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Relay men strike gold for Team USATF on six-medal day

7/14/2018
 

TAMPERE, Finland -- On the penultimate day of the IAAF World U20 Championships, Eric Harrison Jr. (Washington, D.C.), Anthony Schwartz (Miami, Florida), Austin Kratz (Telford, Pennsylvania), Micah Williams (Portland, Oregon) won the first gold medal of the meet for Team USATF. The 4x100m relay team ran a U20 world leading time of 38.88, the fourth fastest a U.S. U20 team has ever run, for the sixth U.S. gold in a row in the event. The U.S. now owns the eight fastest times in U20 history.


The U.S. won six medals on the day and tops the table with 14 overall, and also broadened the margin on the point standings to 45 over Jamaica with 125. Besides the relay gold, Team USATF won three silvers and two bronzes and saw a stunning American Junior record in the race walk.


Oregon’s Lauren Rain Williams (Lakewood, California) sprinted her way to silver in the women’s 200m, clocking 23.09 behind Jamaica’s Briana Williams’ championship record 22.50. Teammate Jayla Kirkland (Tallahassee, Florida) crossed the finish line in fourth but was later disqualified from the race.


Looking to win Team USATF’s first men’s medal in the event, Tzuriel Pedigo (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) launched the javelin a personal best distance of 73.76m/242-0 in the final round to take silver. Pedigo was the second U.S. javelin thrower to make history at this year’s championship as Dana Baker’s (Olathe, Kansas) javelin bronze on day two was the first ever on the women’s side.


After clearing each of the first four heights he attempted on his first try, Zachery Bradford (Bloomington, Illinois) then soared over a personal best 5.55m/18-2.5 on his second attempt to claim the silver. Bradford was bested only by championship record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden. Cole Riddle (Surprise, Arizona) cleared 5.30m/17-4.5 to take seventh place.


High jumper JuVaughn Blake (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) also had a clean slate through his first five heights before requiring two attempts to clear a personal best 2.23m/7-3.75, and that one miss proved costly as the two men ahead of him made it first time. Blake finished in a tie for the bronze with South Africa’s Breyton Poole.


Adding another World U20 medal to her collection, Alyssa Wilson (Howell, New Jersey) picked up silver with a 64.45m/211-5 in the women’s hammer throw. She became the fourth American female athlete to medal in two individual events at the World U20 championships, along with her shot put bronze in 2016. Others were Shakedia Jones and Kaylin Whitney in the 100m and 200m and Sanya Richards-Ross in the 200m and 400m. Teammate Jillian Shippee (Waterford, New York) was sixth with a best of 61.38m/201-4.


Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, Ohio) shattered her own American junior record in the 10,000m race walk, taking more than three minutes off the previous mark with a 45:57.82 that placed her 10th. It was the best placing ever by a U.S. woman in the walk at the U20 Championships


Ewert now ranks No. 6 in American history in 10,000-meter race walk performances on the track. Michelle Roll, Maria Michta-Coffey, Teresa Vaill, Debbi Lawrence and Miranda Melville are the only ones who have walked the distance faster, and all five have won a U.S. national title at some point in their careers. Teammate Lauren Harris (Holtsville, New York) dropped out after completing 7,000m.


Morning session


Discus

Elijah Mason (Casa Grande, Arizona) picked up a qualifying spot for the men’s discus final with a first round attempt of 56.86m/186-6. Teammate Gabriel Oladipo Jr (College Station, Texas) narrowly missed moving on to the final as he finished 14th in the qualifying round. Oladipo’s furthest throw of 56.53m/185-5 was less than half a meter shy of moving on.


Triple Jump

Jasmine Moore (Grand Prairie, Texas) gathered her focus on her third round effort to jump 13.08m/42-11 and advance to the women’s triple jump final. Lexi Ellis (Tacoma, Washington) opened the day strong with her best jump of 12.72m/41-8.75 coming on her first attempt.


4x400m Relays

The men’s 4x400m relay team of Matthew Boling (Houston, Texas), Nicholas Ramey (Snellville, Georgia), Justin Robinson (St. Louis, Missouri), and Umajesty Williams (Tucson, Arizona) decidedly won the second heat of the qualifying round in 3:05.57 to move on to the final. The team ran the fastest time by nearly two seconds and snagged a world U20 lead.


Symone Mason (Miami, Florida), Shae Anderson (Norco, California), Jan’Taijah Ford (Pompano Beach, Florida), and Arria Minor (Denver, Colorado) blew past the competition in the third heat of the women’s 4x400m relay to solidify a top seed in the final round. The team’s qualifying time of 3:33.11 was by far the fastest time of the day to take a world U20 lead.


