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Pan Am Juniors Updates - Day 1

7/22/2011
 
MIRAMAR, Florida -- The 16th Pan American Junior Championships got under way today at the Ansin Sports Complex, featuring athletes from nations across the Americas. Periodic updates will be posted here.

Morning session
Before the first storm of the morning hit, the decathlon 100 was completed. American Junior record holder Kevin Lazas was second in heat two at 10.92, while Gunnar Nixon won the first heat at 11.15. Victor Santos of Brazil had the best time overall at 10.84.

(The all clear signal was issued at 11:20 a.m.)

Women's 100 semis -- Keilah Tyson won the second of two heats in a personal-best 11.46 with a 0.9 aiding wind. California state champion Jenna Prandini was second in the first heat at 11.44w, aided by a 2.6 wind. The fastest time went to Michelle-lee Ahye of Trinidad, who won the first section in 11.15w.

Men's 100 semis -- Both Team USA entrants were easy winners of their heats. Auburn's Keenan Brock zipped to a windy 10.17 in the first section, the fastest time overall, and Florida prep champ Marvin Bracy eased to a 10.28w in heat two.

Women's Hammer final
-- Georgia high schooler Shelby Ashe recovered after a shaky start and a long weather break to throw 59.25/194-5 on her final attempt and win the gold for Team USA. Karen Henning of LSU nabbed the bronze with a 54.18/177-9 on her last throw. Her brother, Walter, won the Pan Am Junior men's hammer title in 2007.

Men's 400 semis -- Arizona State's William Henry won the first heat in 46.90 to easily advance, and Josh Mance cruised to a 47.13 to finish second in the second heat and also advance to the final. Deon Lendore of Trinidad had the fastest qualifying time at 46.86.

Women's Pole Vault -- Team USA swept the medals with Louisiana high schooler Morgann LeLeux taking the gold and North Carolina's Sandi Morris the silver. LeLeux, the prep record holder, cleared 4.15/13-7.25 for the win, with Morris second at 4.05/13-3.5. LeLeux took three attempts at 4.35/14-3.25, which would have broken her prep record and also been a PAJ meet record.

Evening session
NOTE: Weather delay again, started just after 8 p.m. at the conclusion of the women's 3000.

Women's 100 Hurdles -- World Youth champion Trinity Wilson doubled her gold rush with a convincing 13.17 win, .15 ahead of the runner-up. The California state high school champ was joined on the medal stand by Clemson's Bridgette Owens, who claimed bronze at 13.34.

Women's 400 -- Kansas freshman Diamond Dixon raced to silver at 53.10 after a rapid first 200 that left her without her usual strong finish, and Oregon's Phyllis Francis was the bronze medalist at 53.81. Jamaica's Chrisann Gordon won in 52.62.

Men's 400 -- It was just another day at the office for Josh Mance of USC, as he rolled to an easy 46.14 win. The 2009 World Youth silver medalist and the NCAA sixth-placer this year, Mance won by .36 seconds. William Henry of Arizona State was fourth at 46.80.

Women's 100 -- Virginia state high school phenom Keilah Tyson, who scored 33 points to lead her school to a second-straight class AAA title in June, scored a big PR of 11.39 to take silver behind Trinidad's Michelle-lee Ahye, who won at 11.25. California high school champ Jenna Prandini was fourth at 11.56.

Men's 100 -- Team USA's killer B's, Marvin Bracy and Keenan Brock, swept the top spots in impressive fashion, with Bracy taking the win in a windy 10.09 and Brock the silver at 10.12w.

Women's 3000 -- Another medal sweep for Team USA came from Illinois high school ace Kayla Beattie and Wisconsin prep champ Allison Woodward, who overcame very tough conditions to run 9:30.63 and 9:31.83 after sharing pacing duties throughout the race.

