Sprints, high jump provide big moments at USA Juniors


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x360

LOS ANGELES - Exciting finals in the 100m dashes, sprint hurdles and an impressive performance in the men's high jump highlighted competition Thursday at the 2005 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Home Depot Center. Athletes ages 19 and under are competing for the right to represent Team USA at the 2005 Pan Am Junior Championships July 29-31 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, by placing in the top two of their events.

Samuels holds on for 100m win

University of Arkansas-bound J-Mee Samuels of Mt. Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., won a photo-finish in the men's 100-meter final. After leading throughout the race, Samuels had to hold off a hard-charging Wopamo Osaisai of Stanford. Both men were closed in 10.58 seconds, but Samuels got the win. NCAA runner-up Cleo Tyson of Tennessee ran away from the field in the women's 100, easily winning in 11.44 seconds.

Kira Robinson of Colorado Fly was the class of the women' 100 hurdles field, topping an outstanding season as she prepares to head to the University of Texas. After posting the fastest time in qualifying (13.79), she went on to win the final in an even quicker time of 13.72. Dominic Berger of Maryland likewise breezed in the men's 110-hurdles, running 13.87 to win the final after having the fastest time in qualifying (14.11).

Jonas soars in HJ

Dustin Jonas of Nebraska, sixth at the NCAA Championships on June 11, turned in a very impressive performance in the men's high jump with a personal-best clearance of 2.24m/7-4.25

Brittany Riley won the women's hammer throw in style, her mark of 58.56m/192-1 easily surpassing Michelle Amete of Mesa Community College in second (177-01), while Michael Morrison of Chesapeake beat out Mitch Greeley of Clemson in the men's pole vault on misses. Both young men cleared 5.10m/16-8.75, but Morrison made the height on his first attempt.

Named the 2005 Gatorade Player of the Year on Wednesday, Ryan Whiting won the men's shot put with a best throw of 19.74m/61-7. Niedra Covington won a close competition in the women's long jump with her opening effort of 6.10m/20-0.25. Gayle Hunter was second with 5.98m/19-7.5, with Sarah Matthew of Colorado Fly third with the same mark.

Marie Lawrence, a sophomore at Reno High School in Nevada, won the women's 3000 in a personal-best time of 9:44.85. A trio of Eastern Michigan runners made the final junior event of the day, the men's 10,000 meters, look like an EMU practice session as Joshua Perrin (30:45.27) and Neal Naughton (30:45.29) crossed the line together, 1-2, and teammate Luke Chrusciel was third (30:50.43).

Top qualifiers in rounds on Thursday were Heidi McGill in the women's 800 (2:07.27), Nicole Leach in the women's 400m hurdles (58.13) and Reuben McCoy of Auburn in the men's 400m hurdles (51.46).

Lauren Stewart of Personal Best Track Club led the women's heptathlon with 3,122 points with marks of 14.69 in the 100 hurdles (883), 1.69m/5-6.5 in the high jump (841), 10.22m/33-6.5 in the shot put (544) and 25.37 in the 200m (853).

For complete results, athlete quotes and start lists from the 2005 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org