Here are some athlete quotes from Day 2 of the USATF Junior National Championships.
All Photos by: Klotz Images
Junior men’s high jump
Randall Cunningham II, first place, 7-2½/2.20m
Cunningham II is the son of former Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham. His sister, Vashti, is the U.S. women’s junior record holder (6-4½/1.95m) and will compete in Saturday’s women’s junior high jump final.
On taking three attempts at a personal-best 7-5¼/2.27m after winning the event at 7-2½/2.20:
“I felt great on the first attempt. I actually thought the bar was would stay on. I need experience jumping at the higher heights.”
On being the son of a famous athlete:
“It is pressure, because people always compare me to my father. But I’ve been a Cunningham my whole life, so I’m used to it.”
On watching his sister shoot for her own national title Saturday:
“I’ll definitely be out there watching her and helping her out. I haven’t gotten to watch her compete this year.”
Junior men’s decathlon
Harrison Williams, first place, 8,001 points
“My second day was overall pretty good. I was really hoping to get a national record (8,018). Unfortunately, it was just too hot and I was too tired in the 1,500. I’m happy I gave it everything I could. I didn’t quite get it but I definitely think I have a shot at getting it next time.
“I’m very happy with the hurdles and the pole vault. I feel like I could have done better in the 1500. It was hot outside and I gave it everything I could but I only ran 4:32, and I needed 4.30 to break the record.”
Junior women’s heptathlon
Kaylee Hinton, first place, 5,245 points
Hinton, of Rockwall, Texas, is headed to Texas Tech on a track scholarship. She trailed fellow Texan Ashtin Zamzow by six points heading into the seventh and final event, the 800 meters. Hinton clocked 2:24.02 to win by 45 points.
“My best events here were the long jump (19-4, 5.89m) and the 200 (24.58). I had never done 19 before in a heptathlon, and my 200 time was a personal best by four-tenths. I was confident going into the 800, but I still had to go out and do it.”
On winning her first national title:
“It’s amazing. To be here, first of all - it’s a culture shock since I don’t get out of Texas much. To perform well at Hayward Field is a dream come true.”
Junior women’s 5000m final
Rachael Reddy, first place, 16:28.01
Today’s race was her first-ever 5000m. Reddy redshirted her freshman season at Texas.
“I went out with the pack and decided to take a chance and make a move at 3,000 meters. It wasn’t until the last 800 that the race started feeling long, but I enjoyed it.”
Junior men’s 5000m final
Matthew Maton, first place, 14:47.10
In early May, Maton, a resident of Bend, Ore. became the sixth high school student to break four minutes in the mile when he clocked 3:59.38 in the Oregon Twilight meet in Eugene. He will attend Oregon in the fall.
“This means a lot to me. I’ve done a lot of things, but winning a national championship wasn’t one of them until now. I really wanted to make a national team and this was my chance.”
Junior women’s hammer final
Haley Showalter, 185-8/56.61m
The defending national junior champion from Highlands Ranch, Colo., was sixth after the first three rounds Friday before launching her winning effort in the fourth round. Showalter will attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
“It was a nerve-wracking competition. My early throws felt like (personal records) but they were going into the cage. , and I was sixth heading into the final three throws. I had to clear my head and just concentrate on getting a decent throw.”
Junior women’s long jump final
Courtney Corrin (unattached), first place, 21-6¼/6.56m (wind-aided)
Corrin just completed her junior year at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Calif.
“It was frustrating at first because I was having trouble hitting my mark. I wanted to jump farther than I ever had before, and I did that on the last jump. All the hard work is paying off. I’m excited to be going to Junior Pan-Ams.”
Junior men’s shot put final
John Maurins, first place, 71-10¼/21.90m American Junior Record
Maurins topped the U.S. junior record (67-4¾/20.54 set by Sean Shields in 2002) on his opening throw with a 68-5/20.85m throw. He shattered his own record by more than three feet in the fourth round. Maurins’ mark places him fifth on the all-time world list for juniors. The top three finishers - Maurins, UCLA’s Ayomidotun Ogundeji (67-9¾/20.67m) and Kansas high schooler Willie Morrison (67-9/20.65) all surpassed the previous AJR in Friday’s competition.
On winning with a record-shattering throw:
“I knew I was throwing just under 21 meters (with the 6kg shot) in practice, but I wound up throwing almost a meter farther than I thought. I hit all my positions and put it all together. The top three finishers today all threw farther than the old record. It was an honor to compete in such a great competition.”
Junior men’s long jump final
KeAndre Bates, first place, 25-8¾/7.89m (wind-aided)
Bates had the five longest jumps in Friday’s final.
On winning the junior title the day after Florida teammate Marquis Dendy won the senior men’s long jump:
“I got super-hyped for him, cheering in the stands. Every time he jumps something, I want to do the same thing. I wanted to go 27 feet today. I didn’t get it, but I had a solid series.”
Junior women’s shot put final
Raven Saunders, first place, 55-9¾ /17.01m
Saunders defended her junior title the day after placing eighth in the women’s senior final with a throw of 58-6¾ /17.85).
“This was my first time doing back-to-back competitions, so I can’t complain with the result. The senior experience gave me much more confidence today. I just tried to relax as much as I could last night.”
On qualifying for the Pan American Junior Championships (July 31 - Aug. 2 in Edmonton, Canada):
“It’s a great feeling to wear the red, white and blue.”
Junior women’s 100m hurdles final
Dior Hall, first place, 13.02 (wind-aided)
“It wasn’t the time I wanted, but I thought I did pretty well considering that we just came off of NCAAs. I wanted to go 12 but I was close enough to it. I made the team, so I have another chance to do that.”
On returning to Hayward Field after setting a world junior record of 12.74 in finishing third at the NCAA Championships:
“I love competing at Hayward Field. This is where all my fastest times have come from. Everytime I’m at Hayward I get a personal record or do something spectacular.”
Junior men’s 110m hurdles final
Misana Viltz, first place, 13.21
“My start was really good but the guy to my left (Marquis Morris) had an even better start. He was out way in front of me so my goal was to stick with him. I was able to pass him and keep going. I was shocked when I realized I had won. I’m really happy to come out on top today. Last year I placed second and this year to win, it shows how much I’ve progressed throughout the year.”