Strot grabs second gold at Junior Olympics
Melvin Jackson II
USA Track & Field
|EUGENE Ore. - Local athlete Emilee Strot captured her second gold medal of the competition to highlight day 4 of the USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Eugene.|
Strot a Gresham, Ore., native tossed 44.62 meters/146 feet, 5 inches to win the young women's discus throw. Yesterday, Strot of Cool Running TC tossed the shot 14.74m/48-4.50 to capture that title.
In the 1,500m qualifying round, Jordon Hasay of San Luis Distance TC ran 4:34.02 to set a youth girls record, bettering the 4:36.90 time set in 1996 by Rebecca Mitchell of Geneva, Ill.
World Juniors Team USA member, Norris Frederick gained more momentum off the crowd's support to win the young men's high jump. The University of Washington-bound Frederick cleared 2.12m/6-11.50 to thrill the fans in a pair of shoes he borrowed from his SeaTown Express teammate. "When the
crowd gets in it (competition), I perform a lot better," said Frederick. "That could have been the key factor at World Juniors because I performed today the way I should have done in Italy (11th in semi-finals-2.05m/6-8.75)."
Frederick of Seattle, Wash., looks forward to compete in the near future at historic Hayward Field. "I had a lot of speed when I needed it. Hopefully, I will continue my win streak on this field because I will be competing the next four years in the Pac-10 (conference)," Frederick continued. Brock Brigman of 55 Spartanburg TC cleared 2.07m/6-09.50 to finish in second-place.
Also feeding off of crowd participation, 2004 USA Juniors high jump champion, Matt Carter cleared 2.02m/6-7.50 to finish sixth with five other athletes clearing the same height. "I was just trying to keep my mind off the pain in my back," said Carter, a world junior Team USA member. "The crowd gave me a little bit of adrenaline which kept my mind off the pain. All this year has been a great experience and I want to dedicate my season to my grandfather and my late cousin Tyrone Thompson who coached me with the Long Beach Sprinters," Carter said.
"This is the largest event held in Eugene. The event is up over 6,000 entrants, which is amazing," said Tom Jordan co-event director. "I've been putting on events for over 20 years and I have never seen anything like this here. There are kids upon kids upon kids, it's great," Jordan continued.
Musa Ahmed of Pride Sports TC provided an exciting finish to win the midget boys 3,000m run in a time of 9:39.77 with Roblet Muhudin of Blazers Track Club clocking a runner-up finish time of 9:40.84.
World Juniors 4x400m gold medalist Alexandria Anderson cruised to the fastest qualifying time (54.20 seconds) in the young women's 400m. Verizon female Athlete of the Meet from last year's Junior Olympics, Bianca Knight (Jackson, Miss.) clocked the second fastest qualifying time of 54.10 seconds behind Brandi Cross, a 2003 World Youth Team USA member, with a time of 54.05 in the intermediate girls 400m. "I just got out and did what I need to do to make the finals," said Cross. "I
just want to go out and have fun, but I know I have to run hard on Sunday because Bianca (Knight) will be right there with me at the end."
In the opening round of the 100m, World Junior 100m silver medalist, Jasmine Baldwin ran the fastest qualifying time of 11.59 while 2003 Pan Am Junior 100m silver medalist Kenny O'Neal clocked the fastest qualifying time of 10.40 seconds to advance to the finals of the young women/young men's age division.
The third leg of USA Track & Field's Verizon Youth Series will showcase 5,657 young athletes from across the country as part of the largest youth athlete developmental program in the world. This year's competition will also serve as one of the selection pool meets for the 2005 IAAF World Youth Championships in Marrakech, Morocco.
In addition to Junior Olympics, the Verizon Youth Series
includes the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Competition age divisions are: Bantam (10 and under), Midget
(11-12), Youth (13-14), Intermediate (15-16) and Young Men/Women(17-18). There will be a tape delayed broadcast the last three days of competition.
For more information on the 2004 USA Track & Field Junior
Olympic Championships, all USATF Youth programs and the Verizon Youth Series, visit the USATF website at www.usatf.org.