Pan Am Juniors Updates - Day 2
MIRAMAR, Florida -- After a strong first day that saw Team USA win 18 medals, seven of them gold, the second day of the 16th Pan American Junior Championships yielded a gold rush. U.S. athletes won 10 events and tallied 24 medals on the day to bring the meet total to 42 heading into the final day.
Here's a look at Team USA's performances on the second day:
Women's shot put -- High schoolers Christina Hillman and Kelsey Card picked up silver and bronze for Team USA in an event that was carried over from Friday due to weather delays. Hillman, the Delaware state champion, had a throw of 15.11/49-7 in the second round to take second, and Card, the Illinois champ, was third at 15.03/49-3.75. Alessandra Gamboa Dulong of Peru won with a throw of 15.23/49-11.75.
Women's long jump -- Michigan State freshman Ashley Stacey used a 6.13w/20-1.5 jump on her third attempt to garner silver. California prep champ Jenna Prandini was just out of the medals in fourth place with a leap of 5.89/19-4. Gold went to Jessica Reis of Brazil with a jump of 6.39/20-11.75.
Men's 110 Hurdles semis -- But for a wind over the allowable limit for record purposes, Florida's Eddie Lovett would be the new World Junior record holder after his stunning 13.03 in the semis. Unfortunately for Lovett, the aiding wind was 2.9 meters per second, over the allowable of 2.0 mps. Roy Smith of North Carolina gave Team USA the other heat win with a windy 13.33 clocking.
Men's 800 semis -- California state champ Immanuel Hutchinson was the fastest qualifier overall, winning heat one in 1:50.43. Derrick Daigre struggled and did not advance after finishing eighth at 2:00.44 in heat two.
Women's 200 semis -- Both Team USA competitors advanced easily, led by USC's Jessica Davis, who clocked a windy 23.36 in heat one to place second. California state 400 champ Akawkaw Ndipagbor was second in the other semi with a windy 23.43. Kai Selvon of Trinidad had the fastest qualifying time at 23.01w.
Men's 200 semis -- Louisiana Tech's Ed Hadnot won heat one in 21.03 to nab an auto qualifying berth, and North Carolina high school champion Sean McLean followed up with a windy 20.98 to win the second semi and also advance. NCAA 400 winner Kirani James of Grenada won the third semi in 20.62w, the fastest time overall.
Women's discus -- World Youth bronze medalist Shelbi Vaughan added PAJ gold to her trophy case with a 53.12/174-3 throw. The Texas state high school champion had only three legal throws, but her third attempt was good enough to give her the win by six inches over Brazil's Esthefania Costa. Jessica Sharbono of Colorado State finished fifth at 49.11/161-1.
Men's 400 Hurdles semis -- Jordin Andrade of Mt. SAC and Monte Corley of Cal both finished second in their semis to advance to the final. Andrade clocked 53.46 in the first semi, while Corley finished at 53.72 in the second section. Javarn Gallimore of Jamaica had the fastest qualifying time at 52.17.
Men's 1500 -- A rough and tumble beginning turned golden for Michigan prep Omar Kaddurah, who used a 56-second last lap to take the gold in a mad dash to the finish over North Carolina's Isaac Presson. The leaders came through 1200 in 3:10, and Kaddurah moved fastest down the stretch to finish in 3:52.29. Presson was just behind him at 3:52.78.
Women's 800 - Kenyetta Iyevbele of North Carolina State ran a tactically superb race to take top honors in 2:06.27, outleaning Annie LeBlanc of Canada, who was second just .08 behind. Missouri high schooler Samantha Levin grabbed the bronze with a 2:07.68 clocking.
Men's 110 hurdles -- On the heels of a stunning 13.03w in the prelims, Florida's Eddie Lovett took another crack at the World Junior record of 13.08, but came up just short as he won in 13.14 after recovering from losing his balance early in the race. Fellow Floridian Roy Smith, who attends North Carolina, also shattered his PR, finishing second at 13.24.
Women's 3000 steeplechase -- Michigan's Alexandra Leptich eased away from the rest of the field over the final three laps to take gold for Team USA in 10:43.76, with Grace Heymsfield of Arkansas winning silver with a time of 10:47.01.
Men's 400 hurdles -- Running the race of his life, Cal's Monte Corley used a big PR to win in 51.21, leading a 1-2 Team USA finish as Jordin Andrade of Mt. SAC took the silver at 52.09. Pre-race favorite Javarn Gallimore of Jamaica, who had the fastest qualifying time, pulled up after the eighth hurdle.
Men's decathlon -- American Junior record holder Kevin Lazas of Arkansas used a big PR in the javelin and a 16-0+ clearance in the pole vault to score 7,979 points and capture gold with a PAJ meet record. Oklahoma high schooler Gunnar Nixon, who set the national prep record earlier this year, scored 7,669 to easily take the silver with a 500-point cushion over the third-placer.
Men's triple jump -- Florida State's Phillip Young, who went to high school in Key West, had the best jump of his life on his fourth attempt, leaping a wind-aided 16.01/52-6.5 to take silver. Eastern Michigan's Donald Scott, also a Florida prep product, was fifth with a best of 15.51w/50-10.75. Elton Walcott of Trinidad was the winner with a big 16.51w/54-2.
Women's high jump -- NCAA indoor silver medalist and outdoor bronze medalist Shanay Briscoe of Texas cleared 1.83/6-0 on her second attempt to take gold. Oregon prep Rachel Proteau, a junior-to-be who started the season with a 5-4 personal best, finished fifth at 1.74/5-8.5.
