AAU Junior Olympic Games Preview: Sprints & Hurdles

* Mekhi Gammons is one of the top sprinters in the country and will compete at the AAU Junior Olympic Games

Photo Credit: Flrunners



We are just a few days away from the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, North Carolina and the sprint events are among the most anticipated of the entire competition. 

Over the course of 10 days, there could be a number of AAU records going down across the boys and girls events.

Which athletes and events will showcase the fastest athletes and become the most memorable races in AAU history?

We preview which athletes and matchups you should most watch out for as the event kicks off Saturday at North Carolina A&T Stadium. 

* On The July 19th episode of On The Line, Cory, Ashley and Olivia discuss their picks in the boys sprints at the AAU Junior Olympic Games

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Five Athletes To Watch

Updated Performance Lists

Brianna Selby, Indian River (VA): Selby caught our eye during the indoor season when she won a series of sprints at the Virginia Indoor State Championships and then was second at adidas Indoor Nationals in the 60m. This outdoor season, she clocked a wind-aided 11.29w at the SE District 4 meet in May. She continued her success at the national level by finishing second at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the 200m. At the AAU Junior Olympics, she will focus on the 100m in the 15-16 age group. 

Makeriah Harris, Scotlandville (LA): The young talent became the double-hurdle champion last year in the 100mH and 400mH. Since 2020, she's added five gold medals to her collection and two silver. Will she win the double again?

Nyckoles Harbor II, Archbishop Carroll (DC): The rising senior and five-star football recruit will look to cap off the year with some big performances. Harbor racked up sprint titles at the WCAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships before placing third in the 200m at New Balance Nationals Outdoor. Will we see Harbor break 21 seconds in the 200m and 10.60 in the 100m at the AAU Junior Olympic Championships? 

Christopher Quick, Southern Sprinters Elite TC (MD): The 13-year-old has one of the fastest times in the nation for his age group in the 400m with a 51.99; that's a four-second improvement from last year. He also comes in with the sixth-fastest seed time in the 200m with a 23.51 for his age group. 

Mekhi Gammons, Hialeah-Miami Lakes (FL): The Florida native will look to leave his mark at this year's AAU Junior Olympic Games. Last year, he was an All-American in the 200m with a sixth-place finish and then took gold in the 400m with a 46.76. This upcoming week, he will be in the hunt to defend his title and improve on his finish from last year.

Top Event To Watch

* Aniyah Brown won her heat of the 200m at the AAU Club Championships

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The lineup in the girls 15-16 200m is absolutely loaded.

One of the potential favorites is Aniyah Brown of Cardinal Ritter (MO) High School. The rising junior was the MSHSAA Class 5A state champion in the 100m and 200m this season. In July, she competed at the AAU Club Championships, fine-tuning for the championships this weekend.

In the final, she clocked a new personal best of 23.37 seconds to take the victory and break Briana Williams' record of 23.56. 

In that same final, she faced Somerset Academy Central Miramar's (FL) Skyler Franklin, who won the 200m national elite title at the adidas Outdoor Nationals. Franklin finished a half step behind Brown with a 23.69 to set a new best.

There's potentially another sprinter who can challenge both girls for the title.

Freshman Danielle Dunning will also be in the mix. Dunning was the adidas Outdoor National champion in the freshman 200m with a 24.39. She set a new lifetime best at the AAU Region 6 Championships with a 23.98. 

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An AAU Throwback

Erriyon Knighton, Hillsborough (FL)

Year: 2020

Performance: First in the 17-18 Boys 100m and 200m 

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He might be one of the youngest sprinters on the professional circuit, but Knighton proved that he is one of the top short sprinters in the world this July, making a special kind of history.

The 18-year-old and recent Tampa Hillsborough (FL) graduate earned bronze at the World Outdoor Championships with a time of 19.80 seconds, finishing just behind Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek. 

Knighton began his track and field journey just three years ago in AAU.

In 2020, he won both the 100m and 200m and put down some eye-catching performances of 10.29 and 20.33 in the 15-16 age group. 


8-under Girls -- Juliah Bolden, 13.86, 2017 8-under Boys -- Willie Washington, 13.46, 2011 9yo Girls -- Aleia Hobbs, 13.23, 2005 9yo Boys -- Tyler Mapson Jr., 12.97, 2012 10yo Girls -- Sabree Brooks, 12.76, 2017 10yo Boys -- Willie Washington, 12.45, 2013 11yo Girls -- Aaliyah Brown, 12.45, 2006 11yo Boys -- Walter Williams, 12.04, 2004 12yo Girls -- Tamari Davis, 11.92, 2015 12yo Boys -- Tavares ZDuckett II, 11.67, 2018 13yo Girls -- McKenzie Rogers, 11.82, 2021 13 yo Boys -- Brayden Robinson, 11.09, 2021 14yo Girls -- Tamari Davis, 11.48, 2017 14yo Boys -- Jason Hodge, and Marcellus Moore, 10.81, 1995 and 2016 15-16yo Women -- Myasia Jacobs, 11.51, 2010 15-16yo Men -- Ryan Berard, 10.27, 1996 17-18yo Women --Kaila Jackson, 11.51, 2021 17-18yo Men -- Xavier Alson, 10.11, 1996


