PORT OF SPAIN - Wayne Davis' world junior record and 18 individual medals by Team USA highlighted Day 1 of the 2009 Pan Am Junior Championships at Hasley Crawford Field in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Already holding the title of the fastest youth ever over the 110-meter hurdles, Wayne Davis (Raleigh, N.C.) is now the fastest junior athlete ever in the 110m hurdles. Having already run a world junior leading 13.19 in the first round, Davis shot out of the blocks and into the lead accelerating all the way down the track to win in a pending world junior record time of 13.08 seconds. The previous record of 13.12 was set in 2002 by 2004 Olympic gold medalist Liu Xiang. 2008 World Junior silver medalist Booker Nunley (Columbia, S.C.) once again claimed silver in 13.32.
2009 USA Junior champion Marcus Rowland (Spartanburg, S.C.) ran the fourth-fastest time ever recorded in the junior men's 100m, crossing the line in 10.03 (+0.7mps) and D'Angelo Cherry (Jonesboro, Ga.) claimed the silver medal in 10.17. Rowland and Cherry also had the fastest times in the first round, running 10.06 and 10.18, respectively.
2009 USA Junior 100 and 200 champion Chalonda Goodman (Newnan, Ga.) and Oregon's Amber Purvis (Benicia, Calif.) went 1-2 in the women's 100m, with Goodman claiming gold in a Championship record 11.22. Purvis was the runner-up in 11.38. And just like the men, Goodman and Purvis had the fastest qualifying times, eaching winning their heats in 11.22w and 11.32w.
Team USA took first and fourth in the men's discus and women's shot put today. Mason Finley (Buena Vista, Calif.) decimated the field in the men's discus throw, winning by over seven meters with his Championship record heave of 65.34 meters/214 feet 4 inches. Any one of his five legal throws would have won the competition. Matthew Kosecki (Houston, Texas) placed fourth with a toss of 55.94m/183-6. 2009 Gatorade girls track & field athlete of the Year Anastasia Jelmini (Bakersfield, Calif.) won the women's shot put with her fifth-round effort of 16.37m/53-8.5. Laishema Hampton (Ames, Iowa) was fourth with 14.72m/48-3.5.
2008 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year Jordan Hasay (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) dominated the women's 1,500 meters, charging to a lead of 10 meters in the first 100m of the race. She continued extending her lead over the next 1,400m and brought home Team USA's first gold medal of these Championships with her winning time of 4:26.26. Taylor Wallace (Klamath Falls, Ore.) lead the chase pack for most of the race, but could not hold off Mexico's Laura Galvan (4:30.72), and finished third for the bronze medal in 4:31.76. On the men's side, 2009 USA Junior champion Mac Fleet (San Diego, Calif.) started out towards the back of the back, but continually worked his way up and surged over the final lap to take the lead and claim the gold medal in 3:48.04. Blake Shaw (Houston, Texas) finished eighth in 4:00.27.
American junior record-holder Natalie Willer (Lincoln, Neb.) won the women's pole vault in meet record fashion, clearing 4.30m/14-1.25 on her third attempt. Shade Weygandt's (Mansfield, Texas) runner-up finish at 4.25m/13-11.25 also surpassed the previous Championship record and earned her the silver medal. The previous record of 4.20m/13-9.25 was set in 2007 by Alicia Rue.
Team USA's men went 2-3 in the javelin with Samuel Crouser (Gresham, Ore.) bringing home silver with a throw of 67.90m/222-9. Matthew Byers (Wichita, Kan.) claimed bronze with 65.83m/215-11.
In the women's triple jump, two-time USA Junior champion Allita Boyd (Hayward, Calif.) jumped into the lead with her second round mark of 12.84m/42-1.5 and extended her lead to 12.94m/42-5.5 in the fifth round. When Cuba's Dainn Pacheco entered the competition for her only jump (in the sixth round), her one jump of 13.17m/43-2.5 was enough to secure the gold medal and relegate Boyd to the silver.
The men's 400m saw a hard fought race as Tavaris Tate (Starkville, Miss.) went out strong and took the lead. Around the 200m mark, 2009 World Youth champion Kirani James (GRN) kicked into gear and pulled to the front. Battling neck-and-neck down the home stretch, James edged out Tate for the gold, 45.43 to Tate's 45.50. Joey Hughes (Long Beach, Calif.) took fourth in 47.29.
After a false start in the women's 100m hurdles, Raven Clay (Findlay, Ohio) was quick out of the blocks and ran her way to a bronze medal in 13.44w. Shericka Ward (Leesburg, Fla.) took fourth in 13.64.
At the conclusion of day one in the men's decathlon, Curtis Beach (Albuquerque, N.M.) is leading with 3,866 points and Gray Horn (Gainesville, Fla.) is sitting in second with 3,740 points. Beach had individual event wins in the 100m (11.26), high jump (2.03m/6-7.75) and 400m (48.26). Horn won the long jump at 7.20m/23-7.5.
Also at the track, Allison Chin (Tipp City, Ohio) finished fifth in the women's 10,000m race walk in 55:55.40 and Erica Lamp (Milwaukee, Wisc.) was eighth in 1:07:02.20. Alishea Usery (St. Louis, Mo.) and Diamond Richardson (Desoto, Texas) the fastest times in the women's 400m out of qualifying in the morning session, winning their heats in 54.87 and 54.94, respectively. With the final this evening, Usery finished fourth in 54.33 and Richardson was disqualified for a line violation.
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 Pan Am Junior Championships, visit USATF.org. For results, visit www.cfpitiming.com.
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