First medals, high school record top day three for Team USA at IAAF World Junior Championships


Glen McMicken
USA Track & Field

MONCTON, CANADA -- Two silver medals and a high school record in the women's 5,000-meters highlighted Team USA performances Wednesday on the third day of the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships.

LSU's Takeia Pinckney put the U.S. on the medal board for the first time as she raced to a silver in the women's 100 at 11.49. Pinckney had a decent start and executed her phases well, but couldn't make up enough ground on Britain's Jodie Williams, who remained undefeated in more than 100 races as she won in 11.40. California high school sprint champion Ashton Purvis finished fourth in 11.60.

"I think I was just a bit tired from running two rounds today," said Pinckney. "My semifinal was not good at all, but tonight I got out better and just said to myself 'catch, catch, catch'."

Charles Silmon of TCU ran a lifetime best 10.23 into a 0.7 mps wind to take silver in the men's 100, just .02 behind Jamaica's Dexter Lee, who defended his title. "I didn't execute well," Silmon said. "This was a tough race and I wasn't in it at first, but I pushed late in the race and was thinking I had it. I leaned too early. It has been a long year and it will be good to get a break, but I am ready to compete with the big boys now."

Mississippi's Michael Granger placed fourth behind Silmon with a 10.32. "I knew I lacked top-end speed," Granger said. "I tried to have a good start and hold it, but I just couldn't quite hold it. I'm not happy with the time, but the U.S. won a medal, so it's good."

Running the 5,000 as an afterthought following her PR in the 3K on Monday, Missouri prep Emily Sisson was relaxed enough to smash the national high school record with a 15:48.91 to take sixth. The previous HSR was 15:52.88 by Caitlin Chock at the World Juniors in Italy in 2004.

"I went along for the ride with a fast pack," said Sisson. "I didn't feel too exhausted after the 3K, and I am so glad I ran this. I didn't even know what the national record was, and I am so excited to break it at this big meet. The crowd was awesome. I didn't think it could beat Monday's crowd, but it was great. I was more excited than nervous, because I cam in with my focus on the 3K, and this was just for fun. It was different being able to hang of their pace and not have to do all the work."

Despite entering the championships as a medal hopeful, New Jersey high schooler Nick Vena had an off day in the shot put, taking fourth with a best of 19.72, well off his personal best. "I honestly don't know what happened today," Vena said. "I was trying my best out there, and usually I can tell what I am doing wrong, but not today. It is great being on Team USA and now I need to go back and train some more and get ready for the next time." Hayden Baillio of Texas fouled three times.

Virginian Justin Hunter, who will play football at Tennessee this fall, finished sixth in the men's long jump with a 7.47-meter jump. "The crowd on that side of the stadium was pumping everyone up, but I just couldn't get in my rhythm today," Hunter said. "I just got off a few weeks of football training, so I am not track sharp."

A first-throw effort of 50.08 was good enough to put Pennsylvania prep Allison Updike in eighth place in the women's javelin. "It was overwhelming at first," Updike said. "Everything felt wrong in the qualifying, but tonight I had a smooth first throw and that got me my place. You just have to concentrate on yourself and believe you can do your best when you throw at meets like this."

Decathletes Neamen Wise of South Florida and Tennessee high schooler Kevin Lazas were unhappy with their performances, as Wise placed 12th with 7,132 points and Lazas took 14th with 7,028. Wise said, "I didn't perform as well as I hoped. Sometimes you just don't do well, but in the decathlon you always hope to get better every meet. I tore my hamstring about six months ago and missed a lot of training, but that is no excuse. I also was a little uncomfortable with some of the rules and procedures they used with us, especially not getting enough warm-up throws."

In qualifying rounds, both men advanced to the final in the 400, led by California prep Joshua Mance, who won the third heat in 46.43, the fourth-fastest time overall. Houston's Errol Nolan eased through with a second-place 46.47 in heat one. "The wind was a killer," Mance said. "I won my heat so I am happy about that. Coming off the last turn I could feel them moving up on me so I picked it up a bit. I need to get out faster in the final."

Nolan said, "I ran very smooth and just counted people to make sure I would qualify. I saw a shadow off the curve so I knew someone was coming up on me. My goal was to be in the top two."

One major casualty came in the women's 100 hurdles semis, where Donique Flemings of Texas A&M had a poor race to finish fifth in the first heat and fail to advance to the final. Penn State's Evonne Britton looked better in the second heat, winning in 13.58. "My plan was just to execute," Britton said. "My focus was on my start and drive phase today, and I made the final so I am satisfied."

Day four of the Championships starts at 9 am Thursday with qualifying in the women's hammer throw.

For more information about the IAAF World Junior Championships, visit