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Junior Olympic athletes perform well in the golden state 

2016 JOTF Logo

8/2/16 – SACRAMENTO, Calif.  –  Thirty-six (36) TRA youth athletes made the 2,500+ mile journey across the country to Sacramento, California to participate in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships from July 25-31st. The 2016 competition was held at Sacramento State University’s Hornet Stadium. 7,540 total athletes competed in this final event of the Junior Olympic progressional series which began with over 50 Association (local) qualifying meets with advancement to 16 Regional Championships.

15-16 year old boy Ayden Owens claimed 2 national championship crowns in the decathlon with 6201 total points and 400m hurdles in 53.13. Owens added these wins to his 300m hurdles PIAA Championship title from the spring. Owens competes for Nadia Track Club.

Other top 8 performances included Wings of Moon, 8 & under girl, Taylor Neese who earned bronze medals in both the shot put (6.64m) and long jump (3.55m). She also placed 4th in the javelin (16.99m). Neese’s teammate, Grace Howard, placed 6th in the 11-12 girls high jump (1.50m).

A few more medal performances came in the combined events with 17-18 young men, Noah Swaby, of the Future Stars placing 2nd in the decathlon with 6371 points. Isaiah Melvin of the Valley Speedsters took home a bronze medal in the 13-14 boys pentathlon with 2917 total points.

Participating teams and athletes:

Team # of athletes
Valley Speedsters 11
Greensburg YMCA 8
Wings of Moon 5
Mountain Top 4
AK Track & Field 2
Nadia 2
Penn Hills Eagles 2
Future Stars 1
Next Level Athletics 1

Congratulations to all those athletes who participated in the National Championships and Junior Olympic series.

Complete competition results can be found here.