5 Virginia track prepsters to take part in USATF Junior Nationals in Iowa

Photo by Mary Ann Magnant

In an upward trend which hopefully continues for future years, a total of 5 Virginia high school track & field athletes are headed to Des Moines, Iowa this weekend to compete at the USATF Junior Nationals with spots on the line to make the US Junior team for the Pan Am Junior Games later this summer in Columbia. The list of Virginia high school entrants include South County's Felecia Majors (400m, long jump), Chantilly's Sean McGorty (1500m), Forest Park's Ricky Morgan (400m), Battlefield's Ellison Grove (800m), and Liberty Christian Academy's Micah Brickhill (800m).

Coming off a state record breaking and national champion performance of 8:45 in the two mile at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals this past Saturday, Chantilly's Sean McGorty will now try to continue his magical senior year by making the US team in the Pan Am Games at 1500 meters. McGorty's personal best in the mile from his Penn Relays record breaking run of 4:04.47 converts down to 3:46.43 for the metric mile at 1500 meters, which puts him ranked 3rd in the meet this week in Des Moines behind only NC State's Craig Engels (3:45.51) and future Stanford University teammate Justin Brinkley (3:46.13). McGorty will be certainly in contention for the win and automatic spot on the US Junior national team. 

Felecia Majors skipped the New Balance Nationals this past weekend in Greensboro as well deserved two weekend break from competition after helping lead the South County girls to outdoor state title as she did indoors competing in 7 events individually. She will be competing in the lone event which she was able to win an outdoor state title in this spring in the 400 meter dash as her personal best of 53.65 from the state meet. The time ranks her #6 in nation and seeds her 5th coming into this meet as the entrants ahead of her are collegiates at the USATF Junior Nationals. She also will be competing during the same time frame as her 400 meter dash preliminary heat on Friday in the women's long jump, which the Penn Relays champion in the event has a much better chance to make the Pan Am Games junior team in this event compared to the 400 as her personal best mark of 20'3" gives her a 6 inch buffer on the next best entrant.

The USATF Junior National Championships are often reserved for primarily college freshmen and high school seniors at the top end of the age range eligible to compete at the junior level internationally, but don't tell Forest Park junior Ricky Morgan that. Morgan is looking to continue his great streak of races at the end of his outdoor season in the 400 meter dash. The US #10 performer in the event after a stellar All-American finish this past Sunday in Greensboro at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals with a 46.67, Morgan is setting himself up well for an even bigger senior year of high school. The experience and exposure from competing as a junior in this meet (seeded 6th with his previous PR before NB Nationals at 47.04) will be a great advantage for next year if he choses to return to the meet. The 2031 Group AAA state outdoor 400 meter runner-up (to 3-time national 400 champ Michael Cherry) Morgan also ran a leg last weekend at outdoor nationals on the Forest Park boys' state record breaking 4x100 meter relay, which finished as national runners-up by a hundredth of a second at 40.55. 

In the junior women's 800 meter trials, two Virginians will be making the long trip out to Drake University. Two state champion half milers in Group AAA winner Ellison Grove of Battlefield and Private School winner Micah Brickhill of Liberty Christian Academy. The Battlefield junior Grove is coached and trained by another former USATF Junior National champion in Alisa Harvey, who continues to work with her after coaching her last spring as a coach at Battlefield. Micah Brickhill has graduated from Liberty Christian Academy this spring and will now be moving onto collegiate running at UVA in the fall, so why not prepare and get a feel for the next level of competition by competing against some of NCAA's top freshmen at the 800 meter distance from this past spring? Grove is the state leader from this outdoor season with her 2:11.38 victory at the Southern Track Classic, while Micah Brickhill is ranked fourth in the state from her meet record 2:12.38 at the MileStat.com Elite Gala. Both will be looking to improve upon their personal bests this week in Des Moines facing faster and tougher competition with many collegiates as they will need to in order to advance out of the semi-finals into the finals as the 19th (Grove) and 23rd (Brickhill) fastest entrants.

MileStat.com would like to thank these 5 athletes for deciding on competing at the USATF Junior Nationals and encourage our state's returning elite (and their coaches) for 2014 track season to consider this national championship in their post-season plans. An opportunity to represent Team USA is not to be overlooked.

In case you wanted to know what it takes to qualify for the USATF Junior Nationals for future reference, here is this year's meet qualifying standards...

2013 Women Junior Qualifying Standards

Event Standard
100m 11.70*
200m 24.00*
400m 55.24*
800m 2:12.14 (2:12.0)
1,500m 4:36.14 (4:36.0)
     Mile 4:56.14 (4:56.0)
     1600m  4:54.14 (4:54.0)
3,000m 10:13.14 (10:13.0)
     3,200m  10:43.14 (10:43.0)
5,000m 17:42.14 (17:42.0)
     See guideline #6   
100m Hurdles (33") 14.24*
     100m Hurdles (30") 13.94*
400m Hurdles (30") 62.00*
     300m Hurdles (30") 43.00*
3,000m Steeplechase 11:10.14 (11:10.0)
     2,000m Steeplechase  7:25.14 (7:25.0)
10,000m Race Walk 59:45.00 (59:45.0)
     5,000m Race Walk  28:30.00 (28:30.0)
     3,000m Race Walk 16:30.00 (16:30.0)
High Jump 1.75
Pole Vault 3.95
Long Jump 5.94
Triple Jump 12.32 (40-5)
Shot Put (4kg) 14.10
Discus Throw 47.00
Hammer Throw 50.75
Javelin Throw 41.30
Heptathlon 4650
     Pent: 3750


