track and field began in 2017, when the young 12-year-old scored her first AAU Junior Olympic Games record in the long jump with a mark of 17 feet, 11.75 inches.
Back then, that wasn't even a personal record for Lewis.
But in ensuing years, the Philadelphia native would only launch further and further off the board, winning another title in 2018 (with a winning mark of 18-7), before accomplished massive personal gains, including her first 20-foot jump in 2021. She authored a career best mark of 21-2.5 indoors in 2021 at adidas Indoor Nationals, then followed with a best of 20-8.5 in May of that same year in Florida.
Currently, Lewis is among the top athletes in the country. This past outdoor season she focused on the sprints, running career best times of 11.42 in the 100m and 55.04 in the 400m, though she found time to come back to the long jump, winning the high school division of the Penn Relays in 19-10.25w.
8yo Girls -- Lilyanna Duvra, Ocoee, FL, 13-8.25, 2021; 8yo Boys -- Joseph Mosbey, Spring, TX, 14-9.75, 2010; 9yo Girls -- Avery Lewis, Philadelphia, PA, 14-11.5, 2014; 9yo Boys -- Pierce Thomas, Indianapolis, IN, 15-7.50, 2012; 10yo Girls -- Mikele Vickers, Antioch, TN, 15-9, 2012; 10yo Boys --Steffin McCarter, Copperas Cove, TX, 16-10.75, 2007; 11yo Girls -- Tierra Crockrell, University Place, WV, 17-2.50, 2012; 11yo Boys -- Derrick McPhearson, Columbia, MD, 18-1, 1997; 12yo Girls -- Avery Lewis, Philadelphia, PA, 17-11.75, 2017; 12yo Boys -- Trevor Tatum, Smyrna, GA, 19-11.25, 2004; 13yo Girls -- Tia Taylor, Philadelphia, PA/Jahnelle Saunders, Hampton, VA, 18-9, 2016; 13yo Boys -- Navarsea Conner, Monroe, LA, 21-2, 2021; 14yo Girls -- Rhesa Foster, Clovis, CA, 19-9.5, 2012; 14yo Boys -- Ja'Mari Ward, Centerville, IL, 22-5, 2012; 15-16yo Girls -- Ychlindria Spears, Luling, TX, 21-1.5, 2000; 15-16yo Boys -- Curtis Williams, Tallahassee, FL, 24-7, 2019; 17-18 Girls -- Roxanne Lawson, Lake Park, FL, 21-10.75, 1996; 17-18yo Boys -- Johnny Carter, Bakersfield, CA, 25-6.5, 2012.
13yo Girls -- Jada Joseph, Hallandale, FL, 38-0.25, 2016; 13yo Boys -- Isaiah Griffith, Detroit, MI, 42-5.75, 2011; 14yo Girls -- Ychlindria Spears, Luling, TX, 40-2, 1998; 14yo Boys -- Dapo Akinmoladun, Grandview, MO, 46-11.75, 2008; 15-16yo Girls -- Ychlindria Spears, Luling, TX, 42-1.75, 2000; 15-16yo Boys -- Bryan Delsite, Elysburg, PA, 49-9.50, 1987; 17-18 Girls -- Deanne Davis, Burlington, NC, 42-6, 1996; 17-18yo Boys -- Christopher Carter, Hearne, TX, 52-1.25, 2007.
9yo Girls -- Essence Kendall, Grandview, MO, 4-4, 2014; 9yo Boys -- Chase Drewery, Waldorf, MD, 4-5.75, 2011; 10yo Girls -- Alexa Harmon-Thomas, Lawrence, KS, 4-10, 2006; 10yo Boys -- Travis Schmidt, Goessell, KS, 5-0, 1987; 11yo Girls -- Stacey Destin, Boynton Beach, FL, 5-0, 2007; 11yo Boys -- Dylan Faulker, Calhoun, GA, 5-2.25, 2015; 12yo Girls -- Stacey Destin, Boynton Beach, FL, 5-6, 2008; 12yo Boys -- David Gonzales, Corpus Christi, TX, 5-8.5, 1991; 13yo Girls -- My'Khiyah Williams, Brooklyn, NY, 5-9.25, 2014; 13yo Boys -- Ashton Allen, Odenton, MD, 6-0.75, 2015; 14yo Girls -- Amy Acuff, Robstown, TX, 5-8.5, 1988; 14yo Boys -- Mark Trujillo, Reno, NV, 6-4, 1980; 15-16yo Girls -- Vashti Cunningham, Las Vegas, NV, 6-1, 2014; 15-16yo Boys -- Randall Cunningham, Las Vegas, NV, 7-2, 2012; 17-18 Girls -- Susan Lind, Albien, NE, 6-0, 1980; 17-18yo Boys -- James Harris, Birmingham, AL, 7-3.25, 2010.
13yo Girls -- Jaisan Avery, McKinney, TX, 11-1, 2015; 13yo Boys -- Ben Haywood, Tomball, TX, 11-9.75, 2021; 14yo Girls -- Rhiannon Held, Decatur, IL, 11-7.25, 2017; 14yo Boys -- Adam Coulon, Bloomington, IL, 14-2, 2011; 15-16yo Girls -- Sky Schuller, Coppell, TX, 13-11.25, 2021; 15-16yo Boys -- Jayson Lavender, Wichita Falls, TX, 15-9.50, 1987; 17-18 Girls -- Heather Abadie, Baton Rouge, LA, 13-11.25, 2021; 17-18yo Boys -- Shawnacy Barber, New Caney, TX, 18-3.50, 2012.
Four Big Matchups
Category: 14yo, long jump
Seed Marks: 18-4.50 & 18-4
Category: 17-18yo, long jump
Seed Marks: 23-5.5 & 23-3
Category: 15-16yo, triple jump
Seed Marks: 45-10.25 & 45-9.5
Category: 15-16yo, high jump
Seed Marks: 6-4 & 6-4