Thori Staples, a senior to be at Joppatowne High, improved her stock on the national junior track and field scene by winning the AAU heptathlon for 17-18 girls at Tallahassee, Fla., Monday. Her score of 4,503 points was a personal best in the seven-event test, the women's version of the decathlon.
Competing for the Baltimore City-based Ed Waters Club, Staples had personal bests of 34-10 in the shot put and 92 feet in the javelin, one of her weaker events. She covered the 100 hurdles in 15.9 seconds, and the 200 and 800 in 25.9 and 2:19, respectively.
Staples reached 17-2 in the long jump but only 4-6 in the high jump, an event in which she has the potential to score much higher. Improvement in that and other events in 1992 could put her over 5,000 points, a standard no American high school athlete reached this summer.
Staples' performance in the AAUs, where she will also run for Ed Waters in the 4X800 relay later this week, earned her an invitation to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She'll be there from Aug. 17-23, then return home to begin soccer practice at Joppatowne High.
Staples has had to work her track and field exploits around her soccer schedule. When the Columbia Crusaders beat Bethesda 2-1 for the state 19-under title in June, Staples had both of her team's goals.