Local track athletes going to nationals


During the AAU Area 9A National Qualifier track meet held last weekend in Jacksonville, three Gainesville athletes were honored for winning national championships during the 2012 AAU Junior Olympics. They are: Tamari Davis, second from left, Willie McKnight III and Keondria Waters. With them are Angela Harris, left, director of the meet, and Larry Holsey, assistant director of the meet. (Special to the Guardian)

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.

The Gainesville area will once again be well represented at the 2013 AAU Junior Olympics National Track and Field Championships as a result of outstanding performances by youth athletes from the area at a national championship qualifying meet.

More than 60 athletes from the Gainesville Striders, Peak Performance Track Club of Gainesville and Pure Athletics Track Club of Gainesville qualified for the national championships by placing no lower than fifth or fourth in running and field events, respectively.

The qualifying meet was held last weekend at Bishop Snyder High School in Jacksonville. The national championship meet will be held July 26-Aug. 3 at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Larry Holsey, president of the Striders, said the Gainesville athletes performed impressively at the national qualifying meet in Jacksonville.

“I am real proud of all of the Gainesville teams as a whole, and I think all of the kids did well,” said Holsey, assistant director of the meet.

Below is a list of the athletes who qualified for nationals, including their name, age and event (an asterisk denotes state champion):

Peak Performance

— Deylynd Grant, 11, boys *80-meter hurdles and long jump.

— Gary Calhoun, 12, boys 1500 run.

— Samira Bivens, 13, girls 200 hurdles.

— Ayanna Rollins, 13, girls 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes.

— Cahteira Pickron-Johnson, 13, girls shot put.

— Juliette Smith, 17, girls 100 hurdles, long jump and *high jump.

— Quennon Ewing, 17, boys 110 and *400 hurdles and *high jump.

— Kenny Floyd, 18, boys 110 and 400 hurdles.

Pure Athletics

— Dajunae Medley, 9, girls *javelin and *shot put.

— Tamari Davis, 10, girls *100, *200 and 400.

— Michael Carter, Omareyon Davis, Ryan Nolan and Xzavion Scott, all 10, boys 4x100-meter relay.

— Omareyon, Trevon Hines, Maurice Johnson and Ryan, all 10, 4x400.

— Iiyas Balakisliyev 12, boys 800 and 1,500.

— Jonathan Washington, 12, boys 800.

— Jalasia Tillman, 13, girls *100 and *200.

— Jayda Teasley, 13, girls 100.

— Nadiria Evans, 14, girls *800 and *1,500.

— Shaleyia Lee, 14, girls 400 and 800.

— Diasia Medley, 14, girls 800.

— Adhana Pennant, 14, girls 200.

— Janay Shuler, 14, girls 800 and *triple jump.

— Keondria Waters, 14, girls 100 and 200 and long jump.

— Briana Washington, 14, girls *long jump.

— Diasia, Adhana, Jalasia and Keondria, all 14, girls *4x100 “A” team.

— Janay, Jayda, Briana and Searra Woods, all 14, girls 4x100 “B” team.

— Nadiria, Diasia, Adhanna and Searra Woods, all 14, girls *4x400.

— Nadiria, Shaleyia, Janay and Searra, all 14, girls *4x800.

— Tariq Evans, 15-16, boys 400 hurdles.

— Jeremy Lawson, 15-16, boys *long jump and *triple jump.

— Tariq, Charles Jones, Jeremy and Desmond Littles, 15-16, boys 4x100.

— Lamarcus Booker, Tariq, Charles and Desmond, 15-16, boys *4x400.

— Rashard Brown, 17-18, boys 800.

— Dontarian Evans, 17-18, boys 200 and 400.

— Antonio James, 17-18, boys *100 and 200.

— Craig Joiner, 17-18, boys 200 and 400.

— Dontarian, Antonio, Craig and Kenric Young, 17-18, boys *4x100.

— Rashard, Dontarian, Craig and Kenric, 17-18, boys *4x400.

Striders

— Maggie Fogler, Ni’Aira McCaskill, Rhamani Sheppard-Rentz and Jataysia Sheppard, 8/under, girls 4x100.

— Phillip Matchev, 8/under, boys 1,500 and javelin.

— Kehlil McGinnis, Calvin Thomas, Kelby Waldon and Ta’Joun Waldon, 8/under, boys 4x100.

— Caden Montini, 8/under, boys *800 and *1,500.

— Twaneise Johnson, 9, girls 200 and 400.

— Reva Godbolt, 10, girls 400.

— Reva, Taylor Miles-Hill, Shaniya Wilson and Kaiya Woods, 10, girls *4x100.

— Reva, Twaneise, Taylor and Shaniya, all 10, girls *4x400.

— Anton Matchev, 10, boys 800 and *1,500.

— Keelan Morrissette, 10, boys long jump.

— Jonah Johnson, Anton, Keelan and Isaiah Morrissette, all 10, boys 4x400.

— Austin Montini, 11, boys 1,500 and *3,000.

— Maleah Andrews, 12, girls 100, 200 and long jump.

— Tuyen Baker, 12, boys discus.

— Mac Fogler, 12, boys 80 hurdles and high jump.

— Zoe Johnson, 13, girls 800.

— Willie Reid, 13, boys *200 and *400.

— Deaundre Walker, 14, triple jump.

— Devin Berry, Darien Douglas, Willie and Deaundre, 14/under, boys 4x100.

— Divonta Littles, 14, boys *javelin.

— Lawarren Meadows, 14, boys javelin.

Danny Grant Jr., president of Peak Performance, said he is proud of the way his athletes competed because most of them are in their first year being involved with track and field.

“I am very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish in our first year of existence,” Grant said. “I am proud of all of our kids.”

Gary Evans, president of Pure Athletics, which is sponsored by professional track and field athletes who compete on the international Adidas team, said he is also always proud to see his athletes, and all athletes from the area, do well.

Although he was in Jamaica last weekend for the Jamaican National Championship Meet with professional athletes he train, Evans said he kept close tabs on what was going on in Jacksonville.

“Some of my pros in Jamaica at the meet there asked about how the kids were doing in Jacksonville, and I told them they were doing fine,” Evans said.

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