Drake Stadium was full of AAU members during the Multi-Events and Track and Field competition that was a part of the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games. Athletes from 47 different states, along with some from other countries made the trip to Des Moines, Iowa to compete at the home of the Drake Relays. 9,248 Track and Field and 522 Multi-Event athletes were in attendance for the weeklong event, with Texas being the most represented with 1,602 athletes. Missouri came in a distance second with 917, followed by Illinois with 575.
At the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games, 32 total records were broken, 16 each in boys’ and girls’ events. The first record broken was the 12 year old girls’ 1500 Meter Racewalk by Camila Vicens from Houston, Texas. She won the same event last year in Detroit in record time as well.
The girls’ dominated on the third day of competition, breaking three records, one each in Shot Put (Octavia Glee), Javelin (Keagin Brooks) and High Jump (Vashti Cunningham). During the fourth day, a total of four records were broken, with the boys’ finally contributing. Both of the boys’ records were in the 1500 Meter Run, with Devin Jones taking the 8U record and Brandon Miller grabbing the 12 year old record. For the girls, Carlysia Cresser (8 and Under) and Kayla Davis (11 Year Old) took home the records for the 400 Meter Run in their division. In the High Jump, MyKhiyah Williams (13 Year Old) and Essence Kendall (9 Year Old) took home the gold and the record in their respective age divisions.
The fifth day brought more intense competition and more records. In the 800 Meters, Brandon Miller claimed his second record of the competition in the 12 year old division. Jaellene Burgess broke the girls’ record in the 9 year old division and Terrell Jackson now owns the record in the 15-16 year old division. Also on the track, Caleb Roberson broke the 200 Meter 13 year old boys’ record. In the 11 year old Javelin competition, Sarah Marvin put her name on the record board, while Carson Dingler grabbed the girls’ Pole Vault record for the 15-16 year old division.
The most records were broken on the sixth day of the Multi-Events and Track & Field competition. The girls grabbed two in field events and one in track, while the boys’ dominated the track. Both girls were in the 9 year old division, with Rhian Lawrence claiming the Javelin record and Avery Lewis grabbing the Long Jump. On the track, Gabrielle Wilkinson took home the record for the 15-16 year old girls in the 1500 Meter Run. For the boys’ 1500 Meter Run, Lucas Upton (13 year olds) and Moises Medrano (14 year olds) included their name in the record books for their age groups. Willie Washington claimed the record for the 11 year old boys’ 200 Meter, while Litchfield Ajavon grabbed the 13 year old boys’ 100 Meter Hurdles record. In the Turbo Javelin contest, Mason Brock walked away with the record and the gold in the 11 year old boys’ division.
On the second to last day, both the boys and girls divisions in the 8 and under age group both had new record holders for Javelin at the end of the day! Brett Shadrick was the new name for the boys, and Sydney Lucas broke her record from last year, reclaiming the record for another year. Mikayla Deshazer broke the first record for the Discus in the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games in the 13 year old division.
The last day was all about the boys in the breaking record department. On the track, Willie Washington claimed his second record during the AAU Junior Olympic Games, this time in the 11 Year Old Boys 200 Meter. Justin Long also took home a track record in the 200 Meter, but in the 14 year old age division. Also on the track, Texas Four from Manor, Texas grabbed the 4x100 Meter Relay record with a time of 43.42! In field events, Dylan Carter (13 Year Old Boys Shot Put) and Emmanuel Lopez (10 Year Old Boys Turbo Javelin) took home shiny new medals and brand new records!
Randall Cunningham, former NFL quarterback, had two children participating in the AAU Junior Olympic Games. His daughter, Vashti Cunningham, broke a 32 year old High Jump record set by Sherri Bruant in 1982. Her brother, Randall Cunninham II also had a successful meet; winning the 17-18 Boys’ High Jump with a height of 7’0. The pair are the first brother/sister combination to win the same event!
Brandon Miller became a household name at Drake Stadium in the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games. He broke two records in this year’s competition, one of which he has held for the past three years! Tyler Mapson Jr. is another athlete that is familiar with being at the top of the podium. He won the 11 Year Old Boys 400 Meter for the fourth straight year with a time of 57.28. His tune was just .06 of a second short of the record. He currently holds the record in the 400 Meters for the 8 & under, 9 year old and 10 year old division.
Thirty athletes were double winners, meaning they won two events while at the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games, and seven out of the thirty were new records. Even more impressively, eight athletes at the 2014 AAU Junior Olympics Games walked away with THREE gold medals and half of those were new records!
As always, this event could not have been so successful without the hardworking volunteers and officials. There were 179 Track Officials working at the meet and countless volunteers. Over the eight days of competition, there were 1,956 total heats and flights. On the fourth day alone, there were 527 heats and flights with just under 5,000 total entries. There were 197 100 Meter heats in just 122 (two hours and 2 minute), which means that each heat was run in about 36 seconds! Thank you to everyone that was involved for a quick and efficient meet!
Seven of AAU Junior Olympic Games officials, including Meet Director Charles Oliver were impressive 400 Meter athletes themselves. Lamont Smith and Darnell Hall were both Olympic Gold Medalists in the 4x400 Meter Relay! Smith’s time in the 1006 Olympic Trials is the 11th fastest run EVER at the Trials and in 1995, Hall won the 400 Meter World Indoor title. At the AAU Junior Olympic Games, both Smith and Hall were Security Liaisons and could be found signing autographs and meeting fans. Starters Raymond Pierre and John Patterson are two more athletes with impressive resumes. Pierre was the 1987 Pan American Games 400 Meter Champion and was a member of the 1987 Pan American 4x400 Meter Relay championships team. Patterson is a four time NCAA All-American for the University of Texas and still ranks 6th on the 400 Meter All-Time list in Texas. Grunt Krewe member Matt Shelton is currently a NCAA and Olympic Trials Decathlon 400 Meter record holder and was the 1992 NCAA Runner-Up in the Decathlon. Hy-Tek Marchan Atkins may not have a personal track record but he has a coaching resume that backs up his track and field success. Atkins coached at Illinois Wesleyan University, where his women’s team won three NCAA Division III Championships during his tenure. He coached 137 NCAA All-American performances and was recognized by the US Track Coaches Association as the 2008 Midwest Regional and National Assistant Coach of the Year! Last but certainly not least, Charles Oliver, also known as Coach O and the Meet Director of the AAU Junior Olympic Games, has his own track and field success. Coach O was the 1976 NAIA National Champion in the 400 Meters and still holds the Troy University school record for that event. He was also a 1976 and 1980 Olympic Trails finalist in the 400 Meters.
The Joel Ferrell Outstanding Performance Award winners for the Multi-Event portion of the AAU Junior Olympic Games were Tyra Gittens (15-16 Girls Hepathlon) and Isiah Williams (13 Year Old Boys Pentathlon). Amin Ali Patterson (17-18 Year Old Boys Shot Put and Discus) took home the Joel Ferrell Award for the boys in the Field events and Rhesa Foster (15-16 Year Old Girls Long Jump) was his female counterpart. From the Running events, Brandon Miller (winner and record holder of the 12 year old 800 Meters and 1500 Meters) and Gabrielle Wilkinson (15-16 Year Old Girls 800 Meters, 1500 Meters and 4x800 Relay).
Congratulations to everyone that participated or was involved in this event! It wouldn’t be as successful as it is without you and we thank you for everything! The AAU hopes to see everyone next year in Virginia!