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Relays Sweep, Volz Wins Surprise Gold on Penultimate Day in Bydgoszcz


BYDGOSZCZ, Poland -- Anchored by the individual 100m champions, both Team USA 4x100-meter relays rolled to gold, and the U.S. got a surprise gold in the field events Saturday on day five of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships at Zawisza Stadium. Firmly ensconced at the top of the medal table with nine golds and 17 total medals, the U.S. also held an almost-100 point lead in the team scoring with 170 with one day to go.

Leading off the men’s 4x100m relay with one of the best curve runners in the world, Michael Norman (Murrieta Valley, California), Team USA’s men had solid handoffs at all three exchanges before 100m champion Noah Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia) made up a one-meter deficit and surged past Japan’s anchor leg to give the U.S. the gold in 38.93, the fastest U20 time of the year.

It was the 10th sprint relay gold for Team USA in World U20 history, and the fifth straight. Norman handed off to Hakim Montgomery, who held his position down the backstretch before passing to Brandon Taylor. Taylor did his job effectively and got the baton to the Fastest Teenager in the World in contention, and it was all Lyles from there.

Taylor Bennett (Spring, Texas - Baylor) made up a slight deficit on the second leg and Candace Hill (Conyers, Georgia) removed any doubt on the anchor to pace the U.S. to an easy win in the women’s 4x100m relay, their 43.69 more than three-tenths faster than silver medalists France. Hurdler Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) passed off to Bennett in second place behind Germany at the first exchange, and after Bennett’s carry Kaylor Harris (Mesquite, Texas) safely traversed the second bend to get the stick to 100m champion Hill, who was a step behind Germany and France at the handoff.

It was the 10th U.S. women’s sprint relay gold in World U20 history, and the sixth straight.

Deakin Volz (Bloomington, Indiana) produced the surprise result of the meet for Team USA, winning the first-ever U.S. World U20 gold in the men’s pole vault with a lifetime-best 5.65m/18-6.5. Volz, who upset World U20 leader Kurtis Marschall of Australia, was down to his final attempt at 5.60m/18-4.5 after one miss at 5.55m and one more at 5.60m, but he sailed over the bar with ease. In a groove, Volz made 5.65m on his first try to move to equal third on the all-time U.S. U20 list. Christopher Nilsen (Kansas City, Missouri) cleared 5.35m/17-6.5 on his second attempt to finish seventh.

Surging back after struggling through the final bend in the men’s 400m hurdles, Taylor McLaughlin (Scotch Plains, New Jersey) raced past Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands over the final 60m to set a lifetime best of 49.45 and take silver behind the 49.03 of defending champion Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica.

Taylor Bennett ran a strong curve in the women’s 200m final and ended up fifth in 23.55.

Zachary Snider finished 16th (14:15.89) and Olin Hacker crossed the finish line 19th in a personal best 14:23.33 in the 5k final.

Brian Bell (Dayton, Ohio) ran in the top three for much of the first semifinal in the men’s 800m, moving into contention for one of the two automatic qualifying spots with 150m to go. Bell faltered slightly down the final straight and finished fourth in 1:47.49, but his time was good enough to grab the final time qualifier berth in the final. Moving up from the back of the pack after the first lap, Vincent Crisp (Huntersville, North Carolina) fought his way to a fourth-place 1:48.63 in the second semi, but didn’t advance.

Coming from behind in the second semifinal of the women’s 100m hurdles,  Tia Jones (Marietta, Georgia) pulled away over the final four barriers and won in 13.09 to advance automatically to the final. Alexis Duncan (DeSoto, Texas) set a personal best of 13.02 in the first semi, finishing second and also automatically advancing..

Morning session report

Bria Matthews (Forest Park, Georgia) placed fourth in the triple jump, after finishing fifth in the women’s long jump on Friday. Matthews' best mark of her four attempts (13.49m/44-3.25) tied Romania's Georgiana-Iuliana Anitei's best, with Anitei claiming bronze on the tiebreaker. Anitei's second-best mark of the series: 13.40m/42-11.75 was better than Matthews' second best of 13.21m/43-4.25.

Anna Rohrer (Mishawaka, Indiana) finished 11th (15:49.42), and Bella Burda (La Grangeville, New York) came across the finish line 16th (16:43.87) in the 5,000m final.

Team USA’s women's 4x400m relay (Hannah Waller (Clovis, California), Karrington Winters (New Albany, Ohio), Syaira Richardson (Suffolk, Virginia), Samantha Watson (Henrietta, New York)) won heat one of the prelims. They ran the second fastest time of the heats, 3:34.64, to qualify to Sunday’s final automatically.

The American men’s 4x400m relay (Champion Allison (Richmond, Texas), Ari Cogdell (Hialeah, Florida, Kahmari Montgomery (Plainfield, Illinois), Wilbert London III (Waco, Texas) ) won its heat and advanced automatically to the final with the third fastest time of the heats: 3:07.87.

Team USA at the IAAF World U20 Championships all-time

Team USA on Friday became the first nation to win 100 golds in the history of the IAAF World U20 Championships dating to when the competition was first held in 1986 in Athens. The U.S. added three more golds to that total on Saturday, taking the U.S. to 103 golds all-time. American men have won 58 and American women have won 45. Team USA has won 223 World U20 medals all-time.

IAAF World U20 Championships background

The IAAF World U20 Championships were previously known as the IAAF World Junior Championships before undergoing a rebranding heading into 2016. The last World U20 (then known as Junior) Championships was held in Eugene, Oregon in 2014.

