Three national records fall on penultimate day of Junior Olympics


Glen McMicken
Special to USATF
USA Track & Field

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Bryce Love of Carolina Elite set another national youth record Saturday, this time in the 200 meters, and Kendall Baisden and Erik Garcia added national bests of their own on day five of the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at North Carolina A&T State University's Irwin Belk Track.

Love, who smashed the midget boys' 400-meters record yesterday in the prelims, zipped to a 23.37 into a headwind in the 200 to trim .01 off his own national youth mark set in the qualifying heats.

Motor City TC's Baisden clocked 23.69 in the youth girls' 200 to take down the previous record of 23.81, set in 2003 by Bianca Knight.

In the youth boys' 3000, Erik Garcia of McFarland knocked almost a second off the old record with his 9:08.13 effort. Tom Caughlan set the previous best in 1993.

Meet records were set in two of the 800 finals, with Raevyn Rogers of Wings TC taking top honors in the youth girls' race at 2:08.17, and Daesha Rogers of Miami Dade TC lowering the bantam girls' standard to 2:23.16. At the Youth Nationals in Ypsilanti, Mich., in early July, Raevyn Rogers raced to a stunning national record of 2:06.90.

Miami Northwest Express Track Club'sRobin Reynolds notched her third victory of the meet, beating a strong field in the intermediate girls' 200 with a 23.84, and Claudia Francis of Team Evolution was close to the national record set by her sister, Phyllis, in 2008 in the intermediate 800, finishing in 2:06.20.

Tiffany Hines and Veronica Jones of the Dallas Gold went 1-2 in the young women's 200, and followed up with a stellar effort in the 4x100 relay. They teamed up with Jerneshia Mergerson and Candace Jackson to win in 44.52, less than one-tenth off the national record set by their clubmates in 2007.

In the young men's 800, the Texas Stars TC swept the medals, led by Howard Shepard's 1:51.45. Sirron Warren was second, with Kourtney Payne in third. The Lone Star state picked up more gold in the young men's 4x100, where the Hallmark TC rocketed to a 40.11 to beat Vegas Lightning TC's 40.43.

In field event action, a pair of high jumpers from the World Youth team won in the young men's and young women's divisions. David Smith soared over 2.20 meters/7-2.5, and just missed at 2.25m/7-4.5, while Shanay Briscoe of the Northwest Flyers cleared 1.75m/5-8.75 for the victory.

The final day of competition kicks off Sunday at 8 am with field event finals, and the 100 finals begin at 9.

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