Women's 200 -- USC's Jessica Davis missed out on silver by the barest of margins, ending up with bronze at 22.97 as she was edged by one-thousandth of a second by Kai Selvon of Trinidad. Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas smashed the PAJ meet record with a sterling 22.70, aided by a 2.0 wind, the maximum allowable for record purposes. California high schooler Akawkaw Ndipagbor ended up fifth at 23.38.
Men's 200 -- North Carolina high schooler Sean McLean gave NCAA 400 champ Kirani James of Grenada all he could handle, but James was the better finisher to take gold in 20.53w, with McLean taking silver at 20.69w. Louisiana Tech's garnered bronze with a solid 20.82.
Women's 5000 -- Illinois prep star Kayla Beattie polished off an impressive distance double, easily winning the 5K to add to the 3K gold she won yesterday. Beattie won in 16:48.44 as she ran by herself most of the way, topping the silver medalist by almost six seconds.
Men's javelin -- Sean Keller, the Washington high school champ, finished sixth with a best of 69.65/228-6, and UCLA's Derek Eager was eighth with a throw of 65.90/216-2. Braian Toledo of Argentina blasted the previous PAJ meet record with his 76.09 in the first round, and he added to that record in round three with his winning 76.40/250-8.
Men's 10,000 -- Sixth at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada, Oregon's Parker Stinson was dominant here on the way to a 30:37.88 victory that saw him almost half a lap ahead of the next finisher. Alex Monroe of Lock Haven won bronze at 31:21.42.
Shelbi Vaughan (gold, women's discus) -- "My throws have been consistently around 170-0 for a while. The heat didn't bother me since I am from Texas. At the beginning of the year I didn't expect all this success, but I gained confidence through the season after doing a lot of reps. I am very happy with my throw here, and I had one long foul that I wish I could have saved. I want to throw at least 185-0 next year as a senior."
Omar Kaddurah (gold, men's 1500) -- "They were pushing all over from the gun. I didn't panic, I just kept moving up. Coming up to the last lap I kind of had to shove my way through. I am thankful for the way it finished up. My race plan was to stay relaxed and be patient. My training was really going strong and I thought this would be a great meet to run."
Isaac Presson (silver, men's 1500) -- "It was crowded and we went out pretty slow, so there was lots of pushing. I moved up but the next couple laps were also pretty rough. My plan was to be near the lead, but not take the lead, because my finish has been one of my strongest points. I wanted to be in position to be able to run clear to the line."
Kenyetta Iyevbele (gold, women's 800) -- "Everything went pretty much just like I planned it. I felt very positive coming into this meet, and I just needed to hang in there and be ready with 250 to go. It went very well."
Eddie Lovett (gold, men's 110 hurdles) -- "I kind of lost my balance trying to speed up my rhythm around the third hurdle. My goal was to break the record, but it was a great feeling to win. It feels weird to run over the 39-inch hurdles again. It's like there's a short box, and you know it looks real easy to clear that box, but it's really not easy at all. This race takes a lot of technique to get right. The mission after the prelims was to go sub-13, but I am happy and it was a fun race."
Roy Smith (silver, men's 110 hurdles) -- "I have been racing against Eddie since the 10th grade, which made this one fun. It's a technique race over 39's, and I guess I ran well. I tried to stay as close to Eddie as I could and run a fast time to have a chance to win."
Kevin Lazas (gold, decathlon) -- "A full year at the NCAA level with a great bunch of coaches and great facilities has really helped me develop. Last year the World Juniors was the first big meet I had ever been to and it psyched me out. I have improved in basically every event, but especially in the pole vault. Going into 2012 my goal is to make the Trials, and my dream is to make the Olympic team. If not, any international team would be great to be able to compete in another part of the world. My last javelin throw today was a big PR. I got the tip up and nailed it. The vault was tough because the crosswind was blowing us all over the place."
Gunnar Nixon (silver, decathlon) -- "I came in here not training too hard, just wanted to have fun and have a good meet in my last high school competition. The javelin went really well for me, and it was great to meet more people from different nations."
Alexandra Leptich (gold, women's 3000 steeplechase) -- "I knew I had been doing a lot of speed work and was really sharp coming into this meet. The steeple always hurts, so my plan was to relax and be in rhythm and be ready when it came to the last hurdles and water jump. I ran a lot in long sleeves and long pants to prepare for these hot conditions."
Monte Corley (gold, men's 400 hurdles) -- "I wanted to get out hard, relax, and let my speed from the first three hurdles carry me through. The last 100 I felt really good. I didn't even notice the Jamaican stopping, I had complete focus on my race. I am very happy to get this PR after a long college season."
Sean McLean (silver, men's 200) -- "It was fun running with Kirani James. Feels pretty good, he is one of the best. I started breaking down over the last part of the race. I wanted to get out good and hold him off. This is my favorite meet of all, my first USA team. I took it easy this morning in the prelims. We are ready to try and run very fast in the 4x100 tomorrow."
Phillip Young (silver, men's triple jump) -- "My high school coach and my mom were here to watch, which was really nice. I felt pretty good and had one big foul. It felt like the runway was giving more back than it did in practice the other day."
Shanay Briscoe (gold, women's high jump) -- "I am just thankful to be able to win an international title. I am really glad the season is over, it has been a long year. Now I need to start working toward 2012."
USA Track & Field