BALTIMORE - More than 3,500 of the country's top youth track and field athletes are in Baltimore, for the 2004 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships that began competition Wednesday on the campus of Morgan State University.
"USA Youth Outdoors give our grassroots athletes a tremendous opportunity to compete against some of the best athletes in their age division," said Mark Springer, USATF Director of Grass Roots Programs and Planning.
In the Intermediate Girls 2000m steeplechase, 15-year-old Ashlyn Sinclair from the Gideonites Track Club easily won with a time of 6 minutes, 57.46 seconds to beat runner-up finisher Courtney Moores (7:27.34). "This was the first time I did the steeplechase and it felt good," Sinclair said. "I could have gone a lot faster."
In the Intermediate Boys 2000m steeplechase Matthew Conahan held off second-place Jacob Wilson to win by three seconds in 6:34.52.
In the 1500m Midget Boys race walk competition 11-year-old Trevor Barron of the Pacer Track Club easily beat the rest of the competition with a time of 7:10.00. "It was nice to win since the race was up in the air," Barron said. "Racewalking is fun and I like competing in races."
The 1500m Midget Girls race walk competition was won by 11-year-old Madeline Muraida of Albuquerque Track Club with a time of 8:59.01. "It felt real good, I'm very excited that I won," Muraida said. "I felt confident but I wasn't sure if I'd win. I like racewalking because my sister does it and I want to be like her."
The Pentathlon Youth Boys winner was Keith Cater with 2,857 points, and the Youth Girls winner was Mallory Murdoch with 3,170 points. Leading in the Intermediate Boys Decathlon after the first day of competition is Tim Grier with 2,850 points and the Young Men's leader is Daniel Kinsey with 3,504 points.
For more information on the 2004 USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the Verizon Youth Series, including results and complete coverage of this year's event, visit the USATF website at www.usatf.org.