INDIANAPOLIS - Jordan Hasay clocked the fastest youth time ever by any female in the 3,000m final to highlight day five of the Junior Olympics at Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium.
The crowd gave a standing ovation as Hasay, 13, of Arroyo Grande, Calif., crossed the finish line in 9:35.12 to break the 3,000m youth girls' record she set last year by 13.65 seconds. Hasay's performance is also the fastest youth time in any female age division."I always go out fast. I always just go out and run the way I'm feeling," said Hasay. "If I feel good I'll go for the record, if I don't feel good, I won't...today I felt good so I went for it."
Hasay won the youth girls' division by a 39-second margin over runner-up Emily Sisson of Nebraska. "I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I think pressure makes it fun." In yesterday's competition Hasay also improved her previous Junior Olympic record in the 1,500m (4:34.02) with a time of 4:28.61.
Today in the 200m, World Youth 200m silver medalist and Junior Olympic record holder, Bianca Knight took control of the race to win the intermediate girls' division crown in a time of 23.46 seconds. "I run my race in the curve," said Knight. "I go out hard in the curve and make it hard for everyone else to catch me." Knight of Ridgeland, Miss., also bettered Kennyanna Wilson's time of 23.81 seconds that won her the young women's 200m title. Knight will also compete on Sunday in the intermediate girls' 100m final and is a strong favorite to win.
Jahvid Best of Richmond, Calif., scorched the track in 21.18 seconds to win the intermediate boys' 200m title. "My coach told me to get out hard and around the curve," said Best. "I just relaxed down the straight away and focused on keeping my form." Best's performance was better than Evander Wells' (New Horizon track club) time of 21.30 seconds that won the 200m young men's title.
In the 800m finals, Brittany Hall of Norcross, Ga., set a national record in the intermediate girls' division with a time of 2:08.47. "I was trying to go 2:08 but had no idea I was going to break the record," said Hall. "Being a Junior Olympic champion has been my goal and now that I accomplished it, it feels great."
The young men's shot put wrapped up today with Nicholas Panezich of the Austintown Comm track club taking the gold. Panezich threw a personal record of 19.17m/62-10.75. "Coach said I needed to put together three good throws. I think I did that. I had a two and a half foot PR (personal record). I'm just really excited right now."
In the young women's high jump final, Desirae Gonder, World Youth team member found herself in first place after successfully clearing 1.75m/5-08.75. "I felt confident coming into this meet," said Gonder. "The girls who were still in the competition with me at the last height were the girls who I thought would be able to push me...and they did."
World Youth team member, Walter Henning of Long Island, N.Y., tossed 60.27m/197-09 to win the intermediate boys' hammer throw title.
Tavaris Washington of the Quicksilver track club ran the fastest qualifying time of 13.91 to advance in the young men's 110m hurdles final. World Youth 400m hurdles bronze medalist, David Klech of San Ramon, Calif., ran the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 110m hurdles clocking 14.26 seconds to advance in tomorrow's final. He will also be running in the 400m hurdles finals scheduled for Sunday. "My 400 hurdle race went perfectly yesterday and winning my heat today has put me exactly where I want to be going into the finals."
The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships is the largest and most visible youth athlete developmental program in the world. The Junior Olympics feature the following age division: Bantam (10 and under), Midget (11-12), Youth (13-14), Intermediate (15-16) and Young Men/Women (17-18).
For more information on the 2005 USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, including results, athlete quotes, photos and complete coverage of this year's event, please visit the USATF website at www.usatf.org.