Men's pole vault -- Oregon high schooler JJ Juilfs cleared 5.10/16-8.75 to nab the silver medal behind Brazil's Thiago da Silva, who cleared 5.20/17-0.75. Cody Marshall failed at three attempts at his opening height of 4.75/15-7.

Men's long jump -- Texans Devin Field and Terrance Williams went 1-2 for Team USA, led by Field's windy 7.58/24-10.5 leap. Williams had a best of 7.54/24-9 for the silver.

Men's discus -- Indiana high school state champ Gabe Hull used a final round 57.78/189-7 to jump into silver medal position, finishing behind only Jamaica's Travis Smikle, who smashed the Pan Am Junior meet record with a 66.58/218-5 in the fifth round. Alex Thompson was sixth with a best of 54.20/177-10.

After a two-hour weather delay, the decathlon resumed for the final event at 10:45 p.m.

Decathlon (after first day) -- American Junior record holder Kevin Lazas of Arkansas leads after five events with 4,066 points, 16 ahead of Oklahoma high schooler Gunnar Nixon. The second day's events will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Athlete Quotes

Shelby Ashe (gold, women's hammer) -- "It was really weird. I thought I would be ok after the weather break, because every other big meet when it rained I was ok. I didn't get as big a throw as I wanted, but I will take this one. I will be taking a year off before I attend college so I can train with coach Mike Judge in Georgia."

Karen Henning (bronze, women's hammer) -- "I just try not to think about it when weather affects the competition. It is Florida, it rains. I just tried to relax more on my later throws, loosen up my shoulders and let it happen. Now I get to have my summer vacation!"

Morgann LeLeux (gold, women's pole vault) -- "I broke a pole midway through the competition, at 4.05 I think, and the next pole up for me was a 14 170, which was just a bit too big today. I still have some more work to do. The headwinds were really tough and truthfully, I am just happy I won this."

Sandi Morris (silver, women's pole vault) -- "Warmups felt great, I was clearing 14-0 on the bungee, and I only took about four warmup jumps. When we came back out after the rain delay it wasn't so good. The headwind was bad, but I made my opening height on my first attempt, which is always nice.It was so hot out there, and that got to me a bit later in the competition. I am very happy with my finish, though."

Trinity WIlson (gold, women's 100H) -- "Winning the second part of the World Youth/Pan Am double is an extremely good feeling! I just didn't know how this would turn out since we didn't run prelims. My start was good and I stayed with everyone until hurdles 4, 5 and 6, where I started pressing and moved ahead. Technically this felt very good, but France was a little better."

Gabe Hull (silver, men's discus) -- "At the beginning I was just thinking I would settle for whatever I could get, but then I thought that I had done well before so I could do well again. I almost reproduced the good things I had done before, so it ended up well and I had a good last attempt."

Diamond Dixon (silver, women's 400) -- "I was really thinking about getting out fast, and I think maybe I went out a bit too quick on the first 200. I felt tired at 250 and didn't have as much strength over the last stretch as usual. It is tough to stay motivated and keep focus over a long college season, but you have to do that at this level."

Josh Mance (gold, men's 400) -- "After being delayed so much before we got to run, I knew it was going to be really tough to run a very fast time. I just wanted to win at that point. This has been a really good freshman year for me, going to NCAA's and setting the freshman record."

Marvin Bracy (gold, men's 100) -- "It feels great to be here at home and have my family and friends here to watch and then run fast and win. I didn't run real hard in the prelims. My hamstring was tight after relay practice Wednesday and the Team USA medical staff did a good job treating me. I know I can run under 10 in the future. Recruiting is out of the way (he committed to Florida State) and now I will focus on football next."

Keenan Brock (silver, men's 100) -- "The false start messed up my concentration a bit and I held myself on the second start. I closed really well and felt great today. It is good to be home and run well."

JJ Juilfs (silver, men's pole vault) -- "Yes, the weather affected me negatively. I did the best I could to adapt. I came to win, but I am thankful to be here. I had a lot of misses along the way, and the headwind was tough to deal with."



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