LILLE, FRANCE – Ethan Cochran had the throw of his life to improve his personal best in the discus by three meters and win the silver medal during day one of the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships held in Lille, France, July 6-10.
Cochran (Costa Mesa, Calif.) twice bested his previous personal record in the discus with two throws over 60 meters. After fouling his first attempt, he first set a PR on his second attempt where he recorded a 60.37m/198-0 heave. He then followed up with his medal-winning third throw of 61.37m/201-4. While he did not improve his mark during the next three throws, it was good enough to hold off the rest of the field who sat more than half a meter behind him.
Haley Crouser (Gresham, Ore.) didn’t spend much time at the track on day one. On her first throw of the competition, she sent the javelin flying past the qualification mark of 50m. Recording a toss of 50.60m/166-0, Crouser automatically qualified for the final and was done for the day.
In the 400m heats, the duo of Najee Glass (Fords, N.J.) and Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) advanced to the semi-finals with ease. Hall was the only athlete to run under 47-seconds as he won heat five in 46.76. Meanwhile, Glass won the fourth heat in 47.92
Jennifer Madu (Murphy, Texas) ran a quick round in the girls’ 100m to win her heat in 11.79, while Myasia Jacobs (Paterson, N.J.) also advanced by winning her heat in 11.85.
Amber Bryant-Brock (Marietta, Ga.) and Nnenya Hailey (Marietta, Ga.) brought more wins in the girls’ 400m hurdles. Bryant-Brock won the first heat in 1:01.13 to automatically qualify for the semifinals, and Hailey speed to a 58.71 to win her win her heat and qualify as well.
In the boys’ 400m hurdles, Jonathan Russell (Ashburn, Va.) came over the final hurdle side-by-side with three other athletes. In a sprint to the finish, Russell was narrowly edged out by Yahaya Ibrahim Barnawai; however, all of the top three ran to personal bests. Russell advanced to the finals with his quick time of 51.94.
In the first final of the championships, Torrie Owers (Athens, Ga.) threw her best mark of 14.40m/47-3 on her second attempt. Owers’ first international competition capped off a successful year in which she improved her previous year’s best mark by more than 10 feet.
Team USA did not advance to the finals of the triple jump. Carla Forbes (Mattapan, Mass.) leapt to a 12.12m/39-9.25 on her first jump to record her best mark and give her 13th place of the first group. Madu finished tenth in the second group with her first and best jump of 12.42m/40-9.
Team USA sailed through the morning qualifying rounds on the track with all seven athletes in running events advancing to the next round.
Team USA started on the right foot in the girls’ 100m hurdles with both athletes advancing to the next round. Trinity Wilson (Oakland, Calif.) won the first race of the meet by taking heat one in 13.59. Kendell Williams (Marietta, Ga.) also nabbed first in the fourth heat in 13.60.
In the boys’ 800m run, Cameron Thornton (Atlanta, Ga.) looked effortless after he negotiated the traffic of the field and passed on the outside. Thornton took second in his heat in 1:52.34. Tre’tez Kinnaird (Louisville, Ky.) finished fourth in his heat, but was able to advance to the semi-finals with his time of 1:52.81.
In the girls’ 1500m, Hannah Meier (Gross Pointe Farms, Mich.) had a strong finish in the first heat to take third place in 4:25.28. Camille Chapus (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) faced a fast field and rode the pack to a personal best finish of 4:22.69 to take sixth and advance to the finals based on time.
Reigning Youth Olympic champ Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.) ran to an easy win in the fourth heat of the girl’s 400m. Reynolds won in 54.59 to automatically advance to the semifinals. Kendall Baisden (Franklin, Mich.) was faced with a lane eight draw for the first time, but was able to overcome the position to finish second in her heat in 55.58 to advance as well.
Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, Md.), the only U.S. entrant in the boys’ 100m, and he represented his team well as he pulled away from the rest of heat six to win in 10.67 and automatically qualify for the semi-finals.
In the qualifications for the Boys’ discus, Ethan Cochran fouled on his first and last throws, but thankfully he lobbed the disc 57.13m/187-5 on his second throw to advance to the finals.
