After qualifying for the AAU National Championships twice, local athletes Diyana and Larissa Hackley and Ericka and Lindsey Leblanc have added the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships to be hosted by the Pacific Association in Sacramento from July 22-28 to their list.

The top five finishers in each event were permitted to advance to the USATF Nationals.

Diyana did so in three events at the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympics Championships held at Modesto Junior College from July 5-7.

Diyana improved on her 12.98 time from the week before clocking in at 12.70 in the 100 meter race. The effort was good enough for fourth place in the event behind Aniaya Bishop (12.46) of Sacramento Speed, Lynee Simms (12.64) of Steel Gazelles and Serena Kher (12.66) of Umoja. Trinity Mosley (12.72) of Fast and Fierce Youth Track and Field finished behind Diyana in fifth place.

Diyana had her best finish in the 200 meter race, taking first place (26.22) in the 13-14 year old race. Hackley outpaced Daya Williams (26.90) of C.A. Track Club, Anjali Yella (27.00) of Umoja, Madison Kiele (27.05) who ran unaffiliated to any club, and Simms of (27.74) of Steel Gazelles.

Diyana had to settle for second place in the 400 meter event (59.45), behind Keilee Hall (58.44) of M.P. Striders Youth Track. Taylor Snaer (1:00.17) of Modesto Elite, Alexndra Rumford (1:00.30) of Umoja and Sydnie Watkins (1:00.32) of M.P. Striders Youth Track finished out the top five.

Younger sister Larissa just made the cut and qualified for the USATF National Junior Olympics with a fifth place finish in the long jump event, behind Abigail McSpadden of Team Onalysis, Oluwadmilola Ajala of Steel Gazelles, Kelis Brown of RPM Legacy and Damilolo Babaoye of Hercules Running Rebels. Larissa just barely missed a top five spot in the high jump event, finishing in sixth place.

Larissa added a second qualifying event in the 4X100 meter race. Along with Oakland PAL teammates Arianah Banks, Brooke Chatman and Skylar Kane-Ross, the team finished in fourth place (55.91) in the relay race.

Ericka Leblanc had a strong showing at MJC over the weekend, with a first place finish in the 11-12 year old 400 meter race with a time of 1:00.30. Jaclyn Chukwuma of 5 North finished mere fractions of a second behind in second with a time of 1:00.47. Amirat Temi Aganju (1:00.58) of Bay Area Empire and Ruby Ford (1:00.92) of Solano Elite Track Club also finished in rapid succession in third and fourth place in what was a very competitive race. Brooke Chatman (1:02.76) of Oakland PAL took fifth.

Ericka earned another first place finish in the 80 meter hurdles event with a time of 13.14. Ja’Niya Haley (13:46) of Sacramento Speed Factory, Amylah Lee (13.48) of 3M Track Club, Laniah Simpson (13.73) of Umoja and Jeleah Edwards (13.81) of Stockton Saints were all clustered up from second to fifth place in another hotly contested race for Ericka.

Sister Lindsey Leblanc earned a second place finish of her own in the 9-10 year old 1500 meter race. Lindsey (5:31.01) finished behind first place finisher Ruth Skandera (5:30.95), who ran with no club affiliation. Gisselle Swartz (5:33.89) of Thunder Hawks, Amalia Contreras of Diablo Valley Track and Field and Ava Torgersen (5:36.76) of Oakland Cubs finished behind Lindsey.

AAU West Coast National Track and Field Championship

Although the Hackley sisters already qualified for the AAU National Championship to be held in North Carolina, the duo atteneded the AAU West Coast National Track and Field Championship held at Reed High School in Reno, Nevada from June 27-30. The top five finishers in each race were permitted to advance to Nationals.

It was a special outing for Diyana, who set a meet record in the 200 meter race. Diyana’s time of 25.49 broke the meet record that previously stood at 25.77. Her impressive time would have granted her a third place finish in this year’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet at the high school level in the same event as a 14-year-old.

Yvette Harris (25.94) of Godspeed finished in second place. Kamea Hunter (26.57) of Plyometric Fusion-TC took third, while Janelle Wilson (26.63) of Black Lightning and Lynee Sims (26.75) of Steel Gazelles rounded out the top five.

Diyana finished her outing taking fourth place (12.98) in the 100 meter dash, and first in the 400 meter race (1:00.87).

Larissa also earned a trio of medalist finishes at Reno. Despite having limited experience in the event, Larissa put together a third place (14-00.50) finish in the long jump event.

Her only gold medal came in the high jump event where Larissa led the field with a clearance of 4-02.00.

She also ran in the 4X100 relay with her Oakland PAL track and field club. Oakland PAL (53.32) finished in second place behind Hilltop Speed Track Club (52.68). Oakland PAL was represented by Larissa, Arianah Banks, Brooke Chatman and Leila Fite. Hilltop Speed’s team consisted of Celine Pete, Gabrielle Dennis, Jazmine Williams and Kaiyah Foster in the 12-year-old race.

PI sports writer

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