The Next Level Elite Track Club had eight local youth athletes travel to Greensboro, N.C., to compete in the 2019 AAU Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships from July 29 to Aug. 3. Facing other youth athletes from around the country, six of the eight athletes from Next Level Elite placed in the top 20 nationally, with the lowest rank being 17th.
Adonis Dunnigan was strong, setting a regional record in the 9-year-old boys turbo javelin, throwing it 87 meters, 7 inches in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June. Dunnigan not only came in first at the Junior Olympics for his age group in the turbo javelin, but he now holds a national record with a throw of 94 feet, 7 inches. The previous record was 90 feet, 10 inches, which was set in 2015. This was Dunnigan’s second Junior Olympics, with his previous best being when he finished 10th nationally in 2018.
Peyton Parker competed in the 11-year-old-boys 3,000 meters and finished sixth. He also finished fifth in the 1,500-meter race.
Jamarcus Vornes finished 11th in the 11-year-old-boys 800-meter race. James Dunnigan Jr. finished 25th in the 11-year-old-boys 100 meters, which was 14 spots above his finish last year. He was the only participant from Kansas in the 100 meters in his age group.
Alyx Glessner placed 10th in the 15-16 year old girls javelin in 2018, and improved on that to take fifth in the 17-18 year old women’s javelin, which was enough to medal and land her a spot on the podium.
Jorryn Hall had a 17th-place finish in the 11-year-old girls shot put, three spots above her finish in 2018.
Overall, there were 13,601 athletes from across the U.S. who competed, ranging from ages 7 to 18. Next Level Elite was one of 1,091 teams the competed.
The group will have a cross country program for the first time this fall.