8-under Girls -- Lilyanna Duvra 28.29, 2021 8-under Boys -- Sidi Njie, 27.80, 2015 9yo Girls -- Tamari Davis, 27.75, 2012 9yo Boys -- Tyler Mapson Jr., 26.46, 2012 10yo Girls -- Elise Cooper, 26.05, 2017 10yo Boys -- Omar Thomas, 25.25, 2021 11yo Girls -- Aaliyah Brown, 25.14, 2006 11yo Boys -- Willie Washington, 24.69, 2014 12yo Girls -- Aaliyah Brown, 24.64, 2007 12yo Boys -- Aaron Brown-Nixon, 23.65, 2010 13yo Girls -- Kendall Baisden, 24.03, 2008 13 yo Boys -- Durian Moss, 22.34, 2019 14yo Girls -- Tamari Davis, 23.26, 2017 14yo Boys -- Justin Long, 21.56, 2014 15-16yo Women -- Kendall Baisden, 23.42, 2010 15-16yo Men -- Erriyon Knighton, 20.33, 2020 17-18yo Women -- Kaila Jackson, 23.01, 2021 17-18yo Men -- J-Mee Samuels, 20.58, 2004


8-under Girls -- Kharisma Watkins, 1:05.04, 2018 8-under Boys -- Tyler Mapson, 1:03.44, 2011 9yo Girls -- Chizaram Stephens, 1:01.60, 2018 9yo Boys -- Jonathan Simms, 59.25, 2016 10yo Girls -- Tiana Welbon, 59.37, 2019 10yo Boys -- Omar Thomas, 55.74, 2021 11yo Girls -- Kayla Davis, 57.07, 2014 11yo Boys -- Prentice Jones Jr., 55.51, 2021 12yo Girls -- Brandi Cross, 55.11, 2000 12yo Boys -- Lewis Murphy, 52.55, 2021 13yo Girls -- Christin Facey, 54.00, 2019 13 yo Boys -- Lamarque Davis, 50.21, 2012 14yo Girls -- Kendall Baisden, 53.05, 2009 14yo Boys -- Obea Moore, 48.26, 1993 15-16yo Girls -- Kendall Baisden, 52.71, 2010 15-16yo Men -- Tyrese Cooper, 45.23, 2016 17-18yo Girls -- Christine Mallard, 52.66, 2021 17-18yo Men -- Aldrich Bailey, 45.45, 2012


11yo Girls -- Tia Jones, 12.49, 2011 11yo Boys -- Zacchaeus Brocks, 12.10, 2019 12yo Girls -- Tia Jones, 11.71, 2012 12yo Boys -- Greg Foster, 11.67, 2016


13yo Girls -- Kendell Williams, 14.42, 2008 13yo Boys -- Litchfield Ajavon, 13.39, 2014 14yo Girls -- Kendell Williams, 13.82, 2009 14yo Boys -- Jordan Bracy, 13.17, 2009 15-16yo Women -- April Williams, 13.55, 2004 15-16yo Boys -- 17-18yo Women -- April Williams, 13.38, 2006


15-16yo Men -- Jermaine Cooper, 13.74, 1997 17-18yo Men -- Thomas Wilcher, 13.2h, 19.82


13yo Girls -- Kayleigh Stargell, 26.84, 2019 13yo Boys -- Caleb Roberson, 24.62, 2014 14yo Girls -- Kendell Williams 26.10, 2009 14yo Boys -- Jeremiah Smith, 24.10, 2009


15-16yo Women -- Shamier Little, 57.83, 2011 15-16yo Men -- Robert Griffin III, 51.77, 2006 17-18yo Women -- Jacquelyn Coward, 57.74, 2007 17-18yo Men -- Robert Griffin III, 49.56, 2007

Four Big Matchups

Shakayla Lavender, Oscar Smith Middle School (VA) vs Makeriah Harris, Scotlandville (LA)

Event: 15-16 Girls 100mH

Seed Times: 13.80 and 13.99

Justin Braun, Western Central (OH) vs Amir Green, Fairfax (VA), vs Nayyir Newash-Campbell, (IN) vs Austin Gallant, Battlefield (VA)

Event: 17-18 Boys 400m

Seed Times: 47.01, 47.43, 47.47 and 47.59

Lauren Lewis, Prosper (TX) vs Tiriah Kelley, Plano East (TX), vs Jameesia Ford, Jack Britt (NC) vs Brooklyn Sandvig, Chippewa Falls (WI)

Event: 17-18 Girls 200m

Seed Times: 23.51, 23.85, and 23.90

Jaylen Cole, Male (KY) and Terrance O'Bannon, Eastern (KY)

Event: 17-18 Boys 100m

Seed Times: 10.36 vs 10.37

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On the latest episode of On The Line, Cory, Ashley and Olivia name their top athletes and matchups in the girls sprints at the AAU Junior Olympic Games this upcoming weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.