Pan Am Juniors Updates - Day 3
MIRAMAR, Florida -- Team USA won nine more golds and finished with the second-highest medal total and second-highest number of golds ever on the final day of the 16th Pan American Junior Championships at the Ansin Sports Complex. The squads won 26 golds, 21 silvers and 12 bronzes over the three days of competition and dominated the medal table. Canada had 14 total medals for the second best tally, while Jamaica, the Bahamas, Brazil and Colombia each won three golds. Team USA's gold haul was eight higher than all the other nations combined.
Here's a look at Team USA's efforts in the final day's events:
Men's 10K Racewalk -- The current and former American Junior record holders were in the race, but Colombia's Eider Arevalo was the heavy favorite and he didn't disappoint. Trevor Barron, the U.S. senior 20K champion from Eugene in June and former AJR holder, executed his pre-race plan well but could not overcome Arevalo's finishing speed as he placed second at 41:39.16, ten seconds behind Arevalo. Tyler Sorensen, the current AJR holder, did not fare as well, ending up fifth at 44:38.17.
Men's hammer -- Any of Alec Faldermeyer's four legal throws would have easily captured the gold, and his 72.89/239-2 in the third round gave him the win by 20 feet. The UCLA freshman had a monster sector foul on his final attempt that appeared to be over 75 meters. Oregon prep Greg Skipper had a solid series to take fourth with a best of 63.26/207-6.
Women's 400 hurdles semis -- Running to eliminate only one competitor from two heats, Team USA's Tia Gamble and Angelica Weaver took it easy and did just what was necessary to advance to tonight's final. Gamble was third in the first section at 60.54, and Weaver clocked 61.16 for fourth in the second semi.
Women's 400 hurdles -- The evening session started off poorly for Team USA as Texas high schooler Tia Gamble placed fifth at 60.36 and Cal's Angelica Weaver was eighth at 62.09. Katrina Seymour of the Bahamas took the gold in 57.87.
Men's shot put -- South Dakota prep star Kyle McKelvey had a second-round throw of 18.39/60-4 to take the silver medal behind Jamaica's Ashinia Miller, who won with an impressive 19.97/65-6.25. Caleb Whitener of Georgia won the bronze with his opening 18.29/60-0.25.
Women's heptathlon -- Wisconsin's Deanna Latham placed third with a score of 5,277 points, one spot ahead of San Diego State's Allison Reaser, who was fourth at 5,162. Brazil's Tamara Souza won with 5,477.
Men's high jump -- Maalik Reynolds of Penn, who was seventh at the NCAA championships, cleared 2.22/7-3.25 on his first attempt to capture the gold ahead of Ryan Ingraham of the Bahamas, who cleared the same height on his second attempt. Coppin State's Brandon Baskerville nabbed the bronze, leaping 2.15/7-0.5.
Women's 1500 -- Accustomed to the steamy conditions, Florida's Cory McGee waited until the final 200 to unleash a kick that took her to gold in 4:35.46. Michigan high schooler Brook Handler wasn't quite as accustomed to the heat and still ran well to take the bronze at 4:37.17.
Men's 5000 -- Jacob Hurysz of North Carolina made a strong move over the final two laps to win a hard-fought gold, clocking 14:55.92. Hurysz traded pacing duties through the first 10 laps before taking a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
Women's 4x100 relay -- A botched handoff on the first exchange between Jenna Prandini and Keilah Tyson doomed Team USA as they did not finish. The team from the Bahamas made the most of the U.S. absence, storming to gold in 45.04.
Men's 4x100 relay -- After a very strong opening leg by 200 silver medalist Sean McLean, 100 champ Marvin Bracy opened up an even bigger margin down the backstretch, and from there it was clear sailing as 100 runner-up Keenan Brock ran a masterful curve and Oliver Bradwell finished it off to give Team USA gold in 39.43, more than a half second ahead of runner-up Canada.
Women's javelin -- American Junior and high school record holder Avione Allgood of North Las Vegas, Nev., threw her way to gold with a PAJ meet record 53.06/174-1 on her fifth attempt. Fawn Miller of Florida completed the Team USA sweep with a silver medal-winning effort of 47.26/155-1.
Men's 3000 steeplechase -- New York prep Eddie Owens, who earlier this year ran the fastest steeple time by a high schooler in 32 years, ran a gutsy race to claim silver in 9:07.11 behind Puerto Rico's Fernando Roman, who won in 8:59.52. Max Darrah of Georgetown was fifth at 9:33.25.
