High school sophomore Gabrielle Williams from Reed (Sparks, Nev.) easily passed her qualifying test at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Thursday evening to join the 13-women finals field on Saturday afternoon (June 30).
Earlier in the week throwers Shelbi Vaughn of Legacy (Mansfield, Texas) and Sean Keller of Heritage (Vancouver, Wash.), along with sprinter Aldrich Bailey of Timberview (Arlington, Texas), fell a bit short in their attempts to make the 2012 USA Olympic Track and Field team -- but will still represent America in international competition in Europe at next month's IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Williams, national high school leader at 6 feet, 1 ½ inches this season, faces tremendous odds to become the first prep track and field athlete to make a U.S. Olympic team in more than three decades. The field includes current American record holder Chaunte Lowe (6-8 ¾) and Amy Acuff (6-7) - who has been on four Olympic teams since setting the existing high school record of 6-4 for Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas) in 1993. The top three finishers on Saturday who have jumped the Olympic "A" standard of 6-4 ¾ will go to London. So it would take a high school record jump to make the team.
Vaughn has been the top high school Olympic trials performer so far, finishing just off the podium in fourth place in the women's discus at 195-9. Only the second high school athlete to ever throw over 190 feet, new national record holder Vaughn would also have needed to reach the "A" standard of 203-5 to make the team.
Keller made the men's javelin finals with a throw of 253-0 in the qualifying round, No. 2 on the all-time high school list and just 28 inches shy of the record by Sam Crouser of Gresham, Ore., in 2010. Keller placed eighth in the finals (and Crouser was second with a personal best 265-1, although failing to meet the "A" standard necessary to join the Olympic team).
Quartermiler Bailey had, perhaps, the best opportunity to make the team, coming in with the No. 10 American time this year, 45.19 seconds, also better than the "A" standard of 45.30. A top six finish in the finals would have made him a candidate for the USA 4 x 400 meter relay pool. Bailey had the fifth fastest time in the qualifying round here, 45.59, to advance to the semifinals. But he place seventh in the semi in 45.82 and did not advance.
Three of the top ten all-time high school girls 800 meter runners competed in that trials event but only Ajee Wilson (Neptune, N.J.) advanced to the semifinals, running 2:03.63. She ran eighth in her semi in 2:04.96 and missed the title race - where a national record sub-2 minute performance would have been necessary to make the team.
2012 Boys High School Track and Field
Top high school performers in the USA this season
(Leading indoor season performances, if qualified, also included and denoted by "i".)
(Compiled for USA TODAY by Fred Baer, founder of the Track and Field Writers of America, and Jack Shepard of Track and Field News.)
U.S. high school record through 2011 listed in brackets after each event heading
100 meters (10.01)
10.19 Abraham Hall, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) (No. 7 all-time high school performer)
10.19 Tyreek Hill, Coffee County (Douglas, Ga.) (No. 7 all-time high school performer)
10.25 Marvin Bracy, Boone (Orlando) (10.06w)
200 meters (20.13)
20.14 Tyreek Hill, Coffee County (Douglas, Ga.) (No. 2 all-time high school performer)
20.58 Abraham Hall, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas)
20.74 Trae Armstrong, Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.)
20.49w Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas)
400 meters (44.69)
45.19 Aldrich Bailey, Timberview (Arlington, Texas) (No. 6 all-time high school performer)
45.59 Arman Hall, St. Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
46.06i Najee Glass, St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, N.J.)
46.18 Kavarha Holmes, Breaux Bridge, La.
800 meters (1:46.45)
1:48.74 Tanner Sork, Union (Camas, Wash.)
1:48.82 Drew Magaha, Upper Moreland (Willow Grove, Pa.)
1:49.31 Tre'tez Kinnaird, Butler (Louisville, Ky.)\
1,500 meters (3:38.26)
3:45.2i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark) (No. 2 all-time indoor performer)
3:45.74 Josh Lampron, Mansfield, Mass.
3:46.09 Brannon Kidder, Lancaster, Ohio
3:46.32 Jacob Burcham, Cabell-Midland (Ona. W.Va.)
4:01.32 Bernie Montoya, Cibola (Yuma, Ariz.) (No. 9 all-time high school performer)
4:02.21i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark) (No. 2 all-time indoor performer)
4:02.73 Jacob Burcham, Cabell-Midland (Ona, W.Va.)
4:02.98 Josh Lampron, Mansfield, Mass.
3,000 meters (7:59.83)
8:13.88i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark)
8:18.81 Bernie Montoya, Cibola (Yuma, Ariz.)
8:19.38 Futsum Zeinasellassie, North Central (Indianapolis)
8:21.87 Craig Nowak, Cypress Woods (Cypress, Texas)
3,200 meters (8:29.46)
8:47.75 Futsum Zeinasellassie, North Central (Indianapolis)
8;48.25 Bernie Montoya, Cibola (Yuma, Ariz.)
8:49.12 Craig Nowak, Cypress Woods (Cypress, Texas)
8:43.16i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark) (8:55.12 outdoor leader)
8:56.56 Thomas Graham, Cary (N.C.) Academy
8:59.15i Daniel Vertiz, Reagan (San Antonio, Texas)
8:59.38 Thomas Awad, Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.)
5,000 meters (13:37.91)
13:57.04i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark) (USA HIGH SCHOOL INDOOR RECORD)
14:11.23 Thomas Graham, Cary (N.C.) Academy
14:27.16 Jake Leingang, Bismarck, N.D.
14:34.78 Jacob Thomson, Holy Cross (Louisville, Ky.)
10,000 meters (28:32.7)
29:42.31 Edward Cheserek, St. Benedicts Prep (Newark)
2,000-m steeplechase (5:43.9)
5:55.79 Brendan Smith, Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, N.Y.)
