OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University rising sophomore Peter Stefanski will put his skills to the test against the top junior athletes in the country Friday when he competes at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. The Championships also serve as the selection meet for the 2013 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.), the lone member of the RedHawks’ men’s track and field team to participate in the meet, is entered in the high jump for the second straight year. He finished fifth at last year’s U.S. Junior Championships as an incoming freshman. Stefanski will jump on Friday at 7:20 p.m. ET/6:20 p.m. local time. He is one of 15 competitors to qualify for the junior meet in the high jump. The top four finishers in the high jump are then eligible for a spot on Team USA for the Pan-Am Junior Championships.

Stefanski earned his spot at the U.S. Junior Championships with his leap of 2.10m/6-10.75, which he cleared four times during the year. He most recently cleared the height at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds May 25 in Greensboro, N.C., where he finished 20th. Stefanski earned Second-Team All-Mid-American Conference honors during the year as well, taking second in the high jump at the MAC Championships in Akron, Ohio May 11.

To qualify for the U.S. Junior Championships, which are only open to athletes between the ages of 16-19, high jumpers had to clear the bar at 2.09m/6-10.25 during the past year.  Stefanski enters the meet ranked tied for 10th among entrants in the high jump. He will be jumping against men from schools such as Alabama, Arkansas, Cal, Minnesota and Wichita State, among others.

The 2013 U.S. Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships are held in conjunction with the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships from June 19-23 at Drake Stadium and are hosted by Drake University. Participants in any of the Junior Championships must be at least 16 years old, but under the age of 20, as of Dec. 31, 2013.

The 2013 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, which were originally scheduled for Aug. 2-4 in Lima, Peru, will now be contested Aug. 23-25 in the neighboring country of Colombia, just south of Panama in northern South America. The Pan-Am Junior Athletics Championships are held every other year for track and field and feature the top 16-19 year olds from countries in North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.

--MURedHawks.com--