Kaylyn Brown (Gastonia, NC)
Kaylyn Brown brought home the Junior High National Title in the girls 400m Dash with a new PR of 54.01! Brown came into the event as one of the top seeds with a 54.68 season best and lowered it by .67 seconds en route to a national title! Brown took it out hard, but conservative through the first 200m, then on the curve she looked to turn it up to another gear and would not turn back! She came onto the homestretch in the lead and no one was able to reel her in.
Brown's mark is good for a NC No. 2 and US No. 2 this outdoor season only trailing Shawnti Jackson, who competed in the 100m dash. Her mark is the 11th fastest in North Carolina history combining middle school and high school all-time lists! She's the third fastest all-time middle schooler in state history.
Michael Downing (Rolesville, NC)
Michael Downing was the only boy to clear 6 feet in the Junior High girls High Jump with a winning jump of 6-0.5. Downing entered the competition at 5-4.5 and was losing the competition to Drew Dillard through 5-10.5 as Dillard had no misses. Downing had missed a 5-6.5 and 5-10.5. Dillard would bow out at 6-0.5 as Downing would win clearing 6-0.5 on his second attempt. Downing's mark is good for NC No.1 and US No. 4 this outdoor season.
We had two middle school boys break 50 seconds for the first time placing 2nd and 3rd at New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the Junior High races! Mekhi Gammons (Miami, Florida) lead coming off the turn and was neck and neck with Leacock who was trying to get by him with Dawes right there as well. Gammons would take the win in 49.37 with Leacock edging Dawes for second in 49.71 to 49.83. Their marks are good for NC No. 1, US No. 2 and NC No. 2, US No. 3 respectively. Jailen Hicks would take 8th in 52.67, but his blocks slipped almost causing him to fall at the start line.
Shawnti Jackson (Raleigh, NC)
Shawnti Jackson continued her success so far this outdoor season with a win in the Junior High girls 100m Dash. Jackson would be the fastest qualifier in the prelims with a 11.96 and would run 11.96 (-2.2) again in the finals to claim the win over Micayah Hollard (VA) and Ziyah Etchison (Lights Out TC, Winston Salem, NC) who would run 12.31 and 12.37 for 2nd and 3rd.
Michael Gupton (Rolesville, NC)
Michael Gupton caps off a stellar freshman track season with a tight win in the Freshman 100m Dash. Gupton would clock 10.80 (-2.5) to finish as the second fastest qualifier in the prelims. Terrell Robinson (Mount Tabor) and Xavier Smith (Jordan) would also advance to the 8 man final. Gupton and Jaylen Slade (GA) would battle in the finals and Gupton would edge him at the line by .02 seconds running a new seasons best in 10.52 to Slade's 10.54.
Akala Garrett (Charlotte, NC)
Akala Garrett ran to a new seasons best of 14.20 (+0.2) to claim the New Balance Junior High National Title in the 100m Hurdles. Garrett would advance as the second fastest qualifier out of the prelims with a time of 14.83 as three other girls broke the 15 second mark. In the finals Garrett would run away from the competition to clock a 14.20 over Ronniah Wright's (GA) who ran 14.43. Amani Currie (Run U Xpress) would clock a season best of 14.79 for 4th overall.
Zack Gilbertson (Southern Pines, NC)
West Pines Middle School 8th grader Zack Gilberston had a major breakthrough in the 2 Mile clocking 9:46.97 to take 2nd in the Junior High race. Gilbertson lead at the bell, but was out-kicked down the homestretch by Elliott Mcarthur (MN) who holds 4:23, 9:35 credentials. Gilbertson held a 3200m PR heading into the national meet of 10:36.04 from the NCRunners Middle School Elite Invitational which he won. He's 2 Mile time converts to 9:43.57, which is the fastest we've seen from a North Carolina Middle Schooler. His goal coming in was to break 10:00. Tomorrow he'll compete again in the 1 Mile in a rematch with Mcarthur.
Ija Mumford (Winston-Salem, NC)
Parkland freshman had a great day in the girls Long Jump and Triple Jump. She jumped a new NC#1 to win the the Freshman girls Long Jump in a new PR of 19-7 and 37-9½ to take 3rd overall in the triple jump!