Williams, Hall, Lester and steeplers among other standouts
Here is NSAF Director Jim Spier's recap of Friday evening at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.
Women’s 400m Hurdle Final
Brooke Jaworski (West, Wausau, WI), from lane 1, managed only 7th place, running 58.43. She had run a lifetime best and U.S. high leader of 57.57 in yesterday’s semifinals. That is #22 all-time among high schoolers.
Women’s Long Jump Final
Jasmine Moore (Lake Ridge, Mansfield, TX) could manage only 19-07.25 in finishing 10th. Tara Davis (Georgia) – with the top seed and hoping to add another gold to her 2015 World Youth title – was third going into the 8-woman final at 20-06.25. And that’s how she finished, improving to 20-10.5 in the final. The winner was Lea-Jasmin Riecke (GER) with a lifetime best of 21-04.25.
Men’s 400m Final
Jonathan Sacoor (yet another Belgian 400m runner!) pulled a major upset in beating heavily favored Christopher Taylor (JAM) 45.03 to 45.38. He was second with 100m to go, but ran down Taylor and had two meters to spare at the finish. Howard Fields (Baylor) was 5th in 46.53.
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Final
A meet record for world leader Celliphine Chespol (KEN) in 9:12.78, who was 6th in the World Champs (senior) in London last year and set her 8:58.78 PR while winning the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet. Alice Hill (Michigan) – in just the 3rd steeple of her life – ran a stunning 9:57.04 for 7th, a 12 second PR and #5 all time Junior. Kristlin Gear (Furman) also ran well in 10th (10:00.99), her 2nd best time behind a 9:52 PR.
Men’s 200m Final
The gold drought continues. I can’t remember when the US went 4 days without a gold medal. Anyway, the Brits took one-two and Eric Harrison (Ohio State) was third (20.79) – his 2nd bronze of the meet. Khance Meyers (Hinds CC) was 7th in 20.87.
Men’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals
Cory Poole (Florida) looked a bit rusty, at about 5th at 200m. He finished third and was not able to get a time qualifier. Quivell Jordan (Houston) was in the third and fastest heat. He finished fifth in his heat (50.86) with the 6th fastest time overall but was third 3rd time qualifier and therefore did not advance. Sokwakhana Zazini (RSA), the world leader at 49.32, had the fastest time overall (49.43).
Women’s 200m Semifinals
Lauren Rain Williams (Oregon) and Jayla Kirkland (Florida State) advanced as auto qualifiers. Williams won her heat and had the fastest qualifier (23.15), just as she did in the prelims.
Women 4x100m Semis
It seems like I’ve written this before. The US (Daija Lampkin [Alabama], Tamara Clark [Alabama], Jasmin Reed [Oregon], Thelma Davies [Girard College, Philadelphia, PA]) were the favorites and had a sizeable lead with two very good handoffs. Then it appeared that Thelma Davies left too soon, messing up the timing with incoming Jasmin Reed. They were disqualified. It it’s any consolation, so were China and Jamaica.
Men’s Hammer Final
Jake Norris (GBR/LSU) was the class of the field, winning with 264-07. He was 3rd in this year’s NCAA Championship.
Men’s Triple Jump Qualifying
Christian Edwards (Alabama) could manage only 50-11.5, finishing 17th. He was the only US athlete who qualified for the meet.
Men’s 4x100m Semis
It’s always a success when a U.S. 4x100m actually finishes a race. This one finished second in their heat, automatically qualifying for the final in 39.49, the third fastest team overall. The team was comprised of Joseph Anderson (Oregon), Jared Hayes (Troy State), Austin Kratz (Dock Mennonite Academy, PA) and Micah Williams (Benson, Portland, OR). The US is likely to do some substituting in the final.
Sterling Lester (Marietta, GA) ran a monster PR here (2:11.80). That gave her significant points, finishing with 5478 and 16th place. Anna Hall (Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, CO) also got a PR, running 2:15.19, scoring 5655 points and finishing 9th. The big story was up front, with only 2 points separating Niamh Emerson (GBR) and Sarah Lagger (AUT) going into this race. Emerson ran 2:09.74 and Lagger 2:11.53, with Emerson winning overall. Emerson tallied 6253 points and Lagger 6225.
Sterling Lester and Anna Hall are two of the greatest heptathletes ever in US High School history. Lester, who finished high school in three years, now goes on to U. of Georgia while Hall still has one more year as a prep.
Here is the all time high school performance list for this event:
5798 *Anna Hall 18
5660 *Hall 18
5655 *Hall 18
5578 *Kendell Williams 12
5577 -Emma Fitzgerald 16
5572 *Williams 12
5533 -Shana Woods 06
5523 *Sterling Lester 18
5522 -Ryann Krais 08
5493 -Kendra Reimer 98
5481 *Williams 12
5481 -Williams 13
5478 -Reimer 98
5478 *Lester 18
5466 -Ashlee Moore 14
More Javelin Thoughts
With Dana Baker taking third and Maura Fiamoncini 14th, it was the best combined performance of US athletes ever in the U20 championships. Prior best was in 1986 when Brooke Allen finished 9th and Jane Woodhead 11th. But the field this year was 24 competitors and that in 1986 was 21.
And this is only the second time that the U.S. has had at least one qualifier in the men’s and women’s final the same year (Dana Baker and Tzuriel Pedigo this year). The only other time was in 2010 with Joseph Zimmerman (5th in the men) and Allison Updike (8th in the women).