June 13, 2001
The future track and field stars of Team USA will compete at the 2001 U.S. Junior National Championships, June 16-17 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Part of the Verizon Youth Series, this meet will serve as the selection competition for two U.S. Junior teams that will compete internationally this summer.
In order to qualify to compete at the Junior National Championships, an athlete must meet certain performance standards and be between the ages of 14-19 in the calendar year of 2001.
UCLA will send nine athletes to the 2001 USA Junior Meet, including five men and four women.
T & F Stars of Tomorrow
Leading the field of competitors are three defending champions: Jeff Chakouian of Seekonk, Mass., in the men's shot put, Josh McCaughey of W. Kingston, R.I., in the men's hammer, and Laura Gerraughty of Nashua, N.H., in the women's shot put.
NCAA sprint champion Justin Gatlin of Tennessee will compete in the 100, 200 and 110m hurdles. UCLA's Cosby and Kate Johnston, both members of Team USA at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, will compete in the hammer throw, with Cosby also throwing the shot put. Many top prep U.S. athletes are scheduled to compete, including Massachusetts pole vaulter Samantha Shepard and Texas prep star Ychlindria Spears, who is entered in three events, the long and triple jumps and the 200m. Mississippi sprinter Janice Davis is expected to compete in the 100 and 200 meters.
After the 2001 U. S. Junior Meet
The top two highest place finishers in each event at the Junior Championships will be eligible for the selection pool for competitions in Europe and Argentina. The selection of teams will be at the sole discretion of USATF and its committees. The first meet, a dual meet with Great Britain, is scheduled for August 18 at Stoke-on-Trent, England. Following that meet, the national champions in selected events will have the opportunity for an additional competition in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 25. The final international competition for Team USA junior athletes will be the 2001 Junior Pan American Games, held this year in Sante Fe, Argentina, October 18-20. Due to the time of the year that this meet is being held, USATF will take a limited team, consisting primarily of jumpers, throwers and racewalkers.
U. S. Junior Program
The U.S. Junior program has contributed greatly in the development of many of America's finest track and field athletes. Past junior champions include all-time greats Carl Lewis, UCLA's Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Marion Jones, Lynn Jennings, Mike Conley and Renaldo Nehemiah, among many others. For more information on the 2001 U.S. Junior Championships and the Verizon Youth Series, including results and a complete list of the athletes entered in the event, visit the USATF Web site at www.usatf.org.