World U20 Preview: U.S. Stars Ready To Vye For Medals

* Shawnti Jackson (Wakefield, NC) wins the women's 100m dash at the USATF U20 Championships to make the world team.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

- - -

On the heels of quite an entertaining World Outdoor Championships senior competition comes the eye-catching world debut for some of the country's best younger track and field stars at the World U20 Outdoor Championships.

From Aug. 1-6, U.S. high schoolers and collegians will compete among the best U20 athletes in the world in Colombia to cap off the 2022 outdoor season.

Some of the well-known high school names from this track and field season enter the championships with sights on not just ending their seasons on a high note, but putting themselves in contention to earn world medals and surpass records.

Below we preview which athletes could potentially come away with world medals and national records, as well as which events appear most eye-catching at the World U20 Championships in Colombia. 

Athletes To Watch

World U20 Championships Entry Lists By Country

- - -

Shawnti Jackson, Raleigh (NC), Women's 100m -- An 11.07 wind-aided 100m win at the U.S. U20 Championships in June puts Jackson as the fourth fastest American high school female to ever do it, all wind conditions considered, and gives her plenty of momentum going into the World U20 Championships. The rising senior at Wakefield (NC) holds a wind-legal PR of 11.30, from the preliminary rounds at the U.S. U20 world qualifiers, but that historic race from finals could serve as a confidence boost going into the highly-competitive 100m world event that will feature top sprinters from Jamaica. Fellow Team USA member Mia Brahe-Pedersen will be right there with her like she was in that great 100m contest at USAs, so look for Jackson and Brahe-Pedersen to potentially chase for podium finishes, and maybe the 10.92 current national record.

Mia Brahe-Pedersen, , Women's 100m & 200m-- She may be a rising junior, but Brahe-Pedersen enters the championships looking to make U.S. high school history in the 100m. The Lake Oswego (OR) dipped under 23 seconds in the 200m at the U.S. championships in 22.98 (-0.6), which puts her at No. 21 all-time, and ran one of the fastest all-conditions 100m times of 11.09 (2.7) to finish right behind Jackson. The strong Jackson-Brahe-Pedersen duo could push each other to as they face stiff world competition from Team Jamaica in the 100m, and Brahe-Pedersen could chase after the 22.11 national record held by legendary Allyson Felix. 

Kody Blackwood, McKinney (TX), Men's 400mH -- Blackwood turned heads at the U.S. U20s with a nearly three second personal best in the 400mH to 50.62. That time ranks the McKinney North (TX) grad as the fastest 400m hurdler of the 2022 season and 23rd all-time. He'll have one more shot at potentially dipping under 50 seconds before transitioning to collegiate competition as an incoming freshman at the University of Texas.

Tyrone Gorze, Central Point (OR), Men's 5,000m -- The distance talent had his breakout moment at the U.S. U20 Championships a month prior, surprising people with a 14:08.08 to win 5,000m and a new personal best of 8:21.03 for second in the 3,000m. He'll stick to just the 5,000m when he takes to the track in Colombia, opting not to compete at the shorter 3,000m distance. With his senior cross country season running for Crater (OR) on the cusp, the World U20s experience could serve as a catalyst for a national-caliber campaign this fall from Gorze.

Tarik Robinson-O'Hagan, Woonsocket (RI), Men's Shot Put & Hammer -- Robinson-O'Hagan has won 10 straight contested hammer throw events spanning the 2022 outdoor season, and the World U20 Championships could serve as another chance for the consistently dominant thrower to grab a win. The Woonsocket (RI) graduate won both the hammer and shot put at U.S. U20s with marks of 246-4 and 64-4.5, beating fields full of collegians. Before he heads off to the University of Mississippi in the fall, Robinson-O'Hagan will look to end his senior season on a high note in Colombia, potentially going after an 11th-straight hammer win and a similar performance in the shot put.

Amanda Moll and Hana Moll, Seattle (WA), Women's Pole Vault -- Amanda set the national high school record at 14-9.5 in March, and the world stage could make for the right conditions to set the bar higher and improve upon that American all-time mark. She'll be joined by twin sister Hana in the pole vault competition as the two look to represent the U.S. and the Moll name well against world-caliber competition. Both cleared 14-3.25 to finish 1-2 at the U.S. U20 qualifier, and they both eclipse 14-feet in competition consistently, so both Moll sisters could look to win a world medal and reset that 14-9.5 high school record.

