Tuesday, July 07, 2009

SPORTS >> Area athletes shine at Joplin, reach nationals

Leader sportswriter

A number of area youth athletes qualified for next month’s AAU National Junior Olympic championships on Aug. 2-8 in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Area 11 national qualifier meet in Joplin, Mo., over the weekend.

Kiara Vaughn won the finals of girls bantam 100-meter dash with a time of 14.47, and also qualified for the bantam 200 meters by finishing second with a time of 30.18. Nikia Williams grabbed the final national qualifying spot in the girls sub-midget 100-meter dash, finishing fourth with a time of 14.22

Searcy’s Khaila Jones won the sub-youth triple jump with a measurement of 33 feet, three inches, and took second place in the girls sub-youth 100-meter dash with a time of 13.25 to qualify for nationals. Jones also finished second in the sub-youth long jump with a measurement of 4.98 meters.

Jones, sister of former Searcy track star and current Arkansas Razorback Whitney Jones, won the national triple jump last year in the midget division.

Daijah Harris of Jacksonville won the girls sub-bantam 200-meter dash with a time of 32.05 and also finished third in the girls sub-bantam long jump, leaping 11 feet, one inch to earn a trip to Des Moines next month.

Deja Hale took the fourth and final qualifying spot for nationals in the sub-youth 200-meter dash with a time of 27.76. Taylor Person won the midget race-walk with a time of 10:48.11, and also qualified for the shot put with a second-place finish.

Nikeya Mosby finished second in the midget race-walk with a time of 11:11.03 Ebony Cox, Kiarra Harris and Amber Lockhart were also among Jacksonville athletes who qualified in the relays.

On the boys side, Antrell Terry finished second in the young 400-meter dash with a time of 49.43, and also qualified for relay events. Deonte Watson qualified for the national intermediate 800-meter run with a third-place finish in the Joplin qualifier with a time of 2:13.40, as well as two relay events.

Sherwood’s Nathenial Clark qualified for the young long jump. Clark finished third in the event with a mark of 21-08.75.