Quarshie Wins National Junior Olympic Title in Florida

The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships concluded on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida with 87 New York athletes competing in the championships during the seven day competition held on the campus of the University of North Florida.  The New York athletes competed in a total of 143 events in tough weather conditions that included a mixture of heat, wind and rain. 

Kaylah Quarshie (Port Jervis, N.Y. / Hall’s Express Youth Track II) won a gold and bronze medal with another 14 earning all-American status by finishing in the top eight in their event.

Leading Ladies
It was the young ladies that headlined the performances in Jacksonville.  Kaylah Quarshie was the sole New York athlete to win Jacksonville and one of only two athletes to earn all-American honors in two different events.  Her win came in the 1500m as she ran 4:38.25. Earlier in the week she finished third in the 800m.

Joining Quarshie as a double all-American was Julia Plawiak (Yonkers, N.Y.  / Tailwind TC) who finished sixth in the 1500m (5:28.59) and eighth in the 800m (2:36.87) in the 9-10 girls division. 

My'khiyah Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished third in the 13-14 girls high jump clearing 1.60m (5-3).  

Throwers Put Themselves on the Podium
Three shot putters and a javelin thrower all finished the top eight to garner all-American status and well deserved championship medal.

Egypt Parker (Bronx, N.Y. / Eclipse Track & Field,) and Joseph Morone ( New York / Chelsea Greyhounds) each finished fourth in the shot put. Parker (17-18 girls) threw a lifetime best of 13.94m (45-09) on her second throw to secure her podium finish.  She was just 1 inch shy of third place.  Morone, competing in the 11-12 division, heaved a toss of 12.67m (41-07).  At the Region 1 championships earlier in the month Morone established a new association record of 13.37m (43-10.5”).

Notre Dame Track Club teammates Jessica Manzueta (Yonkers, N.Y.) and Prizila Negrete (Yonkers, N.Y.), both in the 9-10 girls division, finished sixth and seventh in their events. Manzueta was sixth in the shot put while Negrete finished seventh in the javelin with a new association record of 23.80m (78-01) breaking the old record held by Manzueta.  In Jacksonville, Manzueta finished eleventh in the javelin.

Middle Distance Girl Power
In addition to the four combined visits to the podium by Quarshie and Plawiak, Derica Pitters (Bronx, N.Y. / Hall's Express Youth II), Juliette Salazar (Peekskill, N.Y. / New York Nova Starz), and Lily Cohen (New York / Chelsea Greyhounds)  also ran strong races to earn all-American status in the middle distance events.

Competing in the 1500m, Pitters finished sixth in the 17-18 division in a time of 4:57.46  and Salazar finished eighth in the 9-10 division running 5:33.09.

In the 13-14 girls 800m Cohen finished eighth in a time of 2:17.57 to break the association record of 2:18.82 she had set in the 1st round.  The record coming into the championships was 2:19.44 also held by Cohen.  Cohen also finished tenth in the 1500m in a time of 4:53.24.

Combined Events Get the Week Heated Up
Competing in the combined events during the first two days of the championships were Jaden Snow (Mamaroneck, N.Y. / Notre Dame TF) and Sophia Myers(Cambria Heights, N.Y. / Ruff Kutz).  

Snow finished fifth in the 3-event triathlon in the 9-10 division with 675 points.  He also finished 14th in the shot put and 22nd in the high jump

Myers, competing in the 15-17 division, compiled 4151 points in the 7-event Heptathlon to finish fifth.

Boys in a Row
Picking up fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishes, respectively, were Kedar AshfordAmon-Ra Watkins, and Bart Rust.

Ashford (Bronx, N.Y. / NewHorizon TC) soared 6.64m (21-09.50) to finish fourth in the 15-16 boys long jump.  He also finished 21st in the 100m running 11.33.

Watkins (Bronx, N.Y. / Eclipse TF)jumped 1.50m (4-11) to finish fifth in the 11-12 boys high jump.  In the long jump he was just .5 inch shy of earning a second trip to the awards podium as he finished ninth with a leap of of 4.94m (16-02.50).  He also placed 11th in the Pentathlon, and 28th in the 80m hurdles.  

Rust (Cornwall, N.Y. / New York Novas TC) finished sixth in the 15-16 boys 2000m steeplechase running 6:50.21.  He also finished 21st in the 3000m.

Complete results of all New York performance can be found here.  

Next year's national championships will be held in Sacramento, Calf.

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