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Six medals won on day two of World Youth Champs

LILLE, FRANCE – A flurry of four medals in the girls’ sprints along with two medals in the boys’ shot put gave Team USA a total of six medals on the second day of the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships.

Afternoon Session

In an exciting ten minutes, four medals were won by the U.S. girls’ sprint squad.  First, Jennifer Madu (Murphy, Texas) and Myasia Jacobs (Paterson, N.J.) chased down Christania Williams of Jamaica in the last 20 meters of the girls’ 100m. Madu sprinted to the gold medal in a personal best of 11.57, and Jacobs wasn’t far behind to clench the silver medal in 11.61. Moments later, Trinity Wilson (Oakland, Calif.) ran a world leading youth time of 13.11 to win the gold in the girls’ 100m hurdles. Kendell Williams (Marietta, Ga.) ran a personal best of 13.28 to win the bronze.  Williams will continue her quest for a second medal in the heptathlon tomorrow.

On his third throw of the afternoon, Tyler Schultz (Custer, S.D.) heaved the shot to a personal best mark of 20.35m/66-9.25 which left him sitting comfortably in the silver medal position behind Jacko Gill of New Zealand. Throughout the rest of the competition, no other athletes were able to throw beyond 20m. But on his final throw of the meet, Braheme Days (Bridgeton, N.J.) sent the shot soaring beyond the 20m mark to nab the third podium spot. Days’ mark of 20.14m/66-1 was a 10cm improvement over his previous personal record, which was only set earlier in the day during qualifications. In all, Days improved his best mark by 29cm over the course of the day.

In the girls’ javelin, Haley Crouser (Gresham, Ore.) finished one spot shy of the podium. Crouser threw 51.97m/170-6 on her second attempt for fourth place. Ronald Darby found himself in a similar position in the boys’ 100m, where he finished fourth after running a personal best time of 10.61.

In qualifying action, Justin Fondren (Oxford, Miss.) advanced to the finals of the boys’ high jump by clearing 2.03m/6-7.75 with only one miss in his series of five jumps.

Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) won his heat in the boys’ 400m in 46.70 to advance to the final; however, Najee Glass (Fords, N.J.) was unable to advance as he finished third in his heat in 47.42. On the girls’ side, Kendall Baisden (Franklin, Mich.) and Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.) both took second in their heats to advance to the finals. Baisden ran 53.32, and Reynolds ran 53.21.

Today ended competition for a few members of Team USA. In the semifinal of the boys’ 800m, neither Cameron Thornton (Atlanta, Ga.) nor Tre’tez Kinnaird (Louisville, Ky.) were able to advance to the final. Thornton took third in his heat with a performance of 1:49.64 and Kinnaird finished fifth in his heat in 1:50.64. Jonathan Russell (Ashburn, Va.) was unable to advance as he finished third in his heat of the boys’ 400m hurdles in 52.06.

Morning Session
Tyler Schultz (Custer, S.D.)  started the morning off on a good note for the U.S. squad. Schultz lobbed the shot 19.70m/64-7.75 on his second throw to earn an automatic advancement to the finals to be held later today.

Both Amy Weissenbach (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Ajee Wilson (Neptune, N.J.) coasted through the first round of the girls’ 800m. Weissenbach rolled through a moderately paced heat to finish third in 2:08.09. Wilson’s heat ran a slow first lap of 69-seconds. At the bell, the entire field was still bunched together with Wilson in the back; however, over the last lap Wilson moved from last to first to win her heat in 2:14.07.

Facing stiff competition in the 1500m, Jacob Burcham (Barboursville, W.V.)  used the field’s momentum to carry him to a personal best of 3:51.22 to better his previous time by three seconds. Burcham sprinted down the final straight with Emilio Perco of Italy, and at the line Burcham’s lean turned into a dive across the finish line. Burcham finished fourth and advanced to the final based on time.

