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Race walkers, sprinters highlight Day 1 of USA Juniors
6-21-2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Jill Geer
Chief Public Affairs Officer
USA Track & Field
(508) 520-1529
Jill.Geer@usatf.org

PALO ALTO, CALIF. – Athletes from two opposing event groups – race walkers and sprinters – turned in some of the most impressive performances in the first day of competition at the 2002 USA Junior National Championships, held at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford University campus.

The top two finishers in each event at USA Junior Nationals, part of the Verizon Youth Series, are eligible for selection to Team USA for the World Junior Championships July 16-21 in Kingston, Jamaica. Final selection to the team is at the discretion of USATF and its committees.

Race walkers from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside turned in some of the most significant performances of the meet. In the men’s 10,000m race walk, Benjamin Shorey won his second straight U.S. junior title in record form, shattering Tim Seaman’s American Junior record (43:03.37 in 1991) with his time of 42:50.20.

Robyn Stevens became just the third athlete in meet history to win her event four consecutive years. The Wisconsin-Parkside freshman broke her own women’s 10,000m race walk meet record by more than 50 seconds with a time of 50 minutes, 29.32 seconds.

The women’s 200m pitted two of the most heralded U.S. juniors against each other, and the competition was worthy of premeet expectations. Sanya Richards of St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Fla.) outdueled Allyson Felix of L.A. Baptist, running 23.31 to edge Felix’s 23.34. Running shoulder-to-shoulder in adjacent lanes, the two crossed the finish line virtually even, with Felix falling to the track after the finish line. The two led six women under the World Outdoor qualifying time of 24.44.

The win was especially meaningful for Richards, a native of Jamaica who obtained U.S. citizenship just weeks prior to the meet. She now will return to her native country for World Juniors.

Felix’s brother, Wes Felix of the University of Southern California, avenged his sister’s defeat by comfortably winning the men’s 200m in 21.57.

John-Paul Smolenski of Purdue broke the meet record in the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 65.50m/215-3.

In other finals Friday, Laura Gerrhaughty of North Carolina won the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 58.73m/192-8; Jarrad Matthews of Texas A&M took the men’s hammer with 66.58m/218-5; and Ashley Robbins won the women’s high jump (1.82m/5-11.5). Marvin Lucas of Southern Miss jumped 7.58m/24-10.5 to win the men’s long jump; high schooler Tommy Skipper of the Willamette Striders took the men’s pole vault (5.35m/17-6.5); Michael Robertson of ISB won the men’s discus (61.61m/202-1); and Erica McLain of the Texas Express won the women’s long jump (5.88m/19-3.50).

The top qualifiers in Friday’s preliminary rounds were Kathryn Anderson of Brigham Young in the women’s 1,500m (4:29.02), Adam Perkins of Liberty HS (Mo.) in the men’s 1,500m (3:52.83); Monique Henderson of UCLA in the women’s 400m (53.10), Darold Williamson of Baylor in the men’s 400m (46.44), Tiffany Ross of South Carolina in the 100m hurdles (13.49); Evelyn Dwyer in the women’s 800m (2:09.51); Richard Smith of South Lakes HS in the men’s 800m (1:50.90); Bershawn Jackson in the men’s 400m hurdles (50.33); LaShinda Demus of South Carolina in the women’s 400m hurdles (56.97).

The men’s 10,000m final and women’s 5,000m final are scheduled for 9:45 p.m. and 10:20 p.m., respectively, on Friday.

For full, real-time results from the USA Junior Championships and athlete quotes, visit the USATF Web site, www.usatf.org.

The meet continues on Saturday, and tickets are still available. For ticket information, call 1-800-STANFORD.

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