Track and field records for athletes who are middle-school age are kept on a national and international level. World records are tracked by the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF. In the United States, USA Track and Field is the national governing body for all track and field events, including the long jump.
The long jump is an event performed very much like the name implies: Competitors leap as far as they can in one long jump. To participate, athletes run down a path and jump as soon as their foot hits a takeoff board positioned at the end. They fly into a sand pit to land and the jump is measured from the front of the board to the closest edge of the imprint left in the sand.
Age Group Classifications
Track and field is divided into six age groups for young athletes. The sub bantam division begins with 8-year-olds, the bantam division is for 10- to 11-year-olds, the midget division is for 12- to 13-year-olds and the youth division is for 14- to 15-year-olds. An intermediate division covers 16- and 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds compete in the young men or young women divisions. A typical middle-schooler would compete in the bantam or midget divisions.
The long jump national record for the United States is measured at the Junior Olympics track and field event. For bantam boys, the national long jump record is 4.97 meters, or 16 feet 3.75 inches, and is held by Thomas Johnson. Matthew Green holds the midget boys national long jump record of 5.51 meters, or 18 feet 1 inch. The junior national record for bantam girls is 4.67 meters, or 15 feet 4 inches, held by Margaux Jones. Myra Combs holds the midget girl national long jump record of 5.52 meters, or 18 feet 1.5 inches. Internationally, American Randy Williams holds the world long jump record for junior athletes of 8.34 meters, or 27 feet 4.5 inches. For women, the junior world record is 7.14 meters, a little more than 23 feet 5 inches, which is held by Heike Drechsler of Germany.
To qualify as a record, the measurement must be made by three field judges, including the chief field judge of the event, according to the USATF competition rule book. It must be made using a certified tool such as a steel tape and recorded in meters and centimeters.