Men's 800 -- Following closely his pre-race plan, California high school champ Immanuel Hutchinson pulled off one of the upsets of the Championships. Running aggressively from gun to finish, Hutchinson clocked 1:49.04 to defeat Puerto Rico's Wesley Vasquez. Vasquez ran a 1:47.38 at the Ponce GP on May 14.
Women's 4x400 relay -- Diamond Dixon's 52.2 anchor leg was the icing on the cake as Team USA rolled through the final relay in 3:34.71 to win by four seconds over silver medalists Canada. Ebony Eutsey clocked 54.8 on the lead leg, and Phyllis Francis followed with a 54.2 carry. Briana Nelson opened up a wider lead on the third leg with a 53.5 before Dixon sealed the win. It was the fifth PAJ women's 4x4 win in a row for the U.S.
Men's 4x400 relay -- Clayton Gravesande and William Henry gave Team USA an unassailable lead on the opening two legs, allowing Davelle Sanders and 400 champ Josh Mance to ease through to a 3:08.20 and gold with a five second margin over Trinidad.
Alec Faldermeyer (gold, men's hammer) -- "Today I was not as good technically as I was in practice yesterday. My winning throw was not a bad throw, and I was pretty happy with the series. It was better than at the U.S. Juniors. My best throws were fouls today. I was working on slowing down on entry and letting the ball do the work. We do train with the lighter implement at UCLA, and it was fun to throw it in competition after throwing the 16 in college meets all year. My goal for next year is to throw 74 meters and do well at the Trials."
Greg Skipper (4th, men's hammer) -- "I knew I needed a PR or near PR on my last throw to medal.Morning competitions don't go very well for me, it's not my best time to throw. I have been breaking down my technique to improve, and it held me back today to not be as strong and fast as I was earlier this season."
Trevor Barron (silver, men's 10K walk) -- "I was excited to come here for international competition. Knowing it was only 10K, I was ready for the distance. There are some changes from the 20K, and I have been building up for the longer distance working on a long push. I knew I wouldn't be as fast at the finish as Arevalo, so I went hard through the middle of the race. He is a World Cup champion, so I knew it would be tough to win. I went to Colombia for a month earlier this year and I knew Arevalo. My time at the Olympic Training Center has been very helpful. This is my first international medal, and I am very thankful for all the help I have received from USATF and others."
Kyle McKelvey (silver, men's shot) -- "I had no real problems with the heat, it's nothing I haven't seen and competed in before. My high school coach always taught me a U.S.-style glide technique, but over the last month I have tried to adjust my technique to the European glide. I have only worked with the 6-kilo implement for a month, and most of the guys here have done a lot more work with it. It does make a pretty good transition from the high school to the 16-pound shot, and this experience should help me a lot next season in my first year of college throwing."
Cory McGee (gold, women's 1500) -- "Going out I wanted to approach it like USA nationals, wait for the last lap and see how I feel. It was good to have some advantage in these conditions because it is difficult weather, but this race is still hard work. I wasn't sure what my coach was going to have me do. I could probably have gone out faster and tried for a PR, but the last lap was a great note to end the season on."
Jacob Hurysz (gold, men's 5000) -- "It was hard, it was so hot. I have never been in anything like this. I decided to break them when I went with 600 to go. I figured it would take a pretty big kick from them to catch me. The first time you win gold for your country, whether it is Olympics or Pan Am Juniors, it's a great feeling."
Marvin Bracy (gold, men's 4x100 second leg) -- "We weren't going to let anything bad happen to our handoffs. We had a target on our backs but that makes us work that much harder. We just had to come out and execute and get the job done."
Maalik Reynolds (gold, men's high jump) -- "I was hoping to go higher than my PR of 2.28, but I am kind of satisfied. This was a very fast runway and I was getting pushed in too close to the bar on takeoff. I was having to adjust all the time, and it was hard to get it just right. I want to be consistent at 7-5 or 7-6 next year."
Immanuel Hutchinson (gold, men's 800) -- "I was thinking a lot about the guy from Puerto Rico and keeping on him since he had the fastest time coming in. At 200 I felt I would win. This feels like a huge accomplishment after such a long season."
Avione Allgood (gold, women's javelin) -- "I was consistent at 50 meters today, so I am happy with that. My technique wasn't really there. Training has been ok. My arm was fast, but the block wasn't there. It was very humid but good conditions."