Here’s a look at all the South Jersey athletes scheduled to compete at the USATF Under-20 Championships, which start Thursday morning in Eugene, Ore.
The U.S. Under-20 Championships – formerly USATF Junior Nationals – serves as the qualifier for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships. The top two finishers in each event will be invited to join the U.S. team that will compete Aug. 1-6 in Cali, Columbia.
The athletes listed below are the South Jersey athletes listed as “declared” on the USATF web site. So far still no sign of heat sheets. For a meet that starts tomorrow morning!!!
Click on the name for each athlete’s IAAF bio (where available).
Nicole Clifford, 1,500-Meter Run
12:53 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:52 p.m., Saturday – Final
Clifford, who graduated from Cherokee this month, will finish one of the greatest middle-distance seasons in South Jersey history in Eugene. Clifford has a mile PR of 4:50.50 from Trials of Miles at Icahn Stadium in New York last month and ranks 29th among U.S. women in the under-20 division. Clifford, who also ran 2:11.12 and 10:45.24 this spring, has run one serious 1,500 and it was also at Hayward Field. In April, she ran 4:37.67 at the Oregon Relays. That’s No. 5 in South Jersey history behind Washington Township’s Michelle Rowen [4:19.34 in 1983], Marielle Hall [4:25.05 in 2010] and Briana Gess [4:27.67 in 2015] of Haddonfield and Shawnee’s Liz Moore [4:35.05 in 1994].
Yashaya Brown, 110-Meter Hurdles
Brown, who completed his sophomore year at Washington Township this month, ran his season-best 14.08 at Pennsauken last month in the Olympic Conference Championships. That’s fastest by a South Jersey sophomore since Sultan Tucker of Delsea ran 13.91 when he won his first Meet of Champions title in 1995 and fastest in the state since Cory Poole of East Orange ran 14.03 in 2015. This will be Brown’s first official race over the 42-inch hurdles.
2:09 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:50 p.m., Friday – Final
Bryce Tucker, 400-Meter Hurdles
The versatile Tucker, now finishing his junior year at Pennsauken, has an intermediates PR of 52.17 and won his 2nd straight Meet of Champions title last weekend at Franklin with a 53.57. A day later he ran 53.01 for 4th at New Balance Nationals. Not sure why that mark isn’t listed on the IAAF site, but Tucker should be No. 13 among U.S. juniors under 20. Tucker also has PRs of 14.22 in the high hurdles, 48.23 for 400 meters and 1:55.00 for the 800.
3:27 p.m., Friday – First Round
4:43 p.m., Saturday – Final
Ryan Allen, 10,000-Meter Race Walk
8:40 a.m., Friday – Final
Allen, a June Kingsway graduate, has a PR of 10,000 track PR of 51:39.97 from Cuyamaca College El Cajon in February. He was also in Eugene last weekend for the Nike Outdoor Nationals and won his 5th scholastic title, winning the 3,000-meter event in 13:45.62.
Greg Foster Jr., Long Jump, Triple Jump
1:15 p.m., Friday – Long Jump Final
3:25 p.m., Saturday – Triple Jump Final
Foster, a Lumberton native, ranks 3rd on the 2022 U.S. scholastic list with his 25-6 ½ long jump and 4th with his state-record 51-0 ½ triple jump, both at New Balance Nationals over the weekend at Franklin Field. Foster is the greatest horizontal jumper in New Jersey history – remember, Carl Lewis rarely triple jumped at Willingboro, only in a couple relay meets, and never surpassed 42 feet. Foster is No. 1 all-time in the triple jump and No. 2 in the long jump. The Princeton-bound Lawrenceville Prep grad will try to improve on those marks this weekend in Eugene. (Note – Just learned Greg won’t be competing in Eugene. He’s shutting down for the year. What a season! Congrats to Greg for all his accomplishments and can’t wait to see what’s next at Princeton!)
Floyd Whitaker, Triple Jump
3:25 p.m., Saturday – Triple Jump Final
Whitaker, a freshman at Minnesota, PR’d at 51-5 ½ in January in a meet in Minneapolis and went on to place 5th at the Big Ten Championships with an outdoor legal-wind PR of 50-2. A year ago, Whitaker won the national high school title on the same track in Eugene as a Highland senior.
Bryanna Craig, Heptathlon
10 a.m., Thursday
10:45 a.m., Friday
She doesn’t live in South Jersey anymore, but Craig is a Millville native and spent the first two years of her remarkable high school career competing for Millville. With her dad, legendary high jumper Raffael Craig, now coaching at Louisiana Tech, Craig graduated this month from Ruston High in Louisiana (and will be a freshman in the fall at Louisiana Tech). Craig is a two-time high school national champion. She won outdoor nationals in 2019 with a national freshman-record 4,958 points (which she later improved to 5,094 at USATF Under 20s), placed 2nd at 2021 outdoor nationals as a junior at Lubbock (Texas), then won indoor nationals in the pentathlon with the 6th-highest score in U.S. history. Craig has PRs of 14.08 in the hurdles, 5-8 in the high jump, 19-0 ¼ in the long jump, 32-1 ½ in the shot put, 117-1 in the javelin and 2:21.44 in the 800. She set her lifetime best of 5,138 points at the same Hayward Field track last year in Eugene. Craig scored 5,038 points earlier this month in a heptathlon in Dallas, No. 1 in the U.S. among high school girls.
Here’s a look at all the South Jersey champions in meet history. The meet was first held in 1972.
The USATF, which may be the worst-run organization on Earth, has literally not updated the list of winners in eight years. Here’s the most recent list, which is impossible to find on the USATF site but with some creative Googling I found it. The USATF site is literally the worst web site I have ever seen. It’s a travesty and it’s a shame because they’re not doing the sport any favors. Good luck finding prior results, all-time lists, all-time winners – all stuff that could be updated in a day if they cared the least bit.
Curtis Thompson, Florence [Javelin], 237-4
Braheme Days, Jr., Bridgeton [Shot Put], 65-54 ½
Curtis Thompson, Florence [Javelin], 216-0
Reuben McCoy, Winslow Twp., Auburn [400-Meter Hurdles], 50.69
Dwight Ruff, Camden, Willingboro T.C. [400-Meter Hurdles], 50.37
Robert Jordan, Millville [High Jump], 7-4 ¼
Gerard Reynolds, Willingboro [Long Jump], 24-10
Dennis Mitchell, Edgewood [100-Meter Dash], 10.36
Carl Lewis, Willingboro, Houston [100-Meter Dash], 10.21
Carl Lewis, Willingboro, Houston [200-Meter Dash], 20.66
Randy Mimm, Willingboro [10,000-Meter Race Walk], 51:45.1
Denise Liles, Kingsway [100-Meter Dash], 11.81
Michelle Rowen, Washington Twp. [1,500-Meter Run], 4:20.05
Michele Glover, Willingboro [100-Meter Dash], 11.42
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [100-Meter Hurdles], 13.89
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-11 ¾
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [100-Meter Hurdles], 14.20
Michele Glover, Willingboro/Pennsauken [100-Meter Dash], 11.64
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-7 ¼
Carol Lewis, Willingboro [Long Jump], 20-5 ¼