Marrakech, Morocco - David Klech clocked the fastest youth time in the world this year in the boys' 400m hurdles to highlight the fourth day of competition for Team USA at the 2005 World Youth Championships at Sidi Youssef Ben Ali Stadium in Morocco.
Klech of San Ramon, Calif., ran a world youth leading time of 50.96 seconds in the boys' 400m hurdles easily winning his heat to advance to the finals. The 17-year-old, Klech also bettered his personal best time of 51.84 seconds in Friday's competition. "This is exciting and I am glad to be a world youth leader for more than five minutes," said Klech. "I got out really strong the first 200 meters then relaxed until I got to the homestretch and out kicked the last 50 meters. Hopefully, I will run a new PR because tomorrow I'm not holding back."
Timothy Grier of Powder Springs, Ga., ran a personal best time of 52.13 to advance in the 400m hurdles final. "In the beginning Coach (McKenzie) said to get out hard and stay ahead of the pack," Grier said. "I felt like I was going faster than normal because I did not pace myself. I was running for the win and went all out to make it to the finals."
Dante' Nall cleared 2.08 meters/6 feet, 9.75 inches to finish ninth in the boys' high jump final. A Douglasville, Ga., native, Nall's performance was a personal best. "I had a lot of competition and would have done better if my approach was right," said Nall. "I tried to step back more, but did not have enough speed."
Kamorean Hayes tossed 13.90m/45-7.25 to finish sixth in the girls' shot put finals while Jenny Svoboda of Howells, Neb., finished eighth with a mark of 13.05/42-9.75.
The 2005 World Youth 100m champion, Bianca Knight ran the fastest qualifying time in girls' 200m competition. Earlier in the day, Knight of Mississippi ran 23.34 winning her heat and later clocked 23.37 seconds in the semi finals to advance as the favorite to win another gold medal.
Khrystal Carter of San Jose, Calif., was at her best today as she ran a personal best time in the girls' 200m semi finals. She ran 23.65 seconds to win her heat and advance to girls' 200m finals. "I always plan on a PR, but today it happened and I was at my best," said Carter. It was a different story in the boys' 200m qualifying round as both Devin Mays and Antonio Norvell did not advance. Mays was disqualified because of a lane violation. Norvell of Portsmouth, Va., finished in 21.87 seconds missing an opportunity to advance by two places.
In the girls' 100m hurdles, Theresa Lewis of Baltimore, Md., and April Williams of Dallas, Texas both ran personal bests to advance. Lewis ran 13.32 seconds to enter the finals with the second fastest time in the semi final round. "I felt comfortable and tried to finish at a good time," said Lewis. In the qualifying round earlier in the day, Williams ran a personal best time of 13.34 seconds followed by a 13.43 performance to win her heat in the semi finals.
Devon Williams clocked a personal best time in the girls' 800m semi finals. Williams of Baltimore, Md., ran 2:10.26 followed by LaTavia Thomas of Philadelphia, Pa., who finished in a time of 2:10.48, as both did not advance tothe final."Everybody (in the second heat) ran a good race," said Williams. "I felt like I put all of my 100% and I am happy to be here as this was a great experience."
In the qualifying round in the girls' long jump, LaRoya Johnson cleared 5.65m/18-6.5 followed by Quin'Shundalyn McPherson 5.45m/17-10.75. Both Johnson and McPherson of Houston, Texas did not advance to the final.
In both girls' and boys' medley relay action, Team USA clocked the fastest qualifying times to advance. The girls (K. Carter, E. Collins, E. Hilaire, B. Cross) clocked 2:07.22 while the boys (I. Green, D. Mays, Z. Chandy, B. Nellum) clocked 1:51.68 both easily winning their heats to advance. "As I was coming around the curve, I could see myself on the big screen and I knew we had a good stick exchange because of the lead," said Elan Hilaire.
For complete Team USA roster and staff listings, and more information on the 2005 World Youth Track & Field Championships, including results, complete coverage and photos of this year's event, please visit the USATF website at www.usatf.org.
TEAM USA MEDALISTS
GOLD: Bianca Knight (100m); Cordera Jenkins (110m hurdles); Ebony Collins (400m hurdles).
SILVER: Ebony Collins (100m).
BRONZE: Kamorean Hayes (discus throw); Bryshon Nellum (400m).
MEDAL COUNT (Top 3 nations): #1, Russia 8; #2, Kenya 8; Tied for #3 USA and PR of China 6.