Seven track and field athletes from Newton and Rockdale Counties earned All-American honors with top-eight finishes in the AAU Junior Olympics, held Aug. 5-8 in Brevard County, Fla.
The local athletes, from United Unattached Athletics (UUA) and Cooper Track Stars (CTS), practiced in small groups and followed CDC guidelines in sessions three to four times a week primarily in Newton and DeKalb. Coaches Gbolahan Fatuga and Dave Williamson from UUA and Sayon Cooper and Rita Whidbee from CTS led the athletes, who did not compete until June 3, and only participated in three track meets before the Junior Olympics.
The area’s top performers from at the Junior Olympics were as follows:
♦ Madison Reese (Newton County Theme School, Newton County, 10 years old) achieved All-American honors in the 800-meter run (bronze medal) with a time of 2 minutes, 43.32 seconds and 1,500 (5th place) with a time of 5:44:58.
♦ Justin Williamson (General Ray Davis, Rockdale County, 11 years old) earned All-American honors in the 3,000 (bronze medal) with a time of 11:12:65.
♦ Morgan Means (C.J. Hicks Elementary, Rockdale County, 11 years old) — who works out with coach Fred Sands’ Elite Speed Track Team in Lithonia and trains on middle and long distance via a partnership with UUA — achieved All-American status in two races by finishing third in both the 800 and 1,500 with times of 2:37:44 and 5:26:48, respectively.
♦ Jace Williamson (Flat Shoals Elementary, Rockdale County, 8-and-under) became a first-time All-American with a silver medal in the 200 with a time of 30.07 and finished fourth in the 100 race by running a 14:43.
♦ Jayden Whidbee (Memorial Middle School, Rockdale County, 13 years old) had a stellar performance with two first-place wins in the 100 (11:97) and 200 (24.13). Whidbee is a three-time All-American.
♦ Terence Scott (Memorial Middle School, Rockdale County, 13 years old) became a first-time All-American by securing an eighth-place finish in the 200.
♦ Bailey Walker (Newton County Theme School, Newton County, 11 years old) is a two-time All-American with an eighth-place finish in the long jump (3.79 meters) and a fifth-place finish in the shot put (23 feet, 8 inches).
Jaeda Green (DeKalb County, 8 and under) took All-American honors in seventh place with a time of 16.55 in the 100.