By: Joe Lanzalotto - Special to NJRunners.com
World Youth and Junior 800 meter champion to pursue spot on 2013 World Championship team
Ajee Wilson who had previously declared her intention to attend and compete for Florida State University has decided to defer college for year in order to pursue a spot on the 2013 World Championship team. The 2012 graduate of the Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Science competed for Neptune High School. Ajee believes that her best chance to make the World Championship team is to continue to train with coach Derek Thompson of the Juventus Track Club which is based in Philadelphia. Long a highly acclaimed 800 meter runner, Wilson has also run 4:43.92 for 1600 meters and as a sophomore legged a 2:00.59 anchor leg on her sprint medley team at the New Balance Nationals.
In 2012 Ajee won the World Junior Championships in a personal best of 2:00.91, second all time for US high schoolers only to Kim Gallagher’s 2:00.07 which was run in 1982. Wilson’s mark is also second on the US Junior all-time list.
The decision to defer college for a year was a difficult one but with the World Championships next year (and no global championship the year after) the time was just right. Wilson believes the continuity with Coach Thompson will be a key factor in a successful bid to make the team for the championships which will be held in Moskva, Russia next August. A four year honor student in high school, Wilson fully intends enter college after the Worlds.
When asked about the prospect of turning pro, Wilson said that she knows that she has a number of options open to her but her focus right now is on making the US team for the Worlds. She was non-committal about where she would attend college.
Wilson joins Shore Conference athletes Robby Andrews and Ashley Higginson in the world of international track and field. Andrews who competed in high school for Manalapan is an elite level 800/1500 meter runner while Colts Necks’ Ashley Higginson finished fourth at the Olympic Trials in the 3000 meter steeplechase and competed in Europe earlier this summer running the third fastest time in the US this year.
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