Carl Junction's Jayline Johnson crosses the finish line in the 10-year-old girls 100-meter dash during the AAU Region 16 Qualifying Meet on Saturday at Missouri Southern. Globe | Laurie Sisk


Blake Barth won the 3,000 meters and topped the list of national qualifiers from CJ Freedom Track Club in the Region 16 AAU Junior Olympic Games Qualifying Meet on Saturday at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

Barth, who will be a senior at Carl Junction High School this fall, had a time of 9 minutes, 49.13 seconds, six seconds ahead of David Ballew of Johnson County, Kansas in the event for men ages 17-18.

“I got involved to stay in running,” said Barth, who is competing at the AAU level this summer for the first time. “One thing I wanted to do with the 3,000 is start out a little slower. I think that really helped.”

Barth placed 25th and was named to the all-state team last fall at the Class 3 MSHSAA Cross Country Championships at Jefferson City. Cross country is a 5,000 meter run.

Barth will compete in the 1,500 meters today at the AAU national qualifier, which includes athletes from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. “Normally the 1,500 is a faster pace, so I like to stay up toward the top of the pack,” he said.

Barth’s victory came shortly after high school teammate JeLynn Tatum placed fourth in the 3,000 meters for girls ages 15-16. The top eight finishers in running events qualify for the national meet July 25-Aug. 1 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The humidity was making it hard to breathe, but I like this weather,” said Tatum, whose time was 11:32 under overcast skies with temperatures in the upper 70s. She will compete today in the 1,500 and 800. “I have those two to look forward to,” she said.

CJ Freedom’s list of national qualifiers began Friday when Kaelyn Sturgell was third in the heptathlon for women ages 17-18. In the triple jump, Weston Wendt was fourth for boys ages 15-16 and Isiah Durman was fourth in age 13.

In the long jump Saturday, Sydney Ward was first among girls 8-under and Alanza Montez was second in girls age 10. The top five in each field event qualify for the national meet.

In the high jump, Scott Lewis was second and Aaron Ludders was fourth in boys ages 15-16. Caitlin Witt was third in the shot put and discus in girls age 13.  

In the 3,000 meters, Hope Sponsel was fourth in girls age 11, Logan Carnes was fifth in boys age 11, Kaitlynn Franks was sixth and Ella Leach was eighth in girls age 12, Dylan Higgins was fourth and Kaiden Ratliff was eighth in boys age 12, and Emma Leach was eighth in girls age 13.

In the 100 hurdles, Maegen Derfelt was fourth and Lauren Vaughn was fifth in girls age 13, Cana Sluder was second and Alexia Miller was fifth in girls age 14, and Durman was eighth in boys age 13.

In the 80 hurdles, Kaidence Forrester was eighth in girls age 11.

In the 400, Miya Carnes was eighth in girls 8-under, Montez was fifth in girls age 10, Aiden Damman was seventh in boys age 10, Lance Ward was second in boys age 12, Shiloh Sluder was fifth in girls age 13, Braeden Bakos was seventh in boys age 13, and Taylor Ross was second in girls age 14.