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Team USA’s Youth Claim Four Medals Friday at World Champs

DONETSK, UKRAINE - Team USA won silver in the men’s and women’s 400m, men’s 110m hurdles and bronze in the women’s triple jump during Friday’s evening session at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

Team USA owns ten medals overall, the most won by any country thus far in the championships. In the overall placing table, Team USA sits in first with 78 points, while China has 50 and Jamaica has 44.

The Americans mined two silver medals in the 400. First Ryan Clark (College Park, Ga.) got out to a strong start to distance himself from the rest of the field in the men’s final through the first 300m. While Clark couldn’t hold off the late charge from Martin Manley of Jamaica, Clark was able to cross the line in 46.46 to pick up a silver medal for the United States. In the women’s race, Olivia Baker (South Orange, N.J.) came off the curve with the top three women battling for the lead. It was Great Britain’s Sabrina Bakare who took the win in 52.77, with Baker close behind in 53.38.

Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala.) ran his second PR of the championships as he ran to the silver in the men’s 110m hurdles. After tweaking his back in yesterday’s first round, Humphrey rebounded to win silver in 13.24. After winning bronze in the long jump last night, Isaiah Moore (Burlington, N.C.) finished 6th in the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.68.

Keturah Orji (Budd Lake, N.J.) won bronze in the women’s triple jump with a spectacular series of jumps. On her third attempt she leapt to a personal best of 13.61m/44-8 to become the fourth best high-school triple jumper of all-time. On her last attempt, Orji had the jump of her life to claim the No. 2 spot on the all-time high school list in 13.69m/44-11 to win bronze. Orji recorded the same distance as Rong Wang from China who won the silver medal based on her second best attempt.

Bailey Roth (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished seventh in the final of the men’s 2,000m steeplechase to earn valuable points for Team USA on the scoring table. Roth found himself leading the chase pack after a group of five bolted to the lead. Roth finished within one second of his time in the first round of competition as he crossed the line in 5:45.87.

Colin Minor (Southport, N.C.) threw within a meter of the personal best he established yesterday to place 12th in the men’s hammer throw final. Minor sent the hammer sailing 70.97m/232-10

Raevyn Rogers (Houston, Texas) and Ersula Farrow (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) both punched their tickets to the final of the women’s 800m. Rogers crossed the line in third, but the two athletes who finished in front of her were disqualified. Rogers is listed as the fastest woman of the day in 2:05.35. Farrow ran a personal best of 2:06.75 to secure her spot in the final alongside of Rogers.

Keandre Bates (El Paso, Texas) waited until his last attempt to secure his spot in the men’s triple jump final. After two fouls, Bates landed a leap of 15.70m/51-6.25 to set a new personal best and record the best mark of qualifying group A.

Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Lawrence, Kan.) managed to compete in both the open high jump final and in the women’s heptathlon during this evening’s competition. In her second high jump contest of the day, after the multi-event this morning, Harmon-Thomas took 10th in the final with a best jump of 1.75m/5-8.75. In the heptathlon shot put, she recorded a throw of 10.44m/34-3, and in the 200m she crossed the line in 25.58. After four events, Harmon-Thomas sits in 10th place with 3,275 points.

Competing in the IAAF’s youngest age group, the 16- and 17-year-old athletes were selected to represent Team USA after competing in the World Youth Track & Field Trials in Edwardsville, Ill., on June 25-26.

For complete results of the 2013 IAAF World Championships, visit Competition resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m., local time.

Athlete Quotes
Keturah Orji, women’s triple jump, final

“I’m really happy. I came in ranked third or fourth. But everyone was setting PR’s, so I was really nervous in the prelims, but then I got out to 13.61, and I was really happy after that. I’m really happy to represent the U.S. well in the triple jump and bring this back home.”

Isaiah Moore, men’s 110m hurdles, final
“I just had a bad start, but I was able to come back and finish hard. I had a great time and so many PR’s here with the long jump and hurdles. This motivates me to always push and always keep working.”

Ryan Clark, men’s 400m, final
“It is nice to come here and get a medal, I’m just so happy with that. The race went well the first 300, and the last 100 I just tightened up and it went downhill. But I’m still glad I got second place. I’ll move on to the future and hopefully get better.”

Olivia Baker, women’s 400m, final
“It is pretty big to win the silver. I came pretty far. Just being here is a dream and running in the finals is great. I got out there and gave it my best and just thank God for the opportunity. Of course I wanted to win gold, but I gave it my best and Sabrina was just the better runner today. I am proud. I did my best, and that is all I can do.

Colin Minor, men’s hammer throw, final
“It was a great experience. I never expected to make it this far, so I was able to accomplish my goal and make it to the final. This motivates me for the future and it makes me realize that I can compete on the world level. Right now it’s the youth level, but maybe that can turn into junior and then into the senior level. We’ll see what happens.”

Bailey Roth, men’s 2,000m steeplechase, final
“It was a great experience. You have to race the best on their best day. It’s not the same if you don’t have competition and race the top of the top. It was definitely awesome to be in the race with those guys, but I wish I could have been up there a little more. Today I did my best. It’s an awesome feeling, and I’m proud to represent the United States.

Raevyn Rogers, women’s 800m, semi-final
“It feels good. I’ve gotten experience. I’ve seen how certain people run, and now I know how to strategize my race for the final.”

Ersula Farrow, women’s 800m, semi-final
“It feels so good. I’ve worked so hard for this, and it is finally coming true that I made it to finals of this World Youth Champs. I’m so happy. I could even hear my teammate cheering for me coming down the final stretch.”

Keandre Bates, men’s triple jump, qualification A
“It went alright, but I PR’d at the end, so it went great. I scratched my first two jumps, and it was because my first bound was too long, so I had to shorten it up on my last one, and I got it for my PR. It was exhilarating.”

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