The final day of competition at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics Region III championship ended with one Walton County athlete — of TK’s Electro Track Club — qualify for the national championships in the midget age division. The finals will be held at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan. at the end of July.
Jabari Perry competed in the long jump, 100 meters and 200 meters, tying for second in the the long jump, placing third in the 100 and fourth in the 200.
Perry has had a long season, starting with the Walton County Recreation program in which he was the State GRPA championship in the 100 meters and was runner-up in the long jump and 200 meters.
Two weeks ago he was crowned the Georgia USATF champion in the long jump and runner-up in the 100 meters and 200 meters, which qualified him for the region meet.
“Jabari is a very mature young man. Being disappointed that he did not win the titles has motivated him each time to work harder in practice,” said his coach, Tim Kemp. “The great thing about the Junior Olympic performances is the fact that Jabari’s times were Fully Automatic Times.”
USA TF Region III consist of teams form South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and the Potomac Valley.
Bettye Dekle just missed qualifying for the USATF JO Nationals by one place and 5 1/4 inches in the midget division with a shot put throw of 25-feet 9.50-inches.
“Bettye has improved tremendously this season as she only managed to throw the shot put 20-10 1/2 last year,” Kemp said. “We are very proud of what she has accomplished this season as she has enjoyed much success with the Walton County Recreation track program.”
Khadiyja Kemp-Masters, a member of Monroe Area High School track team, competed Saturday in the discus and also just missed qualifying for the nationals, finishing sixth.
Topping the day was MAHS standout national elite sprinter Javianne Oliver. Oliver was eighth in the finals Sunday in the 200 meters, but on Saturday in the preliminaries she ran a personal best time of 26.56 seconds.
“Her work ethic is unreal,” said Kemp. “She is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever coached and takes a tremendous amount of pride in what she does.”