Striders, Champions lead qualifiers Jr. Olympic regional


DURHAM - The Durham Striders and Triangle Champions track clubs combined over the weekend to qualify 140 athletes for the July 5-8 USATF Regional 3 Junior Olympic Championships in Newport News, Va.

Region 3 includes Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The national championship meet will be held July 23-29 at Morgan State University in Maryland.

To qualify for the regionals, athletes must have finished in the top six in their age group events in the three-day state USATF Junior Olympic Championship qualifying meet at Durham County Memorial Stadium.

More than 3,000 Tar Heel junior athletes, ranging in age from 7 to 18, competed at County Stadium.

Athletes from the Durham-based teams’ combined for 40 first-place finishes, 31 second-place finishes and 36 third-place finishes.

Qualifying for the regionals were 88 Durham Striders and 57 Triangle Champions.

Coleman Mitchell of the Triangle Champions and Courtney Crawford of the Durham Striders each won three events to lead all area performers.

Here is a look at the top area team finishers, with new state record age-group times in parentheses.

Competing in the 11-12 age group, Mitchell won at 800, 1500 (4:38.44) and 3000 (10:06.37) meters. Crawford, competing in the 15-16 group, won at 100 and 200 meters and also took the long jump.

Bréanna Warren (DS, 17-18), Victoria Swepson (TC, 9-10) and Makayla McDonald (DS, 7-8) each won a pair of events, Warren the shot put and discus, Swepson the 800 and 1,500 and McDonald the 800 and 1,500.

Also, Jordan Purvis (DS, 9-10) set a record of 14 feet, 2.47 inches in the long jump. The Durham Striders Midget Girls (11-12) 4x400 relay team of Kelsia Moore, Ashlan Bowdry, Paige Hathaway and Jessica Wright set a state record with a winning time of 4:16.7.

Durham Striders coach Frank Davis, who also coaches the Southern High School team, said the Tar Heel contingent headed to the regionals will be powerful.

“We’ll be competitive, we always are,” Davis said of Team N.C. “North Carolina is one of the strongest track associations in the country.”

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Striders Champions lead qualifiers Jr Olympic regional