5:56.59 Nate Moore, Lockhart, Texas
6:01.06 Santos Vargas, Eisenhower (Yakima, Wash.)
3,000-m steeplechase (8:50.1)
9:03.15 Darren Fahy, LaCosta Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) (No. 7 all-time high school performer)
9:14.31 Brendan Smith, Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, N.Y.)
9:21.16 James Sommer, Plainedge (North Massapequa, N.Y.)
110-meter high hurdles (13.08)
13.35 Artie Burns, Northwestern (Miami)
13.43 Jordan Moore, King (Lithonia, Ga.) (13.39w)
13.49 Donovan Robertson, Berea, Ohio
13.32w Devon Allen, Brophy Prep (Phoenix)
300-meter hurdles (35.02)
35.96 Donovan Robertson, Berea, Ohio
36.06 Artie Burns, Northwestern (Miami)
36.26 Dondre Echols, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
400-meter hurdles (49.38)
50.23 Eric Futch, Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.)
51.66 Donovan Robertson, Berea, Ohio
51.75 Randy Bermea, Harlingen, Texas
4 x 110 high hurdle relay (56.32)
57.81 Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.)
4 x 100 meter relay (39.76)
40.09 DeSoto, Texas (equals No. 5 all-time high school team)
40.46 Mountain Pointe (Phoenix)
40.58 North Shore (Houston)
4 x 200 meter relay (1:23.31)
1:24.04 DeSoto, Texas
1:24.26 North Shore (Houston)
1:24.89 Lancaster, Texas
4 x 400 meter relay (3:07.40)
3:12.71 Timberview (Arlington, Texas)
3:12.74 Duncanville, Texas
3:14.08 Celina, Texas
4 x 800 meter relay (7:28.75)
7:34.67 Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, N.J.)
7:35.10 Westfield (Chantilly, Va.)
7:36.26 Milford, Mich.
4 x 1600 meter relay (17:04.7)
17:12.23 Loyola (Los Angeles)
17;12.60 Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo, Calif)
17:14.17iy Chariho Regional (Wood River Junction, R.I.) (USA HIGH SCHOOL INDOOR RECORD for 4 x mile. Actual 4-mile time, 17:20.20)
800 meter medley relay (1:28.20)
1:30.23 Smiths (Ala.) Station
1:30.97 Putnam County (Eatonton, Ga.)
1:31.02 Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
Sprint medley relay (3:19.58)
3:23.15 Union Catholic Regional (Scotch Plains, N.J.)
3:23.44 Kingwood, Texas
3:23.98 Liverpool, N.Y.
Distance medley relay (9:49.78)
10:01.32 Marshfield, Mass.
10:02.13 Pembroke, Mass.
10:02.94 Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, N.J.)
High jump (7-7)
7-1 Allex Austin, San Marcos, Texas
7-1 Jonny Giess, Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.)
7-1 Carl Heinz, Oak Park-River Forrest (Oak Park, Ill.)
7-1 Wally Ellenson, Rice Lake, Wisc.
Pole vault (18-3)
17-8 Shawn Barber, Kingwood Park (Kingwood, Texas)
17-7i Reese Watson, Spring, Texas (No. 2 all-time indoor performer) (17-0 outdoors)
17-6 1/2i Jacob Blankenship, Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio) (No. 4 all-time indoor performer) (17-2 outdoors)
17-2 3/4 Dylan Bell, Alvarado, Texas
Long jump (26-10)
25-8 Jarrion Lawson, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas) (25-10 3/4w)
25-5 3/4i Devin Field (DeSoto, Texas)
25-2 Desmond Mobley, Greece Olympia (Rochester, N.Y.)
25-0 1/2 Adoree Jackson, Serra (Gardena, Calif.)
Triple jump (54-10 1/4)
51-10 1/4 Jarrion Lawson, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas)
51-5 3/4 Felix Obi, Franklin (El Paso, Texas) (50-11 1/4w)
50-11 1/2 Tim White, Hart (Newhall, Calif.)
51-7 Klyvens Delaunay, Claremont, Calif.)
Shot put (81-3 1/2)
70-8i Braheme Days, Bridgeton, N.J. (No. 7 all-time indoor performer) (68-8 1/2 outdoors)
70-6 Tyler Schultz, Custer, S.D.
67-7 Coy Blair, Logan, Ohio
Discus throw (237-6)
218-4 Samuel Mattis, East Brunswick, N.J.
209-8 Ethan Cochran, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.)
204-4 Kevin Allen, Upton, Wyo.
Hammer throw (260-0)
251-1 Rudy Winkler, Averill Park, N.Y. (No. 4 all-time high school performer)
224-1 Joe Velez, Classical (Providence, R.I.)
217-7 Bryn Campbell, Canal Winchester (Ohio)
Hammer throw (Intl.Jr./5-kg) (248-11)
237-3 Rudy Winkler, Averill Park, N.Y. (No. 3 all-time high school performer)
Hammer throw|-|(Intl./16-lb) (219-7)
186-0 Reuben Horace, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.)
Javelin throw (255-4)
253-0 Sean Keller, Heritage (Vancouver, Wash.) (No. 2 all-time high school performer)
246-9 Billy Stanley, South Park, Pa. (No. 3 all-time high school performer)
212-2 Michael Shuey, Johnsonburg (Pa.) Area
212-2 Travis Colby, Chandler, Ariz.
Decathlon (w/HS implements) (8,035)
6374 Devon Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.)
Decathlon (w/Intl. Jr. implements) (7,748)@
6849 Lane Austell, Briarcrest Christian (Memphis)
1,600 meter times no longer relevant, having been surpassed by marks for the longer and standard mile distance.