Louisville-area track clubs set for success at AAU Junior Olympic Games

Louisville-area track clubs set for success at AAU Junior Olympic Games

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Louisville-area track clubs set for success at AAU Junior Olympic Games

More than 35 local athletes will hit the track this week in Texas

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More than 35 local athletes will hit the track this week in Texas

More than 40 youth athletes from the Louisville area are spending this week near Houston, Texas, competing at the 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Track and field athletes between the ages of 8 and 18 make up the biggest portion of the Louisville contingent, with no fewer than 35 runners from two big Louisville track clubs representing their teams and regions on the national stage. Kentucky Elite Track Club is also sending a select number of athletes, including Chimond Vaughn from Male’s state title-winning girls track and field team, as is Louisville Track and Field Club.

Kentucky Fillies, coached by Tamika Townsend, qualified eight athletes for the Junior Olympic meet at Humble High School in Humble, Texas, while William “Chico” Underwood’s Westside Track Club qualified 27 athletes.

One of the athletes to watch for the Fillies is Kaleb McDonald, who will run in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. McDonald is a rising sophomore at Jeffersontown High School, and in last spring’s state track meet, McDonald finished in third place in the 100, sixth place in the 200, and fifth place in the 400.

“Competing at this level every summer has helped her experience every year,” Townsend said. “When you compete all summer with girls that are more competitive than the local girls it helps you succeed in state (tournaments).”

Aside from coming to the Junior Olympic games to win, the week of events is a big showcase for the high school-age athletes who get to compete in front of college coaches in attendance.

“I’m just excited for getting them out of the stage and helping them get looks for college coaches in the future,” Townsend said. “This is my excitement and for all the hard work put in and of them reaping the benefits of going to nationals.”

For Underwood, a hall of fame track coach in the state of Kentucky, watching his athletes compete for the last 34 years of Westside Track Club’s existence in AAU National events is his reward for developing his athletes from a young age into seasoned competitors.

“We don’t have a lot of superstars, but (some of) our kids have never done anything (in track) before,” Underwood said. “We take our kids from Point A to Point Z, in one season in most cases, and they perform a lot better than some of the other kids who have been around for a while.”

Here’s a look at some of the local athletes representing their clubs and the region at the AAU Junior Olympics this week:

TRACK AND FIELD

Kentucky Fillies

Iaunia Pointer- 100, 200, 400 meter dash

Kaleb McDonald- 200, 400 meter dash

Lauren Buchanan- 100, 200, 400 meter dash

Jada Harper- 400 meter dash

Jaci Johnson- 800 meter dash

Naveah Johnson- 200 meter dash

Savannah Wilson- 800 meter dash

JaMya Murray- Shot put

Westside Track Club

Da’Lani Brown- shotput, turbo javelin

Zion Green- 800M, and 1500M

Cameron Fugate- 800M

Ethan Gaither- 100M, 400M

Nikyla Green- shotput, turbo javelin

Chance Dillingham- 200M, 400M, long jump

Brandon Richardson- 100M, 200M

Anthony Barbee- long jump

D’Anico Trowell- 800M, 1500M

Kendall Duncan- Pentathlon, high jump

Sidney Green- 1500 Racewalk, shotput, disc

Kamaya Johnson- 100M, 200M 400M

Monet Richie- turbo Javelin

Alexandria Woods- 400M, 800M, 80M hurdles

Dreeanna Wade- 800M

Deonte Green 4X400 relay

Cameron Moss- 4X400 relay

Nicholas Pearson- 200 hurdles

Jamarion Smith- long jump, 4×400 relay

Anthony Woods- 4X400 relay

India Brown- 400M

Delores Stevenson- shotput

Darian Clyburn- long jump, 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles

Alexia Boyd- 4X100 relay, 400 hurdles

Tamia Smith- 4X100 relay

Hadiya Williams- 4X100 relay, 400 hurdles, 100 hurdles

Aaziyah Woods- triple jump, 4X100 relay, long jump

Kentucky Elite Track Club

Chimond Vaughn

FIELD HOCKEY

USA Futures

Claudia Thomas

Claire Thomas

Samantha Minrath

Grace Dukes

KARATE

Thomas Haas

TRAMPOLINE TUMBLING

Champion Trampoline and Tumbling

 

Daniel Karell is a high school sports reporter and web producer for The Courier-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @DanKarellPreps.

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Louisville-area track clubs set for success at AAU Junior Olympic Games
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