The Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics track and field competition was held last week at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.
The St. Louis area was well represented as athletes brought home national championships in 11 different events, including a pair of double-winners. The big winner from St. Louis was Mekenzie Rogers of the St. Louis Express, who won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes in the Girls 11-year-old division.
Kyann Craig (unattached) was the other area athlete with multiple championships as she won the 800 and 1,500-meter runs in the Girls 8-and-under division.
Michael Phillips of the Blues Track Club won the shot put in the Boys 13-year-old division with a throw of 49 feet 4 ½ inches. He also finished second in the discus.
Javiono Howard of East St. Louis was the champion in the high jump in the Boys 13-year old division with a clearance of 5 feet 7 inches.
Trinity Catholic standout Malcolm Harvey was the champion in the javelin throw in the Boys 15-16 division. Harvey competes for the Ultimate Speed Academy Track Club.
Zoe Binion of the U City Xplosion won the shot put in the Girls 11-year-old division with a throw of 37 feet 7 ¾ inches.
There was also a pair of national champions in the race walk events as Deandrea Young won the 1,500-meter race walk in the Girls 10-year old division and Casey Anderson won the 1,500 in the Boys 11-year-old division.
Celebrating the City of Champions
I would like to thank my great friend and American sports columnist Maurice Scott (From the East Side) for joining me on my latest St. Louis American Sports Break video presentation, “City of Champions,” on the great successful run of East St. Louis Senior High sports in 2018-19.
Maurice and I sat down to basically talk about the great year at East Side in 2019 where the school produced three state championship teams in boys basketball, girls track and field, and boys track and field. Our little interview morphed into a 14-minute show that chronicled the history of athletics in East St. Louis. It featured some of the great athletes, team and coaches from East St. Louis and Lincoln High over the years.
It was a pleasure to spend this time with Maurice, an East St. Louis native and product of this great city and a current coach in the school system. He did a great job of giving us a look at the past, present and future of the “City of Champions.”