The Waza track squad had its best ever medal haul at the AAU Junior Olympics National Championship meet.


EDITORS NOTE: Nice showing from the Waza's this year at AAU as they brought home six medals.


The Waza Track Club completed its outdoor track season at the AAU Junior Olympics National Championship Track meet with the strongest finish in the club’s short history.

A record 19 Waza TC athletes competed at the Games this year. The club produced three AAU All-Americans (previous club record was one) and a total of six medals (previous club record was two), which are awarded to the top eight finishers in each age group and event. Most athletes set at least one personal record at the Junior Olympics meet and/or improved their meet rank based on qualifying marks, which is quite an accomplishment at the national stage.

The AAU Junior Olympics were held from July 27 through Aug. 3 at Eastern Michigan University. Athletes representing 49 state were at Ypsilanti that week. The Junior Olympics is an AAU-sanctioned event modeled after the Olympic Games. Track and field events generally comply with Olympic distances and events. Athletes from under 8 to 18 years old can compete. Some modifications are made to events to accommodate younger athletes. Athletes must first qualify at the district and regional levels in order to enter the competition.

Local athletes to compete on the team include:

Melanie McDowell (12, Novi) – turbo javelin, 25th place, 40-11; 1 500-meter run, 37th place, 5:43.33.

Elizabeth Pall (12, Novi) – turbo javelin, 26th place, 40-10.

Kyle Samluk (12, New Hudson) – 3,000-meter run , 17th place, 11:26.48; 1,500-meter run, 59th place, 5:36.83 59th; turbo javelin, 10th place, 76-2.

Josh Holcomb (15-16, Novi) – javelin, 33rd place, 78-1.

John Hamilton (15-16, Northville) – triple jump, 53rd place, 35-2.5; high jump, 27th place, 5-6.

Marisa Sailus (15-16, Commerce Township) – 3,000-meter run, 13th place, 11:40.23; 1,500-meter run, 38th place, 5:39.28.