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Young talent shines as USATF Junior Outdoor Championships come to a close


SACRAMENTO, California -- The final day of USATF Junior Outdoor Championships at Sacramento State University solidified a crop of rising talent in track and field, highlighted by standout performances across distance, sprints and field events.


On demand video can be found on USATF.TV +PLUS.


Hornet Stadium’s “Sold Out Saturday” began with the junior men’s and women’s 10K race walk out on the track. Cameron Haught (Enon, Ohio), who previously represented Team USATF in the U20 10K at last year’s IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships, eclipsed the men’s field to finish in 47:32.90. 15-year-old Taylor Ewert (Beavercreek, Ohio) was in a race of her own, easily owning the women’s race in 51:12.42.


In the junior men’s 10,000m, the pace quickened slightly just past the halfway mark, with eight of the nine competitors running in a pack led by William Kachman (Bedford, Pennsylvania) and Steven Cross (Tallahassee, Florida). The battle turned into a three-man race in the final 1000m between Cross, Aidan Reed (Helena, Montana) and Phillip Fishburn (Kennewick, Washington). Cross pulled away to make his first Pan American Junior Championships team in 31:25.95.


In a stunning display of speed, junior men’s 3000m steeplechase runner Tim Bason (West Windsor, New Jersey) moved up from third to first in the final 60m, narrowly beating Nathan Mylenek (Clarkston, Michigan) in 9:15.42. Bason went wide after the final hurdle to usurp the lead from a confident Mylenek.


Josephus Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia) went into the final men’s 400m with enviable performances leading up to Junior Outdoors, placing him head-to-head against Zachary Shinnick (Glendora, California). Lyles enjoyed the top spot through the first 250m, until Shinnick began his fierce sprint to first position. Shinnick was unstoppable, pumping with speed to overtake the lead with 50m until the finish line in 45.20.


The women’s 400m competition included Alabama’s Takyera Roberson (Houston, Texas) in a supreme showing, taking the title and earning her first trip to Peru with Team USATF with a time of 51.35.


In the final sprint event of the junior championships, Tyrese Cooper (Miami, Florida) went up against yesterday’s 100m champion Maxwell Willis (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) in a moving men’s 200m. After an impressive start, Willis fell just after the curve and appeared to have an injury. That left the USATF title for Cooper’s taking, which he captured in 20.89. Cooper went back to assist Willis in true sportsmanship fashion as he completed the remaining 100m.


Comeback performances at USATF Junior Outdoor Championships

Caitlin Collier (Jacksonville, Florida) won the junior women’s 800m by nearly two seconds in 2:03.63, avenging last year’s sixth-place finish. Men’s discus winner and Texas A&M commit Gabriel Oladipo (Missouri City, Texas) also improved upon his 2016 performance with a dominating best throw of 59.97m/196-9.


First time USATF national champions

There were several first-time USATF national champions, including Symone Mason (Miami, Florida) who won her first national championship in the junior women’s 200m in 23.09 (-0.8m/s).


Click here for full results from 2017 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships. Senior events conclude Sunday afternoon and will set Team USATF for IAAF World Championships in London later this summer.  


Fans can follow along with #USATFoutdoors on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

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