USA sets Mixed 4x4 record; Molls cruise to final: NSAF @ World U20s, Day 1 P.M.

by Jim Spier

Team USA celebrates their Mixed 4x400 Relay meet record in the prelims. From left, anchor Kaylyn Brown, 2nd leg Madison Whyte, 3rd leg Will Sumner and leadoff Charlie Bartholomew. Photo by Joy Kamani

Day 1 Afternoon

Women’s Discus Qualifying

Emma Sralla, who just finished her junior year at Marcus HS, Flower Mound, TX, fouled on her first throw in Group A, then exceeded the 172-03 auto qualifying mark on her second throw with a toss of 178-10.  It was the second best throw of her career, her best being 185-00 thrown at her Texas high school regional in April. 

Like Mondo Duplantis, Emma’s mother was born in Sweden so she represents that country.  Ames Burton (U of Missouri/Riley County, Riley, KS) the runner-up at the USATF Junior Champs at 177-05, could manage only 153-0 finishing 9th in Group A and 16th overall.

Siniru Iheoma (Princeton/Council Rock South, Holland, PA) saved her best throw for last in Group B (165-04), finishing 3rd in Group B and 6th overall – advancing to the final.  She has a best of 178-08 achieved in winning the USATF U20 champs.

Men 110m Hurdles Round 1

Both Americans qualified for the semi finals.  Malik Mixon (Westlake, Atlanta, GA) , the USATF Junior champ, clobbered hurdle 8 but managed to hang on to be one of 3 auto qualifiers in his heat with 14.10.  As it turns out, he’s the 24th of the 24 qualifiers, timewise. 

TJ Caldwell (Pittsburg State U./Northwest Nelson, Trophy Club, TX) won his heat in 13.73 and is the 8th best qualifier overall.  Mixon and Caldwell’s yearly bests are 13.55 and 13.40 respectively.  The leading qualifier to the semis was Mathew Sophia (Netherlands) at 13.10.

Mixed Relay Qualifying

The U.S. set a meet record in winning Heat 2 in 3:18.65.  It was the team of Charlie Bartholomew (Oklahoma State U./Boyd Mc Kinney TX), Madison Whyte (Heritage, Newport News, VA), Will Sumner (Woodstock, GA) and Kaylyn Brown (Mallard Creek, Charlotte,  NC).  India (3:19.62) and Jamaica (3:19.74) were two other teams under 3:20.00

Women’s Pole Vault Qualifying

The Moll sisters (Capital, Olympia, WA) had no problem in qualifying for the final.  It took only 13-03.5 to advance and 13 athletes cleared that height.  Amanda, the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals champ actually had one miss and finished 6th.  Hana, the 2022 NON runner-up (and 2021 champ), tied with 5 others for first.

Women’s 3000m Final

Following the usual script, Kenya finished 1-3 and Ethiopia 2-4.  Those were the only athletes who had sub 9:00 times coming into the meet.  It was Betty Chelengat of Kenya, the winner in 9:01.03. 

Americans Heidi Nielsen (U of Arkansas/Cinco Ranch, Katy, TX) and Kate Peters (Lake Oswego, OR) have seen better days.  Nielsen, the 2018 New Balance Nationals 5000m champion as a sophomore, was 12th at 9:56.35, and Peters, the 2022 Nike Outdoor National 2 Mile champ, was 14th at 10:05.09.  Both were well shy of their personal bests of 9:21.20 and 9:15.14, respectively. 

It should be noted that Sydney Throvaldson (9:07.95), Natalie Cook (9:08.22), Dalia Frias (9:14.56) and Irene Riggs (9:14.72) did not attend the USATF Qualifying meet.  Ellie Shea (9:08.54) had entered but had to withdraw because of an injury.

Men’s 5000m Final

Tyrone Gorze (Central Point, Crater, OR) stayed with the East African pack for about 8 or the 12-1/2 laps, then had to let go.  The USATF 5000m champion was the leading non-African, non-Asian finisher, running 14:32.23 – a solid mark considering how slowly the race went out in the first 1600m.  Gorze anchored his high school team to a second place finish in the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals distance medley relay. 

Dylan Throop (U of Pennsylvania/General Mc Lane, Edinboro, PA) could not handle the pace and had to drop out with 3 laps to go.  As with the women’s 3000m, it should be noted that the following athletes did not run the 5000m at the USATF qualifying meet:  Parker Wolfe (13:41.77), Luke Tewalt (13:43.60 – though he did qualify in the 1500m), Lex Young (13:43.95), Nicholas Bendtsen (13:44.81) and Carl Grotenhuis (13:57.82).

The winner was Addisu Yihune (Ethiopia) at 14:03.05.  The top 6 finishers represented the following countries:  Ethiopia, Eritrea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Men’s Shot Put Qualifying

Tarik O’Hagan (Woonsocket, RI), the 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals Shot Put champ (and Ocean Breeze facility record holder), wasted no time in getting the automatic qualifying mark (64-03.35).  He threw 64-05.75 on his first throw.  That is a slight improvement from the 64-05.5 he threw in winning the USATF qualifying meet.  O’Hagan is also competing in the hammer throw.

Cade Moran (Murrieta Mesa, Murrieta, CA), fourth at the 2022 NON, could manage only 57-02.75, finishing 22nd overall.


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