The U.S. Trials for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games take place Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Florida (near Miami). This meet and the qualification procedure is significantly different than the trials for the IAAF World Youth or World Junior meets. This 2014 Youth Olympic Area Trials Fact Sheet is a guide to understand these events. The Games themselves are Aug. 16-28, 2014 in Nanjing, China.
Rather than competing for spots for a Team USA, American preps are vying for nomination to the 131-member “Team for the Americas.” These U.S. Trials actually include athletes from nine other countries, as well, including Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. Additional trials for the Americas team will take place for other Caribbean and South American countries later this spring, then the full team will be chosen. According to this USATF press release, “The U.S. Olympic Committee has awarded USATF with 14 Youth Olympic Games athlete nomination slots, allocated specifically to U.S. athletes placing highest in their events. Only one athlete per country earns a place in any single event ...” See the press release and the aforementioned fact sheet for more details.
Friday’s only events are the boys’ and girls’ hammer throws, previews (U.S. athletes only) are below. Previews for Saturday’s events will be published later Friday.
- Boys’ Hammer – This and the girls’ hammer throw will be among the stronger fields in the meet. The boys’ hammer field is led by Adam Kelly, the Barrington, RI senior who just three weeks ago claimed the NBNI weight throw title. He ranked US#1 for the season (indoor throws) with a 79-1.25 PR. He was US#3 as a soph with the 5k hammer last year at 225-3, taking 3rd in the World Youth Trials (US#10 216-1 with prep implement). Kelly could be challenged by two Throw 1 Deep standouts: Kenneth Brinson, Jr. (Marist, GA junior) hit 211-5 in 2013 (5kg) and 199-6 (prep), and has 196-5 with the heavier ball and chain so far in ’14. Teammate Seth (Charles) Whitener (North Paulding, GA junior) has thrown 200-9 this spring after 204-5 last year (7th in WYT w/5kg) and has a prep best of 193-11 from ’13. Also watch for Californian Tyler Merkley (Los Osos, CA junior), with a 190-4 best with the prep hammer this year.
- Girls Hammer – The last time Haley Showalter (Valor Christian, CO junior) and Throw 1 Deep’s Kamryn Brinson (Marist, GA soph) met was in the Simplot weight throw in February, as both hit big PRs: Showalter winning with a then-US#2 59-0 and Brinson 2nd with a then-US#3 and soph class national record 58-8.5. Brinson went on to take 5th at NBNI, while Showalter prepared for outdoor. Showalter hit US#2 192-1 with the 3kg hammer last year, placing 2nd in the World Youth Trials, and 169-1 with the prep implement. She has not hammered yet this spring. Brinson has improved with the 3kg ball and chain from to 185-0 so far in ’14 (167-7 with prep hammer). These two stand out well ahead of the rest of the 5-girl field.