Covering High School Sports in America
A trio of high school athletes – discus thrower Shelbi Vaughan, 800-meter runner Ajee Wilson and 400 runner Aldrich Bailey – advanced from the opening round of the Olympic Track and Field Trials Friday at the University of Oregon. Two of them look like they might have a shot of making the Olympic team.

File photo by Kirby Lee

Ajee Wilson

Vaughan, who just broke the national high school record last week in the USA Junior Nationals, had the fourth best toss Friday with a mark of 193 feet, 9 inches. It was well behind leader Stephanie Brown Trafton (206-1), who was the only athlete to break the 200-foot barrier.

Vaughan, who just graduated from Mansfield Legacy (Mansfield, Texas), fouled her first attempt, went 183-3 in the second round before her top mark of the day. It wasn't as long as her national high school best of 198-9 last week at Indiana University. She is one of 12 competitors to advance to Sunday's 3:05 p.m. (PDT) finals. 

Wilson, a graduate of Neptune (N.J.), placed second in her heat which automatically advanced her into the semifinals. Her time of 2 minutes, 3.63 seconds was 15th out of 32 runners and a second off her personal best. The 800 semifinals are slated for 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Two more prep girls in the event failed to advance. National high school record holder Amy Weissenbach, of Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), placed fifth in her heat in 2:06.46 and failed to move on. Incoming Bronxville (N.Y.) junior Mary Cain also placed fifth in her heat in 2:04.11.

Bailey, who just graduated from Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), finished third in his heat but his 45.59 time was the fifth best of the day. LaShawn Merritt, the No. 1 seed coming in, won the heat in 45.36 – the best time of the day – and USC standout Bryshon Neilum (45.58) barely edged Bailey at the line. Saturday's semifinals are scheduled for 5 p.m.