Cordera Jenkins of USA during the Boys' 110m Hurdles heats at the World Youth Championships (© Getty Images)
The junior athletes provided excitement Thursday despite the severe weather at the 2006 US Junior Track & Field Championships.
Finals were held in many junior events before a mid-afternoon, 90-minute delay took hold due to severe thunderstorms and lightning. Action resumed after 4 pm, only to be halted for good at 7:30 pm as another wave of thunderstorms and lightning swept in from the south.
Multi's dominate the competition
2004 Junior Olympic Heptathlon and 100m Hurdles champion Shana Woods dominated the field in the junior women's heptathlon winning with 5533 points.
Woods is the first high school girl to score over 5500 points. 2005 USA Junior heptathlon champion Shevell Quinley was the runner-up with a personal best 5426 points. Georgetown freshman Buky Bamigboye was third with 5362 points. Woods and Quinley have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
St. Mark's High School senior Shawn Schmidtheld held off Northern Iowa freshman Mathew Clark for the win in the junior men's decathlon with 7264 points. Clark set personal bests in three events en route to his second place finish with 7243 points. Princeton freshman Duane Hines was third with 7108 points. Schmidt and Clark have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Field stars qualify for World Juniors
Kent State freshman Bekah Stoltz won the crown in the junior women's javelin with a heave of 50.01m, over four metres ahead of runner-up Rachel Talbert, a freshman at Oral Roberts, who threw 45.89m. Stoltz has qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
2005 Junior Olympic long jump champion Joe Kindred, a freshman at St. Augustine's, won the jump off in the junior men's high jump with a height of 2.17m. Penn State freshman Ryan Fritz was second and Georgia Tech freshman Juan Cave was third, both also cleared 2.17m. Kindred and Fritz have both qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
2006 NJCAA long jump champion Aaron Smith, a freshman at South Plains College, won the junior men's long jump with a leap of 7.91m. 2006 Big East long jump and high jump champion Antone Belt, a freshman at the University of Louisville, was the runner-up with a mark of 7.67m and teammate Andre Black was third with 7.53m. Smith and Belt have both qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Jacksonville freshman Natasha Harvey and San Diego State freshman Shana Watson both had best leaps of 6.40m. Harvey led throughout the competition while Watson, with her last attempt, tied the leading mark. Harvey was awarded the gold medal because she outdistanced Watson with her second-best jump. Harvey and Watson have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
2005 Outdoor Nationals third place finisher John Hickey distanced himself from the field in the junior men's shot put with his winning throw of 19.28m, just ahead of runner-up Seymour High School senior Eric Werskey's 18.77m. Arizona State freshman Jason Lewis was third in 18.70m. Hickey and Werskey have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
2005 World Youth discus bronze medalist Kamorean Hayes captured the title in the junior women's shot put with a heave of 15.45m. Cal Northridge freshman Jere Summers was the runner-up with a toss of 15.33m. Both Hayes and Summers have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Distance runners heat up the track
Mission Prep High School freshman phenom Jordan Hassay, a two-time USA Junior Olympic champion in the 1500m and 3000m, won the junior women's 3000m in 9:50.66, holding off runner-up Crestwood High School senior Bridget Franek who finished in 9:51.04. Hasay is not eligible to compete at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships because, at the mere age of 14, she does not meet the age requirement.
University of Louisville freshman Cory Thorne out-kicked runner-up Alexander Mason of Georgetown, winning the junior men's 3000m steeplechase in 9:12.66 seconds to Mason's 9:13.97. Both Thorne and Mason have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Speedy Sprints and Hurdles
The top four competitors in the junior men's 110m hurdles went under the meet record with the win going to 2005 IAAF World Youth champion Cordera Jenkins in 13.44 seconds. University of Florida freshman Dennis Martin was second in 13.46, Darius Reed was third in 13.47, and Appalachian State freshman Charles Derrickson was fourth in 13.58. The previous meet record of 13.60 seconds was set in 2002 by Antwon Hicks. Jenkins and Martin have both qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
University of Michigan freshman Tiffany Ofili captured the title in the junior women's 100m hurdles in 13.15. 2006 Illinois state champion in the 100m, 100mH, and 300mH Shalina Clark was second in 13.38. Ofili and Clark have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
After taking third in the 100 meters at the 2005 USA Junior Championships, University of Texas freshman Alexandria Anderson took home the gold in the junior women's 100m running 11.12 seconds to 2005 USA Junior Olympic third place finisher Gabrielle Mayo's runner-up 11.16. Anderson and Mayo have qualified for the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
University of Florida freshman Willie Perry won the junior men's 100m in 10.12 seconds with University of Kentucky freshman Gordon McKenzie the runner-up in 10.30. Barton County Community College freshman Odell Harris was third in 10.40. Perry and McKenzie have qualified for the 2006 IAAF Junior World Championships.
USATF for the IAAF