2013 Men Junior Qualifying Standards


Event Standard
100m 10.64*
200m 21.44*
400m 47.84*
800m 1:52.54 (1:52.4)
1,500m 3:57.64 (3:57.5)
     Mile 4:14.74 (4:14.6**)
     1600m  4:13.24 (4:13.1**)
5,000m 15:04.50 (15:04.5)
     3,200m  9:14.00 (9:14.0**)
     3,000m 8:39.00 (8:39.0**)
10,000m 32:45.00 (32:45.0)
     3,200m 9:14.00 (9:14.0**)
     3,000m 8:39.00 (8:39.0**)
110m Hurdles (39") 13.94*
     110m Hurdles (42") 14.60*
400m Hurdles (36") 53.94* 
     400m Hurdles (30") 53.70*
     300m Hurdles (36”) 37.60* 
     300m Hurdles (30”) 37.10* 
3,000m Steeplechase 9:38.00 (9:38.0)
     2,000m Steeplechase  6:25.00 (6:25.0)
     3,200m  9:14.00 (9:14.0)
     3,000m  8:39.00 (8:39.0)
10,000m Race Walk 55:15.00 (55:15.0)
     5,000m Race Walk  26:00.00 (26:00.0)
     3,000m Race Walk 15:00.00 (15:00.0)
High Jump 2.09 (6-10 1/4)
Pole Vault 5.00 (16-5)
Long Jump 7.18 (23-6 3/4)
Triple Jump 14.65 (48-3/4)
Shot Put (6kg) 17.74 (58-2 1/2)
      Shot Put (16#) 16.28 (53.5)
      Shot Put (12# H.S.)   18.29 (60-0)
Discus Throw (1.75kg) 53.35 (175-0)
       Discus (2kg) 50.50 (165-8)
       Discus (1.6kg H.S.) 57.30 (188-0)
Hammer Throw (6kg) 55.00 (180-5 1/2)
        Hammer (16#) 51.88 (170-3)
        Hammer (12#) 58.00 (190-4)
Javelin Throw (800g) 58.22 (191-0)
Decathlon (Int'l Implements) 6200 
         Decathlon high school 6250
         Decathlon open/college 6000



Meet Schedule

Day One -- Wednesday, June 19th
time event gndr/class round
12:00n 100m hurdles jr. women heptathlon
12:30pm 100m    jr. men decathlon
1:00pm high jump jr. women heptathlon
1:30pm long jump jr. men decathlon
2:30pm shot put jr. men decathlon
4:00pm high jump jr. men decathlon
4:00pm shot put jr. women heptathlon
5:15pm 200m jr. women heptathlon
6:15pm  400m jr. men decathlon
Day Two -- Thursday, June 20th
time event gndr/class round
10:00am 110m hurdles jr. men decathlon
10:30am long jump jr. women heptathlon
11:00am discus throw jr. men decathlon
11:00am 110m hurdles jr. men 1st round
11:15am high jump jr. women final
11:30am 100m hurdles jr. women 1st round
11:45am triple jump jr. men final
11:50pm 100m jr. women 1st round
12:00n javelin throw jr. women heptathlon
12:10pm 100m jr. men 1st round
12:30pm 800m 
* Ellison Grove
* Micah Brickhill
jr. women 1st round
12:30pm shot put jr. men final
12:50pm 800m jr. men 1st round
1:00pm triple jump jr. women final
1:10pm 3000m jr. women final
1:25pm 3000m St jr. men final
1:30pm pole vault jr. men decathlon
1:40pm 100m hurdles jr. women final
1:48pm 110m hurdles jr. men final
1:56pm 100m jr. women final
2:05pm 100m jr. men final
2:15pm discus throw jr. men final
2:15pm 800m jr. women heptathlon
2:30pm shot put jr. women final
3:40pm javelin throw "a" jr. men decathlon
4:40pm javelin throw "b" jr. men decathlon
4:45pm pole vault jr. men final
5:30pm hammer throw jr. women final
6:10pm 1500m jr. men decathlon
7:15pm 5000m jr. men final
7:55pm 5,000m jr. women final
Day Three -- Friday, June 21st                          
time event gndr/class round
12:00n javelin throw  jr. women final
12:20pm 200m jr. women 1st round
12:45pm 200m jr. men 1st round
1:00pm hammer throw jr. men final
1:10pm 1500m  jr. women 1st round
1:10pm long jump
*Felecia Majors
jr. women final
1:15pm pole vault jr. women final
1:20pm long jump jr. men final
1:30pm 1500m 
*Sean McGorty
jr. men 1st round
1:55pm 400m
*Felecia Majors
jr. women 1st round
2:15pm 400m
*Ricky Morgan
jr. men 1st round
2:40pm 3000m St jr. women final
3:00pm 400m hurdles jr. women 1st round
3:25pm 400m hurdles jr. men 1st round
3:45pm 200m jr. women final
3:55pm 200m jr. men final
6:20pm high jump jr. men final
7:20pm 800m
*If Grove and/or Brickhill qualify
jr. women final
7:28pm 800m jr. men final
9:00pm 10,000m jr. men final
Day Four -- Saturday, June 22nd                   
time event gndr/class round
8:30am 10,000m race walk jr. men final
12:00n javelin throw jr. men final
12:45pm discus throw jr. women final
1:30pm 400m hurdles jr. men final
1:38pm 400m hurdles jr. women final
1:46pm 400m
*If Majors qualifies
jr. women final
1:54pm 400m
*If Morgan qualifies
jr. men final
2:02pm 1500m   jr. women final
2:14pm 1500m  
*If McGorty qualifies
jr. men final
Day Five -- Sunday, June 23rd                
time event gndr/class round
8:45am 10,000m race walk jr. women final