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Posted: July 9, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Team USA advances at World Youth Champs

BRESSANONE, Italy - Qualifying rounds continued this morning and eight of ten athletes advanced to their next round of competition Thursday at the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.

Dale Morgan (Northridge, Calif.) shot out of the blocks in heat 3 of the men's 110m hurdles and after hitting the last two hurdles, finished in second place in 13.56. Kendall Hayes (Lancaster, Texas) hit four hurdles of his own in heat 5 and also was second in 13.91. Both automatically advanced to Friday's semi-final.

In his first and only throw in the qualifying rounds of competition, Alec Faldermeyer heaved the hammer 69.31 meters/227 feet 4 inches and automatically qualified for the final. It was the third-farthest throw of the day.

In heat 2 of the boys 3,000m, Zachary Wills (Memphis, Tenn.) went with the lead pack for as long as he could, covering every move they made, even when Ibrahim Abdullah of South Africa fell less than half-way into the race and Wills had to hurdle over him to keep up. Wills finished the race in fifth place in 8:25.93 and qualified on time.

In heat 3, Erik Olson (Palm Springs, Calif.), who had been running in fourth, found another gear with 1,000m to go and surged into third place and continued to extend his lead over fourth until he crossed the line in 8:29.11 and automatically qualified for the final.

Running in heat 4 in the first round of the girls 800m, Claudia Francis (New York, N.Y.) took the lead 150m into the race and went through the half-way point in 63.89. Losing her lead with 250m to go, Francis pulled through and regained it at 100 to go and finished strong to win in 2:09.76. Heat 1 saw Marielle Hall (Philadelphia, Pa.) finish in third in 2:09.16. Both advanced to tomorrow's semi-final.

With second-attempt clearances at 3.75m/12-3.5 and 3.85m/12-7.5 before the qualifying round was stopped, Morgann LeLeux (New Iberia, La.) qualified for the final in the girls pole vault. Kortney Ross (San Diego, Calif.) cleared 3.75m/12-3.5 to finish 17th overall in the qualifying round.

Justin Gross (Baltimore, Md.) had to withdraw from the boys octathlon dut to the injury that he sustained during the long jump yesterday. Bradley Bolton (Orange, Calif.) did not get a mark after three fouls in the boys hammer throw.

For more information on Team USA and the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships, visit For complete results, visit


Marielle Hall - girls 800m 1st round
"I felt good but I got third. So I hope I make it to the next round on time."

Claudia Francis - girls 800m 1st round
"I'm happy that I won my heat but the race didn't go the way that I wanted. My legs were too tight. I just wanted to get ready for the semi-final."

Dale Morgan - boys 110m hurdles 1st round
"I got out hard and fast and I was in the lead until the eighth hurdle but then I hit nine and 10 and dropped back to second. I want to run cleaner and faster in the next round."

Kendall Hayes - boys 110m hurdles 1st round
"I got out good, was in front, and relaxed. But I hit four hurdles. I was in first when I hit the ninth hurdle and stumbled and ended up second. I'm happy though, I made it to the semi-final."

Mogan LeLeux - girls pole vault qualifying
"Neither one of us jumped that well, didn't clear the qualifying height, but they stopped the competition and said that we made the final so I am happy."

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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