AAU Thursday Recap: Oakleaf's Briley Takes Triple Jump Title

The AAU National Club Championships are slowly winding down as athletes step on the track for the fifth day of competition.  The day consisted of only two running events, the 1500m and 400m. Even with a rain delay towards the end of the day, everything went smoothly on the track with some record breaking performances. 

In first her 1500m race ever, Cha'iel Johnson's goal was to break Daesha Rodger's record of 4:44.28. Johnson wasn't far off the record, but in a field all of her own she ran a new personal best of 4:47.92.  She wasn't the only South Florida native placing in the final as, Jaellena Burgess got 3rd (5:09.88) place running out of the 1st heat.

For the boys winner of the 12 year old 1500m, winner of the 800m yesterday, Jaleel Gelin ran 4:43.37. Randy Smith of Miami Elite, placed 6th in that race running 4:56.83.

In the following age group, Noah Haileab of Pearland Track Express, broke the 1500m record by just over a tenth of a second, running 4:24.10Check out his interview here:

Moving up to the high school athletes, Athing Mu won the 15-16 girls 1500m with no pressure from the rest of the field. She just missed the record of 4:34.30, running 4:36.78, within tenths of her personal best. Miami Elite's Anna Rodriguez placed 3rd in the final running 5:03.41, following Rodriguez, Cheyanne Morris of Miramar Optimist track club (5:09.37).

Mu will return for the final of the 800m on Saturday, where she will be facing 3x AAU National Champion and South Florida native, Daishon Spann. 

I thought I saw the last of the middle distance Jones Twins yesterday in the 800m, but they came out and gave the crowd a show in the finals of the 17-18 1500m. Colin Jones, won the race, breaking the record and becoming the first athlete to run under 4 minutes in the AAU National 1500m, running 3:59.75. Colin was encouraging and yelling for his brother to follow the fast pace on the final stretch. This led Keaton to almost break the previous record as well, running a 4:00.24 1500m.

Melvin Briley represented South Florida well in the Men's 17-18 triple jump, winning the event with a jump of 49-3. Just take a look at his final jump of the competition.

The 400m is one of the most highly anticipated events of the entire championships. In the last event, and heat of the day after an almost hour rain delay, Tyrese Cooper stepped on the track. Immediately as Cooper sat in the blocks, the entire grand stand stood, with phones recording, while trying to guess the time that would be on the board when it was all over. 

Having set every sprint record in the 15-16 boys age group, in his first year in the 17-18 bracket, Cooper makes a statement. He breaks the record with no one at his side, and just pure determination to make it to the finish line. Cooper ran 45.77, with only a 20 minute warm up beforehand. Watch his race here:

For more spotlight 400m races click here.

Only two more days competition left here at the AAU National Club Championships. Check back in tomorrow for more record breaking performances and interviews.