A look at the 15 S.J. athletes [that we know of] who’ve qualified for USATF Under-20 Championships!!!!!

We haven’t even gotten to sectionals yet, and my unofficial count is already 15 South Jersey athletes who’ve qualified for USATF Under-20 Championships this summer in Eugene.

The Under-20 Championships – formerly known as USATF Junior Nationals – is scheduled for June 23-25 at Hayward Field in Eugene concurrently with USATF Senior Nationals.

The qualifying standards are listed here, and the qualifying window opened back on June 9 last year and continues through June 12, so marks made at states count but not marks made at the Meet of Champions or nationals.

But last year’s states were June 11 and 12, and Meet of Champions was June 19, so any marks from those meets on through the summer and indoors are eligible for qualification.

I could be missing some athletes because birthdays for most college freshmen aren’t available. The ones who are available and are under 20 are generally listed on the IAAF web site in the Under-20 U.S. rankings (which you can find here). I’m guessing there are several college freshman from South Jersey whose eligibility will become evident after their birthdays are submitted to USATF.

Of the 15 athletes listed below, Bryce Tucker, Ryan Allen, Floyd Whitaker, Greg Foster and Bryanna Craig are all officially entered and accepted.

The entry lists should be here, although in the last 24 hours it looks like they’ve inexplicably disappeared.

To be eligible for the Under-20 Championships, athletes must be 19 or younger during all of 2022.

The top two placers in each event are invited to represent the U.S. at the World Under-20 Championships 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, Aug.  1-6.

Ryan Allen, Kingsway
10,000-Meter Walk
Allen’s 51:39.97 in the 10,000 at the World Under-20 Team Championships Trials at Cuyamaca College El Cajon in February easily surpassed the standard of 55:15.

George Andrus, Haddonfield
3,000-meter run
Andrus, a sophomore, qualified for the 3,000 with his indoor Meet of Champions time of 9:08.89 at the Bubble this past March. The standard is 9:11.00.

Yashaya Brown, Washington Twp.
110-Meter Hurdles
The Washington Township sophomore huge PR of 14.08 with a legal wind of 1.6 at the Olympic Conference Championships gave Brown a qualifier. Although the race is run using the international 42-inch hurdles, you can qualify over the 39-inch high school hurdles with a 14.20 [or over the 42s with a 14.35].

Seth Clevenger, Haddonfield
1,500-meter run, 3000-meter run
Clevenger, a senior, has qualified in both the 1,500 and 3,000, thanks to his 1,600 and 3,200 times – 4:09.34 at the Haddonfield Invitational and 9:03.65 at the Camden County Championships. The A standards are 4:10.64 and 9:11.00.

Nicole Clifford, Cherokee
1,500-Meter Run
Clifford’s 4:50.50 full mile at Track Night NYC at Randall’s Island is well under the standard of 4:54.15.

Briana Craig, formerly Millville
Heptathlon, High Jump
Craig, who’s now a senior at Ruston (La.) High, placed 4th at the 2019 Under-20 Championships in the heptathlon with 5,094 points, a national freshman record. She won the pentathlon at Ocean Breeze nationals this past winter but hasn’t contested a heptathlon since Outdoor Nationals last July, when she placed 2nd with a 5,138 PR. She also won Outdoor Nationals in 2019. The standard is 4,950. Craig’s 5-10 in a meet in West Monroe, La., last month also puts her over the high jump standard of 5-9.

Greg Foster, Lawrenceville School [Lumberton]
Long Jump, Triple Jump
Foster is well beyond the standards in both the long jump and triple jump with his PRs of 49-9 ¼ and 25-4 ½, both from Ocean Breeze Nationals indoors in March. The standards are 23-11 ½ and 47-3.

Austin Hudak, Hammonton
The Hammonton senior has improved his PR from 151-2 to 193-10 in the past year and is a few feet beyond the qualifying standard of 191 feet.

Diamond McLaughlin, Egg Harbor Twp. / St. Peter’s
400-Meter Hurdles
McLaughlin qualified with her 1:00.40 at last year’s Meet of Champions, where she placed second. She also met the qualifying standard of 1:01.00 this spring as a St. Peter’s freshman, when she ran exactly 1:01.00 at the ECAC/IC4A Championships in Williamsburg, Va.

Lauren Princz, Egg Harbor / Penn State
100-Meter Dash, 200-Meter Dash
Princz knocked out qualifiers in both sprints at last year’s Meet of Champions, soon after the 2022 window opened. She ran 11.66 and 24.22, eclipsing the women’s sprint standards of 11.90 and 24.40.

Kyle Rakitis, Kingsway
1,500-Meter Run
Rakitis knocked out a qualifier last spring when he ran a 4:10.09 full mile at Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field. The standard is 4:12.14 – and he’s also run faster than that this spring with his 4:11.14 at Track Night NYC.

Amirah Sharpe, Clayton
400-Meter Dash
With her 1:01.07 at South Jersey Elite at Delsea, Sharpe is only 7-100ths off the 400-meter intermediates qualifier, but her 54.19 at a meet in Greensboro, N.C., last month is well under the 400 standard of 55.20.

Ariana Sharpe, Clayton
400-Meter Dash
Sharpe’s 53.95 at Fast Times at Cherokee is more than a second under the 400 standard of 55.20.

Bryce Tucker, Pennsauken
400-Meter Hurdles
Although Tucker has run below the 53.54 standard this year – at Fast Times at Cherokee – his 52.17 from last year’s Meet of Champions gives him a better seed. The Pennsauken junior is currently No. 8 among U.S. Under 20 (and No. 72 in the world).

Floyd Whitaker, Highland / Minnesota

Triple Jump
Whitaker, the National Scholastic champ last spring, hit a PR of 51-5 ½ indoors this past winter in his first college meet for Minnesota, well beyond the qualifying standard of 47-3.



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