Weather had a definite effect on meets last Friday. A much anticipated duel between the top two girl pole vaulters in the state, Emily Brigham (Mill Valley) and Cassie Wait (Gardner-Edgerton) never got off the ground. That event of the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazer Invite was cancelled Friday due to high winds and the meet itself was called after the 4x100 relays.
Several meets around the state were postponed, some delayed, and a few were cancelled after completing only a portion of the meet schedule due to severe weather, lightning, wind, and threat of tornadoes. If your meet was postponed or cancelled, or you were only able to complete part of the events, we still want to see the complete results of the events that were contested. At this point of the season it is tough to find a date to reschedule a meet, but if you are going to reschedule your meet, we would like to know that too.
USA Junior National Championships
The world’s elite athletes are pointing to August 3-11 this summer and the Games of the XXXth Olympiad to be held in London, Great Britain. But for a group of younger athletes, not yet quite at the elite level to either qualify for the USA Olympic Trials or make a national team, there is still another fantastic opportunity for international competition.
From July 10-15, the IAAF, which is the international governing body for athletics (track and field), will host the 13th World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain. This competition is open to athletes who will not turn 20 years of age during the calendar year of 2012, who have met the IAAF qualifying standard in their respective event, and have placed among the top three finishers at the USA National Junior Championships which will be held June 15-17 in Bloomington, Indiana.
I had the privilege of serving as press officer for three USA Junior Teams to the IAAF World Juniors; 1986 - 1st IAAF World Juniors in Athens, Greece; 1994 - 5th IAAF World Juniors in Lisbon, Portugal; 1996 - 6th IAAF World Juniors in Sydney, Australia. What an experience this is for the young athletes that make these teams as well as for the staff members! For most of the athletes it is their first opportunity to compete against athletes from other countries, to compete overseas in a foreign environment, and for some, it marks their first time ever to fly to a meet or leave the United States. What has been an on-going pleasure for me since those trips has been to follow the careers of many of the young athletes that made those teams as they have gone on to become collegiate and elite national champions as well as Olympians.
Meeting (1) the age requirement and (2) the event qualifying standard are the first steps in getting to compete in the USA Junior Championships. With the eligibility rules of the KSHSAA, most students competing for KSHSAA recognized high schools will have met the age requirement. Athletes must be fourteen (14) years of age or older on the day of competition and cannot become twenty (20) years of age at any time during the current year of the competition (i.e., 2012).
Next comes meeting the event standards, first for the USA Junior Trials, and then secondly for the World Juniors if the athlete can place among the top three finishers at the USA Junior Trials. A complete listing of the event qualifying standards for the USA Junior Championships can be found at http://usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2012/USA-Junior-Outdoor-Track---Field-Championships/Athlete-Info/Qualifying-Standards.aspx You will note there is a difference in qualifying for the USA Junior meet and the USA Olympic Trials. While athletes may qualify for the USA Junior meet by meeting a qualifying mark in an alternative event (i.e., using a 1600m time to qualify for the 1500m), that is not the case in qualifying for the Olympic Trials which we wrote about in a blog earlier this season.
Several Kansas preps have already met the USA Junior Championships qualifying standard for their respective event this season. Listed below are some of the events to be contested, the [USA Junior Meet standard], and finally Kansas preps who have met an event standard and their 2012 best to date.
1,500m [4:56.14, 1600m] Alli Cash (SM West) 4:50.71 (1600m)
3,000m [10:45.14, 3200m] Alli Cash (SM West) 10:32.01 (3200m)
High Jump [5-08] Grace Pickell (SM East) 5-08
Pole Vault [12-11.5] Emily Brigham (Mill Valley) 13-00
Javelin [134-06] Elizabeth Herrs (Rock Creek) 151-10
Nicolle Murphy (Arkansas City) 146-00
Danie Plank (Gardner-Edgerton) 145-08
Maddie Osmundson (Blue Valley-Stilwell) 142-09
Meagan Williams (Valley Center) 139-07
Ashlee Bilhimer (Gardner-Edgerton) 138-02
Heptathlon  Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Lawrence Free State) 4760 (last summer
during the 6/22/11 to 6/10/12 qualifying period)
Long Jump [23-06.75] Jerrell Morrow (Emporia) 24-04.25
Shot Put [60-00] Blake Hocking (Lawrence) 62-02
Javelin [191-00] Tyson Holmes (Shawnee Heights) 210-01
Garrett Griffin (Louisburg) 207-11
Two other Kansas preps have met the time standards but there were no wind readings available for their races, and in order for times in the sprints (100/200/400) and high hurdles (100/110) to be acceptable as qualifying marks, the times must come in races with legal wind readings (2.0 meters/second or less). If the following can duplicate their season bests in meets where the measured wind is acceptable, they too would qualify for the USA Junior Trials.
200m [21.44 FAT, legal wind] Dayshawn Berndt (Free State) 21.42 nwi
110m HH [14.60 FAT, legal wind] Adam Deterding (Hays) 14.59 nwi [14.85 legal wind]
I would not be surprised to see other Kansas preps meet the USA Junior Championship standards before the 2012 season and qualification period is over.
Closing in on a Junior Championships qualifying mark are: Event [Standard] 2012 best
Jacob Morgan (Washburn Rural) 5000m [3200m 9:14.00] 9:18.75
Cameron Spencer (Blue Valley North) High Jump [6-10 ¼] 6-09½
Alli Cash (SM West) 800m [2:12.14] 2:13.99
Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Lawrence Free State) 100m Hurdles [14.34] 14.45w
Cassie Wait (Gardner-Edgerton) Pole Vault [12-11 ½] 12-08
I hope fully automatic timing and wind gauges are available and used in the remainder of their season. And secondly, I hope that any Kansas prep that does meet the Junior standards takes advantage of the opportunity to compete in the national Junior meet. Having the opportunity to compete against many of the nation’s best under-20 athletes in a meet which could lead to earning the right to represent and wear the uniform of the United States of America in international competition is something they will never regret or forget.