AAU JO Games Day 1: Dinkins Perseveres, Racewalk & More

* An athlete just misses a high jump clearance on Saturday at AAU 

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

* Recap written by Cory Mull

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Action kicked off on Saturday at Drake Stadium as the first day of the AAU Junior Olympic Games was ushered on. 

The start of the weekend saw the beginning of multi-events take place and a total of 12 finals, including an array of youth race walk events. Over 11,000 track and field athletes ranging from 8 years old to 18 will compete across eight days at the Junior Olympic Games. 

New champions were crowned on Saturday alongside returners and key performers. A contingent of athletes from Puerto Rico also begun their quest, with 69 members of the team from San Juan planning to compete over the eight-day haul. 

Below, we compiled some of the best work from Day 1. 

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Stanley Dinkins remembers the date like it was tattooed on his hand. 

December 26, 2022. 

Just over seven months ago, the 13-year-old experienced a health crisis that most his age rarely do. He was having a stroke. 

Shock followed. His family, Stanley, they were all confused. How? It had arrived at the most peculiar of times, during a training in Detroit, Michigan.

But Dinkins did not fret. 

    "We just had to persevere through the stroke to wait for it to end," he said. "And then for two months, two and a half or three months, I had physical therapy." 

    On Saturday, Dinkins got his reward. He won an AAU Junior Olympic Games title in the pentathlon, scoring a total of 2,617 points. 

    His top event was the 100 meter hurdles, where he clocked a time of 15.92 seconds.

    Of his win, Dinkins was encouraged by the future. He said he's going to continue working toward success in the multis. 

      "It makes me feel as an athlete I am," he said. "It makes me feel like I can."


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      The number of finals on Saturday during the first day of action at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines, Iowa. 


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      Khloe Washington (Wichita Falls, TX)

      The 13-year-old won the pentathlon by over 200 points, accumulating 3,218 points through the 100mH, long jump, shot put, high jump and 800m on Saturday. Her 100mH performance of 15.37 seconds was the fastest of any competitor and nabbed her 793 points.


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      In this epic conclusion to the 10yo girls 1,500m racewalk on Saturday, Elgin's Amelie Guzman and Yarely Robled, teammates, battled it out over the last 100 meters. 


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      "You got to walk. You've got to walk your legs out."

      Jayden Sumbry, Eagle Elite Athletics (GA)

      Sumbry, a 12-year-old athlete from Georgia, claimed a national title on Saturday in the 1,500m racewalk, claiming a time of 9:21.33. His performance placed him a full six seconds ahead of second-place Maximus Turner, who finished in 9:27.28.


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      A heptathlete is helped up by an official after her effort in the 15-16yo 800 meter on Saturday at the AAU Junior Olympic Games

      Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

      * A girls athlete in the 800m competes on Saturday 

      Photo Credit: Bobby Reyes