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Perry 100H Gold Leads Off 11-Medal Night at Pan Am Juniors

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA - Alexis Perry was a surprise winner in the women's 100m hurdles to start a rush Friday night that produced 11 medals, four of them gold, for Team USA at the 17th Pan American Junior Championships at Alfonso Galvis Duque Stadium.

Perry set a lifetime best with her 13.56 to capture gold in the sprint hurdles, .01 ahead of Canada's Nicole Setterington, in the first final of the evening session. Always a strong event for the U.S., Perry is the 12th American winner in 17 editions of this meet. Sasha Wallace placed fourth in the race at 13.72.
The next race on the track saw Courtney Okolo and Kendall Baisden produce a U.S. sweep of the top two places in the women's 400, with Okolo winning in 52.19 ahead of Baisden's 52.59. Okolo's time was just outside the meet record of 52.01 as she became only the third U.S. woman to win the event and the first since Natasha Hastings in 2005.


Stamatia Scarvelis and Chase Ealey added two more medals to Team USA's tally in the women's shot put. Scarvelis won with a throw of 15.46m/50-8.75, and Ealey took bronze. Scarvelis follows in the footsteps of eight American women who won 10 previous Pan Am Junior titles, including three by the current (Michelle Carter) and previous (Jill Camarena) American record holders.


In the men's discus, Hayden Reed used a last-round throw of 62.49m/205-0 to take the gold away from local favorite Mauricio Ortega Giron. Bronze went to Reggie Jagers, who had a PR 59.30m/194-6. Reed is the 10th winner from the U.S. in meet history.
Jennifer Madu sprinted to silver in the women's 100 with a wind-aided (+2.8) time of 11.37, .1 ahead of teammate Morolake Akinosun in fourth. The night's other silver was won by Andre Jefferson in the men's long jump, where he recorded the longest jump of his life with a 7.92m/26-0 that left him only seven centimeters short of gold. Fourth place went to Kaelan Washington, who had a jump of 7.27m/23-10.25
Fighting Medellin's almost-5,000-feet altitude, Thomas Awad nabbed the bronze in the men's 5,000m at 14:55.53, and Trayvon Bromell picked up bronze in the men's 100 with a 10.44 (+1.8) clocking. Tevin Hester, the morning's fastest semifinalist, ended up eighth at 10.71.
Team USA runners went 4-5 in the men's 400, led by Marcus Chambers at 46.75. Juan Green's 47.08 placed him fifth.


Stamatia Scarvelis, women's shot put gold -- "Throwing far would have been icing on the cake, but I am always happy to win. This is a little past our regular season, and it was good to be able to compete after almost two months off. I just wanted to save the first throw. My technique was not my best but the goal was always the placing. (Asked about her piano playing) Playing piano for so many years has helped me learn timing and has made me a much more well-rounded person."
Hayden Reed, men's discus gold -- "I started the competition really slowly, and I even broke a discus on one of the poles in the cage. It went better and better with each throw, though. I really finished it on my last throw, that was the difference. This is my first international win, and hopefully not my last."
Alexis Perry, women's 100m hurdles gold -- "It was so close at the finish I was just waiting and anxious to see the results. To get a PR feels great. This morning's race was so early, this one was much better and better conditions. I am always a second-half racer; if my first half gets better I can run much faster. I have been training non-stop and my technique over the hurdles has gotten a lot better thanks to my coach."
Courtney Okolo, women's 400 gold -- "This was the usual way I run, coming from behind. I didn't do anything different. I just wanted to run a good race, and I am looking forward to the 4x400."
Jennifer Madu, women's 100 silver -- "I was very focused and I executed my drive phase very well. My last 15-20 meters was just not there tonight. It's been a long year and that has made it tough to maintain fitness. I was trying to fight it at the end, and I didn't feel the other girl at my side, all I could see was Morolake (Akinosun). This is a lot younger team than ones I have been on, and I am looking forward to the 4x100."
Kendall Baisden, women's 400 silver -- "I was hoping for a little faster time but I finished well so I was happy. It was tough running two fast races in one day."
Reggie Jagers, men's discus bronze -- "I warmed up long and felt really good, and was disappointed with my first throw because I tensed up. My technique on my best throw wasn't good, but I had a great strike. It was a slow ring, but my adrenaline kicked in and it didn't affect me. I am glad I got on the medal stand."
Chase Ealey, women's shot put bronze -- "It was hard to hold on until late August for good throws. I did some things well and others not so well, and when I fixed one part, another part would go bad. Track was my second sport (behind volleyball) but this meet has really helped me love track even more."

Thomas Awad, men's 5000 bronze -- "I hoped one of the other guys in the pack would cover the move by the leader later in the race, but no one went with him. My training has been geared to cross country and I should have been faster. I am really happy to get a medal. The altitude was tough."
Wolf Mahler, men's decathlon after day one -- "Like always, I started fast and ended fast. The long jump was a decathlon PR. I am really having fun out there while still being serious about the competition. The 400 always feels good and it's my bread and butter event. It was really good when I got my Team USA gear in the mail, it really made it easier to train toward this meet."

Friday's results can be found at

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