SACRAMENTO, California — Thirteen National Champions were crowned on day one of the 2022 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships, highlighted by distance action in the race walk and steeplechase, as well as several impressive marks in the hammer throw.
Ava Torgersen (Oakland Cubs/USATF Pacific) kicked off the seven-day meet with a dominant victory in the girls 11-12 1500m race walk, completing the distance in 7:28.45 seconds – over 90 seconds ahead of her nearest competition. The boy’s 11-12 1500m race walk was also a highlight of the day, with Nathaniel Samson (VO2Max Track Club/USATF New York) holding off Maximus Chan (Umoja Track Club/USATF Pacific) to win the national title by the narrowest of margins, 8:38.38 to 8:39.20.
In one of the closest races of the afternoon, Cristian Barron (Texas Titans Track Club/USATF Southwestern) emerged victorious in a battle to the line for the boys 15-16 2000m steeplechase title, edging Mark Barajas (El Paso Wings Track Club/USATF Border) at the line. Barron ran 6:21.19 for the victory, beating Barajas’ mark of 6:21.27 by the narrowest of margins.
Michael Pinkney (Eclipse Track Club/USATF New York) unleashed a massive throw of 68.40m on his fourth attempt to win the boys 17-18 division hammer throw by almost nine meters. In the girls 15-16 hammer throw, Kimberly Beard (Get Strong First Track Club/USATF Pacific Northwest) threw 47.11m on her third attempt to lead a deep field, with six girls eclipsing the 40m mark.
Day One Winners
1500m Race Walk: Girls 9-10 Division
Addison Vanburen – Massey Miracle Run – 10:34.92
1500m Race Walk: Boys 9-10 Division
Zaire Martin – M.P. Striders Youth Track – 10:17.27
1500m Race Walk: Girls 11-12 Division
Ava Torgensen – Oakland Cubs – 7:28.45
1500m Race Walk: Boys 11-12 Division
Nathaniel Samson – VO2Max Track Club – 8:38.38
3000m Race Walk: Boys 13-14 Division
David Dorantes – Elgin Sharks Track – 17:42.62
2000m Steeplechase: Girls 15-16 Division
Emily Feffer – California Desert Storm – 18:58.08
2000m Steeplechase: Women’s 17-18 Division
Kassandra Jimenez – El Paso Wings Track Club – 7:22.24
2000m Steeplechase: Boys 15-16 Division
Cristian Barron – Texas Titans Track – 6:21.19
2000m Steeplechase: Men’s 17-18 Division
Dawson Welch – Arkansas Track Club – 6:15.69
Hammer Throw: Men’s 17-18 Division
Michael Pinkney – Eclipse – 68.40m
Hammer Throw: Girls 15-16 Division
Kimberly Beard – Get Strong First Track Club – 47.71m
Hammer Throw: Women’s 17-18 Division
Katelyn Peterson – Golden State Throwers – 50.65
A full list of results can be found here.
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