Photo by Don Rich
Some of the top Pennsylvania athletes will compete this week in Sacramento, California at the USATF Junior Championships. Athletes can qualify for the Pan American Junior Championships set for July 21-23 in Lima, Peru.
Some of PA's finest will compete in juniors this week. So who are the high schoolers headed out west for the meet? Below, we run through the athletes listed as "declared" on the entries list on USATF.org:
6kg Shot Put (Juniors) & 16 lbs. Shot Put (Seniors)
|The senior is entered junior boys shot put 12:45 PM on Friday and then will come back to throw in the senior men shot put at 11:55 AM on Sunday. He'll throw the 6kg shot with the juniors and then step up to the 16-pound shot against the pros, which includes such PA legends as Olympians Joe Kovacs, Ryan Whiting, and Darrell Hill. Geist is the U-18 world record holder with the 16-pounder (68-4).|
(Girard College HS)
|Fresh off breaking a 34-year-old state record with an incredible 11.43 at NBNO, the sophomore is seeded sixth in the 100 meter dash, which is led by national record holder Candace Hill. Davies won the PIAA Class AA state titles in both the 100 and 200 meters this past spring before taking third at NBNO.|
|The UNC-bound Wiltrout is the top seed in the junior girls' javelin. This year, she has thrown a best of 173-10 at a dual meet, won her fourth straight PIAA Class AAA title, and won the NBNO title in the javelin. The event is scheduled for 5:10 PM on Saturday.|
|The PIAA Class AAA in the 800 meters returns to the half mile after contesting the mile at NBNO, where he took fourth overall. Hoey, who ran an 800 best of 1:50.13 at Ship, said his training was designed to run faster after the state meet, so he'll be looking to break the 1:50 mark and possibly more.|
800 Meters and 1,500 Meters
|The junior is entered in a pair of events this week. First will be the 1st round of the 1,500 meters on Thursday followed by the 1st round of the 800 meters on Friday. She has a PR of 4:25.04 in the metric mile from last summer and a season best of 2:08.23 in the 800 meters from the PA Distance Festival a few weeks ago.|
110-Meter Hurdles & 400-Meter Hurdles
|After a meet record at NBNO in the decathlon last week, Owens will go back to the events he won state titles in. First will come the 1st round of the 39" 110-meter hurdles at 12:15 PM on Friday, followed by the 1st round of the 36" 400-meter hurdles at 2:55 PM on Friday.|
|This spring, the junior jumped a PR 20-8.5, the best "NWI" in Pennsylvania state history. She followed that up with her third straight PIAA Class AA title in the long jump and her first title in the triple jump. She is seeded 14th headed into the event, scheduled for 11:45 AM on Friday.|
|Garland has been well-traveled during his junior season. He went to Havana, Cuba in May where he won the decathlon at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational with 6,959 points. He's back in the multis for Sacramento and will likely have his sights set on fellow Pennsylvanian Ayden Owens national-leading score of 7,009 points.|
6kg Shot Put & Discus
|The Auburn-bound Blaire swept PIAA Class AA state titles in both the shot put and discus at the state championships in May. Now the senior will contest both this week. Blaire has best of 66-10.5 in the shot put (US#8) and 198-9 in the discus (US#21).|
|The PIAA Class AAA champion in the triple jump is entered in that very event this weekend. Ferguson, a junior from Milton Hershey, jumped a best of 48-7 to win the PIAA District 3 Championships this past spring and then won the state crown with a leap of 47-5.5 a week later. The TJ is set for 3:50 PM on Saturday.|
A number of recently-graduated Pennsylvania high school alums are also entered in a variety events at USATF Juniors. Current University of Pennsylvania runners Maddie Villalba (Central Bucks West '16) and Mikayla Schneider (Academy of Notre Dame '16) are entered in the 800 meters. University of Pittsburgh's Nick Wolk (Peters Township '16) is in the 5,000 meters and so is Bucknell University's Lauren Gronbeck (Eden Christian '16). University of Miami's Erika Voyzey (Tyrone Area '16) is entered in the high jump and Mansfield University's Hunter Watkins (Elk Lake '16) is declared for the javelin. Emily Stauffer (Cocalico '16) of the University of Missouri is entered in the shot put, and Notre Dame's Summer Thorpe (Sewickley Academy '16) is declared for the 100-meter hurdles.
Did we miss anyone? Email Dan Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a correction. The USATF Junior Championships begin Thursday, June 22 and run through Saturday, June 24.