The girl’s 400m hurdles brought mixed results for the Georgia girls on Team USA. Nnenya Hailey (Marietta, Ga.) ran not only a personal best, but also the fastest youth time in the world this year. Hailey won her heat in 58.44 to qualify for Saturday’s final. In the third heat, Amber Bryant-Brock (Marietta, Ga.) narrowly missed qualifying for finals. Bryant-Brock placed fourth in her heat in 1:00.18.

Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C.) ran smoothly in the first round of the 110m hurdles to finish third in his heat in 13.86. The top four in each heat advance, so Gurley will return to semifinal action tomorrow.

In the girls’ pole vault, Sydney White (Kearnersville, N.C.) cleared four consecutive heights on her first attempt to earn her way to the finals. White stopped at 3.85m/12-7.5, as she only needed to place in the top-12 to qualify for the finals.

In the boy’s hammer, Rudy Winkler threw 69.09m/226-8 on his first attempt to take fifth in his group. While he did not hit the automatic qualifying mark of 70.m/229-8, he will advance to the finals based on his place.

Amy Weissenbach – Girls’ 800m
“That was perfect! I just wanted to qualify as easily as possible to be ready for the next couple of days that where I will run harder. It was great that someone took us out fast and I could just ride in.”

Ajee Wilson – Girls’ 800m
“I wasn’t worried by the [slow] pace at all. The slower we ran, the better it will be for the next day.”

Jake Burcham – Boys’ 1500m
“I wasn’t nervous. I just had fun…It is awesome to be here with the fastest kids my age in the world. I’m going to PR again in the finals.”
On his dive at the finish – “ At the end of the race, I didn’t even feel it.”

Todd Gurley – Boys’ 110m Hurdles
“I’m ready. It felt good and I’m glad I got the first race out of the race. I wanted the race to be yesterday. I was hype watching my teammates run.”

Sydney White – Girls’Pole Vault
“Today built my confidence. Getting higher and higher in the placing makes me more confident to medal in the finals. Back home pole vault never gets this much attention. A little girl asked me for my autograph – it’s great!”

Nnenya Hailey – Girls’ 400m Hurdles
“After running so fast yesterday, I was nervous for today. But I’m so happy I ran a PR today. Saturday is gonna be a horse race. I just have to run my race and do what I do and keep going.

Amber Bryant Brock – Girls’ 400m Hurdles
“I was fine and I could have run better, but today wasn’t my day.”

Rudy Winkler – Boys’ Hammer
“My throws weren’t uncomfortable, but I didn’t feel quite right. There were multiple times they had to fix the net, and it just messed with the flow of the event. I want to PR tomorrow in the finals.”

Trinity Wilson – Girls’ 100m Hurdles
“It felt good. I wanted it to be a good pre race warm-up for the finals. Technically I felt really good, and I was snapping down right over the top of the hurdles.”

Kendell Williams – Girls’100m Hurdles
“I felt okay, but a little bit slower than yesterday. It feels very weird only doing one event a day; I’m used to running from one thing to the next.”

Arman Hall – Boys’ 400m
“I’m feeling good. My goal for finals is to break the meet record that Kirani James set.”

Tyler Schultz – Boys’ shot
“That throw felt great. I came prepared for this meet and looking to get a big one, and it happened. Ever since the trials, I’ve been working with Braheme and we keep pushing each other.”

Braheme Days – Boys’ shot
“Today I felt great, but for some reason my technique was struggling a little. But on my last throw it was more mental than anything else. I said to myself ‘ I need a medal’ and I got it.”

Myasia Jacobs – Girls’ 100m
“I’m glad I was next to her [Jennifer], when she took of it helped me. I just came here to get a medal, and I’m glad that someone from the USA won gold.”

Jennifer Madu – Girls’ 100m
“I can’t even explain it right now. I can’t wait to tell my mom and coach, they weren’t able to make it here – they are going to be so happy!”

Kendell Williams – Girls’ 100m
“I knew I needed a good start, and Jennifer told me to clear my head before the race, and that’s what I did and it worked. I’ll definitely be calling my mom to tell her first.”

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