The sixth day of competition at the AAU Club Championships on Friday was brimming with promising semifinal performances, which bodes well for the final day of competition.
In the 14-year-old boys 100m hurdles, Blaise Atkinson of Charlotte Heat (NC) ran 13.57 to qualify for Saturday's final. Following Atkinson's performance was Shamali Whittle of Trenton Track Club (NJ). Whittle topped Atkinson's time running 13.55 in his semifinal heat. The current age group record for this event is 13.51 held by Kurt Powdar (2015) of VA Elite. The final race between Atkinson and Whittle is going to be a race to rewrite the record books.
In tomorrow's final of the 17-18-year old girls 100m hurdles, there are five girls who can not only come out with the win, but also break 14 seconds. Rayniah Jones of FAST Lane Track is the top qualifier with a time of 14.16, she also ran 11.94 to make it to the 100m finals. Following Jones is Lauryn Harris (I5 Elite, MD) running 14.39; winner of the heptathlon, Tionna Tobias with a 14.54 (Omega Track Club, PA); Daishon Spann, qualifier in the 800m and second in the heptathlon, running 14.64 (E.O.T.O. Elite); and Richara McNeil (E.O.T.O Elite) running 14.65.
Destyni Devine of Olympia Track Club (FL) has been dominating the 9-year-old girls in sprints this past week. She's broke the record for the 100m and 200m in the prelims, as well as won the long jump championship with a new record. Today Devine broke her own records in both the 100m (13.53) and 200m (27.48) semifinals with ease. In the 100m, Juliah Bolden of WTC ran 13.58, which was only .01 slower than Devine's previous record of 13.57. Bolden and Devine will be going head to head tomorrow in both events with company of Jasmyne Ezell (GA) and Demi Dunbar.
Heading into the finals of the 11-year-old boys 100m and 200m, Evan Boykin of Charlotte Heat (NC) is the top qualifier in both events. Boykin finished his 100m semifinal with a time of 12.43. Da'Vekio Ruffin (Louisiana Kream Elite), who holds the age group record is right behind him running 12.44. In the 200m, Boykin ran 25.18 and Ruffin ran 25.57 to get the third qualifying spot.
Breaking the second club national record of the day was Taylor Banks of Miramar Optimus (FL) in the 17-18-year-old boys 100m. Banks set the record in the prelims running a solid 10.40 on Tuesday. Today he continues to shave down his time running 10.39 in his semifinal heat. Following Banks, Tyrese Cooper ran 10.58 to secure the second qualifying spot. Cooper is the leader going into the 200m finals tomorrow in 21.01. He's chasing the club championship and his own record of 20.74.
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For the last semifinal of the day, plenty of age group 4x400ms were rolled over to tomorrow's final. In the 13-14-year-old boys semifinal, Miami Gardens Express ran 3:31.70 to earn the top spot with a 6 second gap on second place in their heat. MGX will be chasing their own record of 3:25.50 (2012).
E.O.T.O Elite will be leading the pack into Saturday's final of the 17-18-year-old girls 4x400m. The group ran 3:46.76 with 9 seconds on the next team in their heat. FAST Lane Track Club is in the second qualifying position with a time of 3:51.03, also with 9 seconds on their next opponent. The current record that stands is 3:41.75 by 5 Star Athletics set in 2014. Both teams will be going head to head in the final girl's event of the whole meet.
There is one day left of competition so, it's the last chance for record setting performances! Remember you can watch this event live from flotrack.org. For all things AAU Club Championships, be sure to follow FloTrack and MileSplit on Twitter (@FloTrack @Milesplit).