USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships

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The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, also known as the USATF Junior Olympics, is an annual track and field competition for American athletes between the ages of seven and eighteen. It is organised by USA Track & Field and features six different age categories, each covering two years. [1] Qualification for the competition is dependent upon performances at the preliminary, association level (usually a state), then the regional championships; the top five of each event at regional level earn the right to compete at the national competition. [2]

Track and field sport involving various running, jumping and throwing disciplines

Track and field is a sport which includes athletic contests established on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from the sport's typical venue: a stadium with an oval running track enclosing a grass field where the throwing and some of the jumping events take place. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running, and race walking.

USA Track & Field US national governing body for the sports of track and field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the United States national governing body for the sports of track and field, cross country running, road running and racewalking. The USATF was known between 1979 and 1992 as The Athletics Congress (TAC) after its spin off from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), which governed the sport in the US through most of the 20th century until the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 dissolved its responsibility.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.


The competition had its first edition in 1967 and has been held every year since. The event grew in stature to include around 10,000 athletes at the 48th edition in 2014. [3] The 50th edition was held in Sacramento, California. The event and its qualifiers serve to support the development of grassroots track and field competition in the United States. The national level event has been attended by several prominent American athletes in their youth, including Olympic champions Maurice Greene, Allyson Felix and Bryan Clay, as well as three-time world champion John Godina. [2]

A grassroots movement is one which uses the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level. Grassroots movements are associated with bottom-up, rather than top-down decision making, and are sometimes considered more natural or spontaneous than more traditional power structures. Grassroots movements, using self-organization, encourage community members to contribute by taking responsibility and action for their community. Grassroots movements utilize a variety of strategies from fundraising and registering voters, to simply encouraging political conversation. Goals of specific movements vary and change, but the movements are consistent in their focus on increasing mass participation in politics. These political movements may begin as small and at the local level, but grassroots politics as Cornel West contends are necessary in shaping progressive politics as they bring public attention to regional political concerns.

Maurice Greene (athlete) America athlete, Olympic medalist

Maurice Greene is an American former track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career (1997–2004) he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion. This included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been achieved by Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson and has since been equaled by three others.

Allyson Felix track and field sprint athlete

Allyson Michelle Felix is an American track and field sprinter who competes in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. At 200 meters, she is the 2012 Olympic champion, a 3-time World champion (2005–09), and 2-time Olympic silver medalist (2004–08). At 400 meters, she is the 2015 World champion, 2011 World silver medalist, 2016 Olympic silver medalist, and 2017 World bronze medalist.

The USATF event is a stand-alone track and field event, as opposed to the broader multi-sport programme of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. [4]

The AAU Junior Olympic Games are the pinnacle competitions held annually by the US Amateur Athletic Union.

See also

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  1. 2013 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. USATF. Retrieved on 2015-05-17.
  2. 1 2 Junior Olympics. USATF. Retrieved on 2015-05-17.
  3. 2014 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. USATF. Retrieved on 2015-05-17.
  4. 2015 AAU Junior Olympic Games. Amateur Athletic Union. Retrieved on 2015-05-17.