Field Events Preview
Right now there are only two US high schoolers over 6 feet, but this meet will feature four who have a legitimate shot to supercede that hallowed mark. Erika Voyzey (Tyrone Area PA) has been the closest, having cleared 5' 11" this spring for US #3; Lily Lowe (Calloway County KY) is a mere 0.5" behind at US #4. Imani Carmouche (Mount Zion GA) and Kenya Livingston (Rocky River NC) have been over 5' 10", tying them for US #6 this season. You have to include another Pennsylvanian, Moira O'Malley (Souderton Area PA), among the list of contenders with her mark of 5' 9.25".
Carson Dingler (First Presbyterian Day GA) has been open about her 14-foot aspirations, and after clearing 13' 8.5" US #4 in tough conditions at the Taco Bell Classic she seemed well on her way. Since then, however, her best is 13' 5.5" (although she has won every competition she has entered). Has she been training hard and therefore depressed her performances? Has she been dinged up (no pun intended)? If she is healthy, this would be an ideal situation for another push toward her ultimate goal, and after winning at NBNI she has proven she can perform on the biggest stage. If she struggles, though, a trio of 13' 4" jumpers are waiting to pounce: Becky Arbiv (The Weber School GA), Anna Watson (Olentangy Orange OH), and Landon Kemp (Greenville MI). If comfort with the equipment plays a role in the competition, don't be surprised if North Carolina 13-footers Tessa Sheets (Northwood NC) and Chesney Ward (Ragsdale NC) compete well - both have extensive experience vaulting at NC A&T.
This event is loaded at the top AND very deep, which should make both the trials and the finals very exciting to follow. Current wind-legal national leader Rhesa Foster (Clovis North CA) will be the slight favorite over US #3 Maya Evans (Vista Peak CO). Two more top 10 jumpers are entered, as well: Carsyn Spurgeon (Vinita OK, US #5) and Jasmine Moore (Mansfield TX, US #7), with that top 4 separated by a total of 3.75 inches counting season bests! When you factor in NWI marks (where wind wasn't recorded), you add three more jumpers as potential contenders: Madeleine Akobundu (Duval MD), Kaylor Harris (Mequite Horn TX), and Taylor Deloach (St. Vincent's Academy GA). In that kind of competitive environment, a few upper-19's jumpers could be spurred to break the 20-foot barrier for the first time, and that means we could see a final composed entirely of plus-20's.
The top seed is Jasmine Moore (Mansfield TX), who sits in 2nd in the national rankings right now at 42' 1.75". Fellow Lone Star State athlete Alex Madlock (Bangs TX, US #5) has been beyond 41 feet this spring, something none but those two can claim among entered athletes. That only applies to this season's marks, though; Chinne Okoronkwo (Mountlake Terrace WA) finished 2nd at this meet last year, and she has an NWI 42' 7.25" mark on her resume this spring. Amiya Anoma (Randallstown MD) heads the group of several athletes that have been over 40 feet but not 41, and it's a good bet that one or more will change that limitation this weekend.
National leader Alyssa Wilson (Donovan Catholic NJ) is already the second-best performer in US high school history at 55' 3.5", and she is just a junior! She will be heavily favored here, even with US #3 Nickolette Dunbar (Whippany Park NJ) and US #4 Kathleen Young (Warrensburg-Latham IL) entered - both are over 51 feet this season, which is remarkable but still several feet behind Wilson. Not far back from that stellar top 3, we find a cluster of 48- and 49-foot throwers seeking to challenge the 50-foot barrier. That includes US #7 Maddie Rabing (Lakeridge OR) and US #8 Khayla Dawson (Olympic NC). With 9 of the top 21 throwers in the country present, this should be one of the best events to watch all weekend.
Wilson is also very strong in this event, ranking 2nd nationally coming into the meet, but the competition is proportionally closer here. Her 175' 1" season best is only 15 inches better than US #3 Kiana Phelps (Kingsley-Pierson IA), who is also entered, and Josie Schaefer (Baraboo WI, US #4) has also been beyond 170 feet. The uphill field at A&T can be something of an equalizer, though, and therefore you can't county out Makayla Kelby (Lee's Summit West MO, US #9) or Lauren Jones (Garfield OH, US #10).
This is an event where the national rankings can be deceiving, as most states don't allow it to be contested during the school season. Consequently, many athletes don't get to throw the javelin in competition until the summer. Defending champ and US leader Sophia Rivera is not entered, and that opens the door for a handful of athletes with legitimate title chances. Madison Wiltrout (Connellsville PA) is US #2 right now at 164' 1", with Meghan Owens (Mercer County KY) not far behind at 155' US #7. Katelyn Gochenour (Marian NE) finished 4th here last year, but she has not competed at all this spring, according to our database.
Another event with limited opportunities for high school competition, which could be why the event draws such a high percentage of the top throwers in the nation to this meet. 12 of the top 13 in the country right now, to be exact, including the top three in the US rankings. Kamryn Brinson (Throw1deep GA, US #1) and Courtney Jacobsen (Toll Gate RI, US #2) are in a different league, having exceeded 185 feet this spring, and if they both throw well it should be a 2-girl battle. This can be a very unpredictable event, however, so keep your eye on the large contingent of 170-footers in the field. Shoshana Trotman (Centerville OH) leads that group of 6 at 177' 4", and any of them could make the podium. If you haven't seen the hammer throw before, you owe yourself the favor of watching it this weekend. If you have, you still need to watch - this is shaping up as one of the most competitive fields ever assembled for this event.