In the qualification for the Girl’s shot, Owers sent her final toss flying 14.13m/46-4.25 to secure her fourth place and an automatic qualification to the final. Chamaya Turner (Garden Ridge, Texas) also threw her best mark of 13.20m/43-3.75 on her final attempt; however, she did not advance to the finals.
Ethan Cochran – Boys’ Discus
“I was nervous sitting there, but I found out I had the silver. It was the best feeling ever, all the work I’ve done has paid off. It’s the last meet of the season, so it’s really nice. I didn’t know I was this good in the world, but now that I see it, it sets up some opportunities for the future.”
Kendell Williams – Girls’ 100m Hurdles,
“I hate early morning races, but I actually felt okay…I kept looking around the stadium, and I did pretty well.”
Cameron Thornton – Boys’ 800m
“I wanted to be smart and I didn’t want to be in traffic, so I ran around the outside to pass. I was really comfortable and I had a good stride.”
Tre’tez Kinnaird – Boys’ 800m
“I tried to stay comfortable, but it’s a little bit overwhelming. Hopefully I’ll make it to the semi-finals and do better.”
Cameron Burrell – Boys’ long jump
On his fouls - “I felt good, but I reached for the board too much and got anxious. On the last jump, I got the crowd clapping, but it gave me too much energy and I went faster than I should have.”
Hannah Meier – Girls’ 800m
“I knew I had it coming down the final straight. It is awesome, and now I’m ready for the next round. I can’t believe I actually competed in France and I can tell my friends that.”
Cami Chapus – Girls’ 800m
“It was such a great feeling to qualify. I was with the girl from Australia and we were both so overjoyed when we found out we qualified. I knew I ran a PR, but when I found out I qualified, that is the best feeling ever! Wearing the USA jersey makes me pumped! I know my coaches and my family believe in me.”
Robin Reynolds – Girls’ 400m
“I didn’t want to come into the first round and exert too much energy. I was glad that I could coast to the finish and advance.”
Kendell Baisen – Girls’ 400m
“It feels good to advance at my first international meet. Being in lane eight was a little distraction, but not bad. Coming off the curve in lane eight is kind of hard. I’d never done it before and I was kind of wandering in my lane, but not too bad.”
Ronald Darby – Boys’ 100m
“I just tried to pick it up in the middle, then I didn’t feel pressured at the end, so I coasted through.”
Najee Glass – Boys’ 400m
“It’s amazing to be here. It is a big relief to move on to semis. I just want to do the same thing and stay relaxed.”
Arman Hall – Boys’ 400m
“I am relieved. When I came in, I was a nervous wreck, and I’m so glad I made it to finals. I want to prove to myself that I’m the best 400m runner in the world.”
Myasia Jacobs – Girls’ 100m
“Today I wanted to work on my drive phase to qualify for the next round. I deal with all this a little calmer than last year at the Youth Olympics.”
Carla Forbes – Girls’ Triple Jump
“It was tough not having my coach here. I was disappointed and it was not my best effort, but the competition was fierce.”
Jennifer Madu – Girls’ 100m & Triple Jump
“I’m kind of tired from the hectic time of going back and forth from the triple jump to the 100. I got one jump in, then I checked in for the 100, then I jumped twice again, then went back to the 100m. Usually I have time to rest, recoup and think about my next jump, and I didn’t have time to do that.”
Amber Bryant Brock – Girls’ 400m Hurdles
“I know I can run a better time, but qualifying takes the pressure off. I enjoyed running here. It’s a really good track. It takes away the shock when you land from the hurdles; it’s very soft and springy.”
Nnenya Hailey – Girl’s 400m Hurdles
“It is super exciting to be here. I have gone through a lot this year and being on this team is an honor. Winning the heat is just awesome. It felt super easy.”
Torrie Owers – Girls’ Shot Put
“I was happy to make finals. In the end, you always want to medal, but this makes me so hungry. I am going to train my butt off and come back next year. You better believe me that I am going to get even better. I’ve never found anything I love so much – I love throwing!”
Jonathan Russell – Boys’ 400m Hurdles
“I’m pretty excited and ready for the next race. After the last hurdle I just started pumping and going through the pain.”