Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SPORTS >> Area athletes move on to Joplin meet

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

Alycia Shaw may be only 6 years old, but her long jump of 9 feet, 4 inches is currently the best jump in the state this year among 7- and 8-year-olds.

Shaw is one of 17 area athletes who qualified last weekend for the AAU national qualifying meet in Joplin next month.

The meet in Joplin will be followed by the AAU nationals later this summer in Iowa.

Shaw jumped 7-11.50 at the Arkansas District Qualifier at Scott Field in Little Rock last Friday and Saturday. That mark led the Primary division.

Khaila Jones of Searcy qualified for four events at Joplin — all with the best marks at the district meet. Jones, a Sub Youth athlete, posted the best times in the 100 and 200 meters and the best jumps in the long jump and the triple jump.

Jacksonville’s Daijah Harris posted best times in the Sub Bantam 100 and 200 and the second best mark in the long jump to qualify for Joplin.

Deja Hale and Tatiana Washington also qualified for three events. Hale will compete in the Sub Youth division in the 100, 200 and long jump, while Washington qualified in the Youth division in the 100, 200 and long jump.

Alayah Stirgus and Lakaia Massey each reached the regional in the Bantam division and will compete in the 100, 200 and long jump.

Nikia Williams, Mya Graham and Amber Lockhart qualified in the 100 and 200 Sub Midget division, while Taylor Palmer advanced in the Sub Youth 100 and 200. Graham will also compete in the long jump. Also in the Sub Midget division, Kiarra

Harris qualified in the long jump and the shot put.

Taylor Person posted the best time among qualifiers in the Midget division of the 1,500-meter walk race and was second in the shot put. Nykeya Mosby, also in the Midget division, qualified in the long jump and the 1,500-meter walk race. Jasmine Owens also reached Joplin the 1500-meter walk race in the Midget division. In that same division, Kiarra Harris, Lockhart, Williams and Makala Clayton qualified for the 4x100 relay.

Ebony Cox qualified earlier this month in the Intermediate 200 meters.

At Joplin, all 17 athletes will be attempting to qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Games at Drake University in Des Moines in August.

Khaila Jones, sister of current University of Arkansas long jumper Whitney Jones, is the current long jump national champion in the Midget division.

The athletes will be at Burger King in Jacksonville this Friday and Saturday raising money for the trip to Des Moines.