Field events at the World U20 Championships are employing a new competition protocol in finals.

Twelve competitors will qualify for each final. Qualifying marks are wiped out at the start of the final. The field of 12 will get three attempts before being cut to the top six. The remaining six athletes will receive one more attempt, as opposed to the prior protocol of three more, for a total of six attempts.

The best mark after each competitor has made four attempts will win.

The U.S. U20 team was selected based on performances at the USATF Junior Championships from June 24-26 in Clovis, California.

Bydgoszcz hosted the World U20 Championships in 2008. The city is the first to host the World U20 Championships twice.

Follow the World U20 Championships on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #Bydogszcz2016, and watch on Universal HD and the NBC Sports app. NBC will be live streaming the final two days of coverage – Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET. and Sunday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. ET.


Athlete quotes
Michael Norman - 4x100m relay
On running on the U.S. 4x100m relay …
“Adding on to the legacy is a humbling feeling. Coming out here and doing what we do best is exciting. This is why we come out here - because we love competition. Adding onto this legacy is an amazing feeling and something we’re honored to do. Coming out here and running for my team is a better feeling than running individually. It takes more than one person to have a team. To have a team as strong as we are come out here and perform like this is an unbelievable experience.”

Tia Jones - 4x100m relay, 100m hurdles

On doing the 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay …
“I just take one race at a time. I’m grateful to be able to run with these girls in the 4x1. I’m happy for what we accomplished.”

Candace Hill - 4x100m relay

On anchoring the gold-medal relay
“This is great - adding a relay gold to all the accomplishments I’ve had. I’ve never been able to run on a fast relay like this. Being able to run with Team USA and a nice group of girls who also run fast times is incredible.”

Deakin Volz - pole vault

On running off three PR clearances …
“I guess it’s just all the training throughout the whole season accumulating into one meet. Practices have been going well lately. I’ve had several meets lately when I was around my PR and usually when that happens it indicates you’ve got a PR coming around the corner. This was a pretty good PR day.”

On how the competition went …
“Warm ups didn’t go quite the way I wanted. They stopped us several times for medal ceremonies - you know the national anthems are playing. So I only got about three jumps in. Two were from my short run, and one of them was from long and I didn’t have my step on … but I finally got grooved in. I found the right pole, got my step on then kept moving up poles and jumping higher and higher.”

Taylor McLaughlin - 400m hurdles
On taking silver …
“I’m really happy. Honestly to run that time is amazing. I’m toward the end of a long freshman season (Michigan). To be able to finish the year with a personal best is amazing.”

On how the race went …
“I was a lot calmer than I thought I was going to be. I went out and tried to go out smooth - not to hard not too slow. I wanted to go out with Hyde because I know he likes to go out hard. I wanted to go out fast enough to be with him. I saw them going off the turn and I thought I had to get in position to medal. I was able to pull it off and get second place.”

Samantha Watson - 4x400m relay

On running the relay…

“I love relays. I love being on a team. Having teammates run to me and running to them just makes the race more exciting.”

Wil London III - 4x400m relay
On running the relay the morning after taking silver in the 400m …
“I was a little sore, but I can’t complain. I didn’t have my top speed, but I know what we can do tomorrow. The trainers and medical staff get me ready, and I’ll get a lot of rest. We won our heat so we will have a preferred lane tomorrow. And we will be pushed. It will be a good race. We will see what happens.”


(after five days)

1. United States: 17 (9 gold, six silver, two bronze)



(after five days)

1. United States: 170


SATURDAY – July 23, 2016



1. United States (Norman Jr., Montgomery, Taylor, Lyles): 38.93


1. United States (Jones, Bennett, Harris, Hill): 43.69


1. Deakin Volz: 5.65m/18-6.5
7. Christopher Nilsen: 5.35m/17-6.5


5. Taylor Bennett: 23.55 (+0.6)


16. Zachary Snider: 14:15.89

19. Olin Hacker: 14:23.33


8. Anna Rohrer: 15:49.42

16. Bella Burda: 16:43.87


2. Taylor McLaughlin: 49.45


4. Bria Matthews: 13.49m/44-3.25 (+2.1)


MEN’S DISCUS (qualification)

19. Bronson Osborn: 56.23m/184-5

25. Connor Bandel: 54.57m/179-0

MEN’s 800 METERS (semifinals)

6. Brian Bell: 1:47.49q

15. Vincent Crisp: 1:48.63
Final Sunday


WOMEN’S 100 METERS HURDLES (semifinals)

3. Alexis Duncan: 13.02Q (+0.6)

4. Tia Jones: 13.09Q (-0.1)

final Sunday

MEN’S 4x400 METER RELAY (heats)

3. United States (Champion Allison, Ari Cogdell, Kahmari Montgomery, Wilbert London III): 3:07.87Q

final sunday

WOMEN’S 4x400 METER RELAY (heats)

2. United States (Hannah Waller, Karrington Winters, Syaira Richardson, Samantha Watson): 3:34.64Q

final Sunday

TV/Streaming Schedule - IAAF World U20 Championships



Start (ET)

End (ET)





9:00 PM

10:00 PM


Day 5



10:00 AM

1:10 PM

NBC Sports App

Day 6



9:00 PM

10:00 PM


Day 6

Contributed by Glen McMicken, and Jake Most, Team USA Press Officer - IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016

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