The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 29, 2013

Area athletes qualify for AAU track nationals

The Joplin Globe

— Several qualifiers for the AAU Junior Olympic Games on July 27-Aug. 3 emerged from the Area 16 AAU Olympic National Games Qualifying Meet last weekend at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

Athletes were divided into nine age groups. The top five in each event advance directly to the AAU Junior Olympic Games at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. The top four finishers in the relays and multievents advanced to the national meet.

The CJ Freedom Track Club out of Carl Junction accounted for the bulk of area qualifiers.

“We have a lot of good kids,” said Tina Montez, who coaches sprinters and hurdlers. “We were pleased. It seemed like a short season, but they really came through. They ran really hard.”

Among head coach Danny Sluder’s other assistants are Tyler Albright, a Missouri Southern track and field athlete who works with the jumpers.

In the girls’ 15-16 age division, JeLynn Tatum of Carl Junction qualified in the 3000 meters, as did Kaelyn Sturgell of Lamar in the 400 hurdles, 800, 400 and heptathlon.

Tiffany Gilford of Neosho was second in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the triple jump. Allyn Murry of Pittsburg was second in the javelin.

In the 17-18 division, Kaylynn Harkey of Purdy won the pole vault with a jump of 9 feet.

Among 13-year-olds, qualifiers are Alexia Miller of Carl Junction in the 200 and the triple jump, and Josie Phillips of Joplin in the triple jump and long jump.

Cana Sluder of Joplin was second in the 100 hurdles. Madison Beecher of Carl Junction in the 1500 and Keaton Campbell of Joplin in the 3000 each placed third, along with the 4x800 relay of Beecher, Campbell, Phillips and Madison McBrien of Wyandotte.

Among 12-year-olds, qualifiers are Shiloh Sluder of Joplin in the 800 and 400, Emma Leach of Carl Junction in the 3000 and the 1500, Maegen Derfelt of Carl Junction in the 80 hurdles, and CJ Freedom’s 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

In the age 11 division, Ella Leach of Carl Junction advanced in the 3000 as did Libbie Sweet of Webb City in the shot put. CJ Freedom was second in the 4x400 for 10-year-olds.

Alanza Montez of Joplin was third in the 200 and fourth in the 100 among 9-year-olds. Addison Lawrence of Carl Junction placed in the 200 and 400.

In the boys’ 15-16 division, Corbin Schmidt of Webb City qualified in the pole vault along with Dustin Hunter of Joplin in the 110 hurdles.

Among 14-year-olds, Weston Wendt of Carl Junction won the triple jump and was second in the long jump. Teammate Lucas Berliew qualified in the 200, long jump and triple jump along with the 4x100 relay.

In the 13-year-old group, Dylan Funcannon of Aurora advanced in the 1500 and 3000 along with Owen Gray of Webb City in the shot put and discus and Jaydon Batson of Aurora in the 3000.

CJ Freedom won the 4x400 and 4x800 relays for 12-year-olds. Treavis Batson of Aurora qualified in the 1500 and 3000.

Lance Ward of Carl Junction won the 200 in the 11-year-old group, placed second in the 400 and third in the 100. Logan Carnes of Carl Junction advanced in the 800 and 1500 among 10-year-olds.

Walker Sweet of Webb City in ages 8-and-under won the 200 and the long jump and was second in the 100.