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Posted: August 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Team USA sweeps 4x400 relays, wins 56 total medals at Pan Am Junior Champs

PORT OF SPAIN - Team USA concluded competition Sunday night, winning a record 56 out of a possible 84 total medals and sweeping the relays at the 2009 Pan Am Junior Championships at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

It was a battle between Team USA and Jamaica in the women's 4x400m, with lead-off leg Alishea Usery (St. Louis, Mos.) taking the early lead and handing off to Angele Cooper (Long Beach, Calif.). It was an even exchange when Cooper handed off to Kellie Schueler (Bend, Ore.), who battled Jamaica's Danielle Dowie the entire way. Some shoving on turn four caused Schueler to step inside the rail before returning to the track and surging down the final 100m. She passed to Diamond Richardson (Desoto, Texas) who held on to and extended Team USA's lead, finishing in 3:36.34. Team USA was originally disqualified for a pushing violation, but the win was reinstated upon appeal.

The men's 4x400m was just as exciting, as Team USA was initially in second place when the first and second legs, Clayton Parros (West Orange, N.J.) and Duane Walker (Compton, Calif.), faced 2007 World Youth and Pan Am Junior champion Kirani James and Rondell Bartholomew of Grenada, who built up a 25 meter lead. But the third leg made all the difference and within 200m, Joey Hughes (Long Beach, Calif.) had passed Grenada and built up his own lead. With an unofficial anchor split of 44.9, Pan Am Junior 400m silver medalist Tavaris Tate (Starkville, Miss.) brought Team USA home in 3:03.25 to win the gold medal.

The 2007 World Youth gold and silver medalists in the men's 400m hurdles, William Wynne (Gainesville, Fla.) and Reggie Wyatt (Riverside, Calif.), brought home two medals tonight. The 2007 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year, Wynne broke his own Championship record, set yesterday in qualifying in the men's 400m hurdles, winning the gold medal in a world junior-leading 49.31. Wyatt claimed the bronze in 50.61. On the women's side, current world junior leader Dalilah Muhammed (Bayside, N.Y.) finished as the silver medalist in 58.42 and Turquoise Thompson (San Diego, Calif.) was fourth in 59.08.

The silver medalist in the women's triple jump, Alitta Boyd (Hayward, Calif.) won the women's long jump with a leap of 6.08m/19-11.5 into a -1.9mps headwind. Lauryn Newson (Oakland, Calif.) took the bronze medal with a best effort of 5.98m/19-7.5. Eric Kynard (Toledo, Ohio) cleared 2.10m/6-10.75 to tie for the silver medal in the men's high jump with Mexico's Edgar Rivera. Ricky Robertson (Hernando, Miss.) finished fourth at the same height.

After two days of competition in grueling heat and humidity and four individual event wins, Ryann Kraiss (Eagleville, Pa.) won the silver medal in the women's heptathlon with 5,454 points. Her wins came in the 100m hurdles (13.93), high jump (1.76m/5-9.25), long jump (5.68m/18-7.75) and the 800m (2:18.56). Rebecca Neville (Merrillville, Ind.) finished in sixth with 4,627 points.

Team USA's men followed in their predecessor's footsteps, going 1-2 in the men's shot put. The gold medalist in the discus, Mason Finley (Buena Vista, Colo.) set a Championship record with his heave of 20.36m/66-9.75. Jordan Clarke (Anchorage, Alaska) was the runner-up with 19.97m/65-6.25. The previous record of 19.95m/65-5.5 was set by Garrett Johnson in 2003.

American Junior record holder William Claye (Phoenix, Az.) won the men's triple jump with a hop, skip and leap of 16.57m/54-4.5. Albert Johnson (Riverdale, N.Y.) took third with 15.89m/52-1.75w to bring home the bronze medal.

In the men's 5,000m, Sean Keveren (Brentwood, Tenn.) claimed the silver medal in 14:14.46 and Colby Lowe (Southlake, Texas) the bronze in 14:14.57. Elizabeth Hynes (St. Charles, Ill.) ran a strong race in the women's 3,000m, crossing the line in 10:04.92 to win the bronze medal. Emily Sisson (St. Louis, Mo.) finished fourth in 10:17.15. In the women's 3,000m steeplechase, Natalie Busby (New Paltz, N.Y.) was fourth in 11:02.30 and Allysa Allison (Festus, Mo.) was fifth in 11:20.98.

In the women's 800m final, Chanelle Price (Easton, Pa.) took the pace out from the gun, running with a five meter lead from the start. But Cuba's Rose Marie Blanco started gaining ground on Price in the second half and with 100m to go, passed Price and continued on for the win in 2:03.83. It was then a battle for silver as Canada's Helen Croft powered down the final straight, but Price edged her out to finish second in 2:05.13 to Croft's 2:05.19. Laura Roesler (Fargo, N.D.) finished sixth in 2:07.50. Joseph Abbott (Reno, Nev.) surged down the final straight in men's 800m to win the bronze medal in 1:48.99 and Dylan Ferris (San Francisco, Calif.) finished fifth in 1:49.84.

On his last throw of the competition, Justin Welch (Pemberville, Ohio) launched the hammer a personal best 68.22m/223-10 to move into third place and claim the bronze medal. Tyler Johnson (Las Vegas, Nev.) finished fifth with a personal best 63.34m/207-10. Casey Wagner (Woodside, Calif.) finished fifth in the women's javelin with a mark of 43.35m/142-2 and Courtney Kirkwood (Othello, Wash.) was seventh with 41.64m/136-7.

For more information on Team USA at the 2009 Pan Am Junior Championships, visit For results, visit

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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