Evening Session


100m hurdles semifinal

Cortney Jones (Conyers, Georgia) took an easy win in the first heat of the women’s 100m hurdle semi-final as she flew across the line in 13.24. Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) left the rest of field out of sight in the second heat of the women’s 100m hurdle semi-final as she took the win in 13.06 to move on to the final. The hurdle duo is seeded first and third for the final race on day six.


800m

Josh Hoey (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) narrowly missed moving on to the 800m final with his fourth place finish in the first semi-final heat. His personal best 1:48.07 was a fraction of a second short of moving on. Rey Rivera (Old Bridge, New Jersey) battled a strong second heat in a sprint to the line with a seventh place finish of 1:50.48.


5000m

Cooper Teare (Alameda, California) led the U.S. duo in the men’s 5,000m run with a tenth place finish of 14:24.30. Soren Knudsen (Flagstaff, Arizona) brought the race home with a 20th place time of 16:18.33.


Click here for results. Fans in the U.S. can watch live coverage on the Olympic Channel (also available online).


The sixth and final day of competition starts at 6:30 a.m. ET. Click here for the full schedule.


Medal table (14)


Gold (1)

Men’s 4x100m, Eric Harrison Jr., Anthony Schwartz, Austin Kratz, Micah Williams


Silver (7)

Men’s shot put, Adrian Piperi

Men’s 100m, Anthony Schwartz

Women’s 100m, Twanisha Terry

Women’s hammer, Alyssa Wilson

Women’s 200m, Lauren Rain Williams

Men’s javelin, Tzuriel Pedigo

Men’s pole vault, Zachery Bradford


Bronze (6)

Women’s javelin, Dana Baker

Men’s 100m, Eric Harrison

Women’s 400m, Taylor Manson

Women’s long jump, Tara Davis

Men’s 200m, Eric Harrison Jr.

Men’s high jump, JuVaughn Blake

 

American Junior Records (1)

Women’s 10,000m Race Walk, Taylor Ewert, 45:57.81


Quotes

Taylor Ewert on her American Junior record 10,000m race walk: “It was amazing! Most of my races i come out here and lead, so just to have other amazing race walkers to compete against is awesome, it was just a great race. I held a pretty steady pace but wasn’t able to respond when they went at the 5k but I was still able to get a massive PR and that’s what I wanted.”


JuVaughn Blake on winning bronze in men's high jump: “It's a great accomplishment for me to come out here and compete for my country, especially this being my first time to actually medal.”


On sharing a medal with Breyton Poole of South Africa:

“I'm just happy I got to make it up on the podium and do it for my country.”


Alyssa Wilson on winning silver in the women's hammer throw: "I was extremely happy after releasing that throw [64.45m]. I knew it was a far one, and I was just hoping that I could keep up with all the pressure on me and I just wanted to have a good meet after a disappointing last two days."


Lauren Rain Williams on winning silver in the women’s 200m: "I'm a little disappointed in the overall race but I'm still proud of myself after this long, grueling season with some disappointment throughout college. So being able to come here to represent my country has been such an honor so I'm just glad I was able to get silver... I'm using this as fuel for next year and to just be better."


Zachary Bradford on winning silver in the men’s pole vault: “It was insane. The first attempt was a good attempt, second attempt I bailed and third attempt I knew I had to make to get that second place. I made that height in Indiana [USATF Junior Outdoor Championships] so I knew I could make the height, i just had to execute it. I was just trying to keep my composure so I could keep making higher bars. When Masaki Ejima was going over his third attempt at 5.60, it looked like he made it so I thought i got bronze, but then the bar fell and I got silver, I couldn’t keep myself together.”


Eric Harrison Jr. on 4x100m gold: “It’s truly a blessing to be here. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. I gave it all I had in my last race of the week. Mentally I’m all there but my body is just tired, telling me it’s time to shut it down. That last 100m was all I had left. I had no doubt we would get gold.”


Anthony Schwartz on 4x100m gold: “I felt good and fast. I just made sure I got the baton safety, ran all out and give it to our best curve runner [Austin Kratz] and then let him and Micah do their thing.”


Austin Kratz on 4x100m gold: “Yesterday was the first time I had ever been on a stage like this and I knew I could get the nerves out of me then and really go all out here [in the final]. It was so loud down there I didn’t hear Anthony yell stick so we had a little bit of a mishap on the handoff but in my head I knew I wasn’t going to let anyone get ahead of me. I knew if I got it to Micah in first he would hold on and that’s what happened.”


Micah Williams on 4x100m gold: “I felt good. I’m just happy to have the gold medal. I ran all out. I ran like there was a bear on my back because I was not trying to lose that lead.”

 


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