BALTIMORE- Michaela Wallerstedt from Omaha, Nebraska had an impressive performance in the young women's shot put where she won by well over six feet. Wallerstedt threw a 14.88m/48-10 to beat second place finisher Sylvia Galarza's throw of 12.80m/42-00.
"It feels good to have won, but I didn't throw as far as I wanted," said the 18-year-old Wallerstedt. "I didn't know if I would win because there are a lot of good throwers out there and you never know who you will be competing against."
Last year Wallerstedt competed in the 2003 IAAF World Youth Championships and this year she qualified to compete in the World Junior Championships in Italy, July 13-18. "I am so excited," said Wallerstedt. "I found out I qualified when I was at a meet throwing and I was so happy. The shot put is my favorite event and you can let everything go into it and it's very explosive. It will be fun to throw in Italy."
Other explosive performances took place at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Morgan State University in the finals of the 800m and 200m races. In the young mens 800m, Nathan Daniels broke away from a tight pack in the last 50 meters to win in a time of 1:52.74 to beat Cody Harper's time of 1:53.70. "My time was close to my PR," said Daniels. "I knew this race would be close but I've got faith in my kick so I just ran my race."
In the midget girls 200m English Gardner of Willingboro track club held off Adenika Pedro to finish in 25.87 seconds. "In the beginning I was nervous because I had a bad start. My dad said it doesn't matter if other girls are in front of you at the start you have to win," said Gardner. "I thought of him and I did."
Ebony Collins of Quiet Fire track club qualified for the finals in the 400 intermediate girls hurdles by running a time of 61.99 which is nearly two seconds faster than any other qualifying time. Also Bianca Knight from the Jackson Jaguars track club ran a tough race into a headwind in the intermediate girls 200m to just miss the record with a time of 23.73. The record for the intermediate girls 200m is 23.26 seconds set by LaShauntea Moore in 1999.
Youth Track on TV: CN8 Sports out of Philadelphia was also on hand Saturday to film events for their new "Hometown Champions" show. The network has an eight-state coverage. The program will air on Friday, July 30 at 8:30p Eastern. It will be replayed on Saturday, July 31 at 5:30p and again on Friday, August 27 at 8:30p and Saturday, August 28 at 5:30p.
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.