2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games

The 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games Throws And Multis Preview

The 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games Throws And Multis Preview

Tzuriel Pedigo and Meghan Owens are chasing big throws at the 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Jul 23, 2018 by Cory Mull

Tzuriel Pedigo isn't done with his season just yet. 

The Parkview Baptist (LA) graduate, who earned a silver medal for Team USA at the U20 Championships in Finland, has his eyes on one more historic throw. 

Only two high schoolers in history have broken 250 feet in the javelin since 1988--the javelin was redesigned in the 80s to bring throws back to earth--though Pedigo is inching closer and closer to that mark with each throw. 

His career best came in Finland at the U20 Championships when he bombed a finals performance of 242-0, though it was on the heels of a preliminary mark of 240-4 and another effort of 239-4 weeks prior in Germany. 

Pedigo, who's still unsigned collegiately following off-field charges that have been dismissed, had six throws of over 230 feet over the course of his senior season. Only seven high schoolers have thrown farther than Pedigo in high school history, and only Sam Crouser--who owns the national record of 255-4--has at least five throws inside the top 10 all-time. Pedigo has six within the top 20.

More than likely, the Louisiana athlete will break the AAU Junior Olympics national record of 225-7, which was set by Sam Humphreys of Laredo, Texas, in 2009. As an aside, Pedigo's sister, Ariel, will also be competing in the 15-16 girls division and enters as the third seed with a throw of 108-1.

In the girls 17-18 javelin, Meghan Owens, a rising junior for Mercer County (KY) High School, could be in contention for a national record as well. She enters with a top mark of 156-10, which is just two feet short of the record of 158-4, which was last set in 2011 by Avione Allgood. 

The throwing events should be interesting to watch all together. In the girls 17-18 shot put, East St. Louis' Evangelynn Harris could be closing in on a national record. She enters with a mark of 45-7, which is just a few feet shy of the national mark of 47-7. 

Meanwhile, in the 12-year-old bracket, Eagles Wing's Ja'Myah Williams has a chance to double, as she is the top seed in both the discus and shot put. The same distinction goes to LC Express' Carlie Weiser in the 13-year-old girls division and Chrystal Herpin of Pearland Speed in the 15-16 girls bracket. 

Over in the 8-year-old girls shot put division, Laila Jones, an 8-year-old competing for Tri-City Relays in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has had herself quite the summer. She won shot put titles at the AAU Primary and Club Championships and will arrive at the AAU Junior Olympics as the defending champion from the 8-year-old division. Her 30-11 mark from the AAU Club Championships is over four-feet farther than the current record and six feet farther than her throw from a year ago with the 4-pound shot. Look for Jones to do some big things.  

In the multis, there should be an entertaining battle in the heptathlon between top seed Anna Heacock of Jefferson County (MO) and Florida's Daishon Spann, who's coming off a stellar performance at the AAU Club Championships in Florida. 

Missouri's Jefferson County doesn't have just one top seed but two. The favorite for the boys' decathlon, Isaiah Martin, is coming off impressive outings at the Great Southwest Classic and at USA Juniors.