Top Event To Watch

World U20 Championships Event Schedule

Women's 800m

U.S. Contenders: Juliette Whittaker (MD), Roisin Willis (WI)

- - -

Whittaker made long-awaiting history this outdoor season when she ran 1:59.04 to break the 800m national high school record and win at the USATF U20 Championships. Now, it's just a matter of whether Whittaker will try and improve upon that record in her final race as a high schooler.

But don't expect Whittaker to enter the competition without a challenge. Willis has come so close to breaking the two-minute barrier this season on multiple occasions, and one would assume she will try and improve on her 2:00.03 personal best in her final high school race.

Perhaps Whittaker has one more record-breaking race left in her to cap off her junior career. Maybe Willis can join Whittaker in the sub-2:00 club and potentially challenge Whittaker's current record, too.

Amid the speculations and "what-ifs," one fact remains certain. Fittingly, the two high school stars, competitors and friends get to close out their legendary junior middle distance careers together on the biggest stage for junior track.

Play PickUp

MileSplit Picks

Powered by PickUp

Make Your Pick & Sign In :calling:


Enter your mobile number to create or sign into your PickUp account. Frequency varies.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Services

Pre-Meet Interview

Akala GarrettHarding University (NC)

Event: 400mH

- - -

Garrett enters the World U20 Championships with U.S. No. 1 times in both the 400mH and 300mH, and she'll look to improve on her nation-leading 400mH mark of 57.47 in Colombia. The rising Harding University (NC) senior discussed her goals for the meet, along with her motivations beyond U20s, on On The Line.

Pre-Meet Stat

- - -


Number of high school athletes (27 women, 12 men) representing the U.S. at the World U20 Championships.

Girls High School Competitors On Team USA At 2022 World U20 Championships

- - -


Zaya Akins

Raytown (MO)2023400m, 4x400m

India Alix

Klein (TX)2023Long Jump

Karrie Baloga

Cornwall (NY)2023
3,000m Steeplechase

Alyssa Banales

McKinney North (TX)2024Long Jump

Mia Brahe-Pedersen

Lake Oswego (OR)2024
100m, 200m, 4x100m

Kaylyn Brown

Mallard Creek (NC)2023400m, 4x400m

Bryanna Craig

Ruston (LA)2022Heptathlon

Heather Durrant

Elgin (Larkin) (IL)2023
10,000m Race Walk

Agur Dwol

Mullen (CO)2022Triple Jump

Akala Garrett

Harding University (NC)2023400mH

Emma Gates

Cascade (OR)2022High Jump

JaiCieonna Gero-Holt

Emerald Ridge (WA)2025Heptathlon

Talia Green

College Preparatory (NC) (CA)2024
10,000m Race Walk

Myla Greene

Bullis (MD)2023400mH

Angelica Harris

South Elgin (IL)2023
10,000m Race Walk

Shawnti Jackson

Wakefield (NC)2023100m, 4x100m

Jade Johnson

Summer Creek (TX)2022Triple Jump

Giavonna Meeks

Northfield (CO)2022Discus

Amanda Moll

Capital (WA)2023Pole Vault

Hana Moll

Capital (WA)2023Pole Vault

Suzan Ogunleye

Plugerville Henderickson (TX)2022Triple Jump

Kate Peters

Lake Oswego (OR)20233,000m

Juliette Whittaker

Mount De Sales (MD)2022800m

Madison Whyte

Heritage (Newport News) (VA)20234x400m

Addy Wiley

Huntington North (IN)20221,500m

Roisin Willis

Stevens Point (WI)2022800m

Autumn Wilson

St. Dominic Savio Catholic (TX)2022100m, 4x100m

Boys High School Competitors On Team USA At 2022 World U20 Championships

- - -


Kody Blackwood

McKinney North (TX)2022400mH

Aaron Davis

Summer Creek (TX)2022Long Jump

Julian Franjieh

Niskayuna (NY)2022
3,000m Steeplechase

Tyrone Gorze

Crater (OR)20235,000m

Malik Mixon

Northgate (GA)2022110mH

Cade Moran

Murrieta Mesa (SS) (CA)2022Shot Put

Hunter O'Brien

Roosevelt (SS) (CA)2022Pole Vault

Tarik Robinson-O'Hagan

Woonsocket (RI)2022
Hammer Throw, Shot Put

Justin Rogers

Hershey (PA)2022Pole Vault

Will Sumner

Woodstock (GA)20224x400m

Daniel Watcke

Hinsdale (Central) (IL)2023800m

Grant Williams

Celina (TX)2022400mH

Related Links:

On The Line: We're T-Minus AAU This Week, Plus U20s And More

On The Line: Akala Garrett Has Her Sights Set On Worlds U20s

On The Line: World U20s, AAU Junior Olympics And Akala Garrett