USA 4x4s advance; Dwol, discus throwers shine: NSAF @ World U20s, Day 5 A.M.

by Jim Spier

At left, Agur Dwol qualifies for the triple jump final. At right, Kody Blackwood hands off the Grant Williams during Team USA's 4x4 qualifier. Photos by Joy Kamani.

The Friday morning session at the World U20 Championships was relatively quiet compared to others the past few days, but there were still some significant highlights for Team USA.  Both American men’s and women’s 4x400 relays qualified for tomorrow’s final with room to spare.  Nike Outdoor Nationals girls’ triple jump champ Agur Dwol nailed a big PR to qualify for the women’s TJ final, while Desmond Coleman and Kevin Grubbs each qualified for the men’s discus final.

Check out the details on these events and more below:

Women’s 10000m Racewalk Final

16-year-old Talia Green (College Prep, Oakland, CA), the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals 3000m Racewalk champion, finished 28th of 41 entrants in 51:12.16.  Angelica Harris (South Elgin, Elgin, IL), the 2022 USATF JO 3000m Racewalk runnerup, was 34th in 52:32.40.

Karla Serrano of Mexico claimed the gold medal with a 46:24.35 performance.

Men’s Discus Qualifying

Desmond Coleman (Liberty U/Providence, Charlotte, NC) had a great opener, throwing 196-02 in the opening round.  That was very close to the auto mark (198-06) and to his PR (197-02).  He will advance to the final tomorrow. 

He has an interesting history.  He was 3rd at the North Carolina 4A Championship last year with a throw of 167-08.  He’s PR was 176-08 (with the high school weight discus – 1kg - of course).  He had a red shirt season at Liberty, where he had a best in an all comers meet of 177-05 (2 kg discus).  He is the #5 ranked US Junior (U20) with that weight.  Then he wins the USATF U20 championship with a US Junior leading throw of 197-02 (1.5kg discus) to make the team.

The USATF U20 was indeed an interesting competition.  Coleman got the win on his third throw (197-02).  His second best was 189-08.  Kevin Grubbs, in second, had throws of 196-11 and 195-07.  Ridge Estes (Wichita State), missed making the team by 1 inch.  He had throws of 196-10 and 194-10.

Grubbs (Sam Houston State U/Summer Creek, Houston, TX), third at the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals, was third in his group at 197-09 – a PB, and a new US Junior leader.  So Coleman and Grubbs will go into the final ranked 5th and 6th, each having really stepped up to make sure they qualified.

Women’s Triple Jump Qualifying

Suzan Ogunleye (Hendrickson, Pflugerville, TX), 4th at the 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals and 2022 USATF U20 champion, could manage only 40-06.25 to finish 12th in Group A.  The winner was Sharifa Davronova of Uzbekistan at 43-05.25.

Agor Dwol (Mullen, Denver, CO), the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals Champion, got a big PR in the first round, jumping 42-11.5.  That bettered her 42-05.5A US High School leading jump, and made her #2 US Junior for the year.  She also jumped 42-02 and 42-03.25 in her series.  She is the #8 qualifier overall.

It should be noted that the following did not attend the USATF U20 meet:  Brya Brewer (Texas Tech – 43-02.25), Alexandra Kelly (NY HS – 42-05) and Maggie Larson (Boise State U – 42-04).

Women’s 4x400m Qualifying

(First 2 in each heat and next 2 fastest times advance to the final)

Team USA included Mekenze Kelly (Coastal Carolina/Campbell, Smyrna, GA), 11th at the 2019 NBNO 400m; Madison Whyte (Heritage, Newport News, VA), 3rd at 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals 200m; Zaya Akins (South, Raytown, MO) 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals 400m champion; and Kennedy Wade (Texas A+M/Clear Falls, League City, TX). 

Whyte and Wade had each run in the Mixed Relay and captured gold.  Kelly and Akins ran the individual 400m, but neither made the final.  Now they have a chance to win medals.  The quartet led from the start to get the win in their heat (3:32.94).  They had the leading qualifier, with the 8th fastest being 3:36.25.

Men’s 4x400m Qualifying

(First 2 in each heat and next 2 fastest times advance to the final)

Team USA included Ashton Schwartzman (Texas A+M/Waucona, WI), Kody Blackwood (North, Mc Kinney, TX), Grant Williams (Celina, TX) and Will Sumner, Nike Indoor Nationals 400m champ (Woodstock, GA). 

Blackwood and Williams both ran in the 400H and made it as far as the semis.  Same with Schartzman in the flat 400, while Sumner has already won gold in the Mixed 4x4.  These four won the first heat in 3:07.82 to advance.  The leading time was Japan at 3:07.25.  The times of the top 7 finals’ qualifiers ranged from 3:07.25 to 3:07.90, with the US having the 5th fastest.


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