SACRAMENTO, Calif. – North Brunswick High School rising star and senior Jayhlen Washington traded in his state championship hardware for a national title this past week during a memorable trip to the west coast during the 50th USA Track & Field (USATF) National Junior Olympics held in Sacramento, Calif.
Washington added to his trophy case with a win in long jump for the boys’ 17/18 year-old division to bring home his sixth USATF title of 2016 and first national gold with a distance of 24-feet-7.25 inches. He previously won at USATF Region Three Junior Olympic Championships and USATF North Carolina Junior Olympic Championships earlier this year to qualify as one of 7,524 athletes who travelled to Sacramento State University.
“Kidflash” also competed in 110 meter hurdles and triple jump over the course of three days. The hurdles consisted of 43 runners in seven heats, but Washington’s finish at 15.87 seconds on Thursday was not enough to get him into Saturday’s final as the top 24 times advanced with 14.78 seconds serving as the final qualifier.
To close out his performance before catching a flight back home on Friday, Washington was in the mix as the reigning North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A triple jump champion, but his longest distance of 14.73 meters was good enough for sixth place out of 46 jumpers.
Washington traveled to nationals with two other athletes from the area, representing the Wilmington-based Cape Fear Flyers.
Russell Corbett, a recently graduated senior from Ashley High School, took 14th in shot put with a 16.16 meter toss among four dozen 17/18 year olds to qualify for the event. The Barton College signee also placed 37th in discus.
Eight-year Gregor Brock, son of North Brunswick Football Coach Larry Brock, placed in the top half out of 51 participants in the Turbo Javelin and 26th in shot put among 38 participants.