Alysha Newman, winner of the Pole Vault at the 2013 Pan-American Junior Championships (© Julio César Sandoval)
Nineteen-year-old Canadian Alysha Newman and 15-year-old Venezuelan Robeilys Peinado produced the highlights of the 17th Pan-American Junior Championships that took place on 23-25 August in Medellin, Colombia, at the Stadium Alfonso Galvis Duque of the Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex.
Aided by the 1495m of elevation of the capital of the Antioquia Department, Newman won the Pole Vault with a North American junior record of 4.40m, the same mark as Peinado, who recently won the World youth title in Donetsk.
Newman came to Medellin with a personal best of 4.20m, set in Knoxville earlier this year. Peinado held the Venezuelan senior record at 4.35m, achieved in Barquisimeto in May.
Both Newman and Peinado cleared 4.15m, 4.20m and 4.25m on their first attempts. Newman passed at 4.30m while the young Venezuelan cleared that height with her third jump. Peinado passed at 4.35m where Newman also needed her third vault. Both athletes attacked the bar at 4.40m and the Canadian was successful on her first try while Peinado needed a second attempt. They both later failed at 4.45m.
Peinado confirmed her status as Venezuela’s greatest talent by improving her own national record. She also equalled the world age-15 best, set by Australia’s Liz Parnov in 2010.
200m triumph by Reynier Mena
Cuban Reynier Mena, bronze medallist at 100m and 200m at the recent World Youth Championships in Donetsk, produced one of the finest track results by winning the 200m in 20.63.
Running in still conditions, Mena broke his own national youth record by 0.09. He also gained revenge on Vitor dos Santos, who finished one place ahead of him in Donetsk. Here, the Cuban finished second in 20.73, just ahead of Canada’s Andre de Grase, who set a personal best of 20.74.
Another Cuban, Arialis Gandulla, achieved a fine 100m-200m double with a wind-aided 11.32 (2.8m/s) and a personal best of 23.27 (0.9m/s). Gandulla had earlier set a personal best of 11.48 in the 100m heats. At 200m, the 18-year-old finished 0.07 ahead of Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio, the 100m bronze medallist and 200m silver medallist at the World Youth Championships.
The boys’ 400m also produced high-quality results. Canada’s Brandon McBride ran a personal best of 45.89 to beat Cuba’s Yoandys Lescay in dramatic fashion by just one hundredth of a second. McBride is also a talented 800m runner, having finished sixth in that event at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona with 1:46.07.
In other remarkable performances, Mexico’s Erwin Castellanos won the 10,000m Race Walk in 40:36.85, the second-best mark in the world this season by a junior athlete. Colombian Juan Carlos Moreno took the victory in the 110m Hurdles in 13.42 (0.8m/s), setting a South American junior record.
The South American junior record also fell in the junior Decathlon where Brazilian Felipe Vinicius dos Santos scored 7762 (10.65, 7.36m, 14.21m, 1.99m, 48.58, 14.12, 42.55m, 4.10m, 52.17m, 4:59.23) to move to fourth on the 2013 world junior season list.
Cuban Lazaro Martínez, the World youth Triple Jump champion, won his event with 16.49m (1.8m/s) after a tough battle with USA’s Timothy White-Edwards who also jumped 16.49m (0.4m/s) to set a personal best. Martinez won on count-back thanks to his second-best jump of 16.35m, just six centimetres better than White-Edwards’ next-best mark.
The US teams dominated the relays with victories in both the 4x100m and 4x400m. The most remarkable result was achieved by the boys’ 4x100m team (Tevin Hester, Cameron Burrell, Riak Reese, Trayvon Bromell), who ran a 2013 world-junior-leading time of 39.17.
The USA topped the medal table with a total of 16 gold medals, 16 silver and seven bronze. They were followed by Cuba (8, 3, 0), Canada (6, 6, 7), Brazil (4, 6, 5) and Mexico (4, 1, 4).
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF