Day One - Dominant USA Hurdlers
Davis, Wynne Shine as Meet Opens; Hasay Makes 1500 Final
Mike Kennedy Summaries - Day 1 Results
Team USA Afternoon Highlights
Team USA Morning Highlights
- Wayne Davis II NC and William Wynne GA rule the 110H semifinals as they did the morning quarters, hitting 13.44 and 13.42 to each win by big margins.
- Jordan Hasay CA, makes the decision to run the 1500 seem like a solid one, winning the first semi in 4:26.06
- Octathlete Curtis Beach NM is 2nd in the 400 (48.82), adding to a 44-00 shot put, putting him 7th of 21 after the first day with 3120 points.
- In the 100 quarters, both US entrants advance impressively to semis - Ken Gilstrap GA 10.55 (fastest time of quarters) and Isaiah Sweeney TX 10.74 (2nd in his race).
- Both US girls make semis, too - Ashton Purvis CA 2nd in 1st quarter (12.09) and Erica Alexander TX 2nd in 4th quarter (11.75).
- Brianna Frazier FL (55.46) and Meshawn Graham OH (55.12) both win 400 heats to advance to semis.
- Danzell Fortson TX does the same in boys 400 heats, winning his heat in 47.71, to make semis
- Two more victories come in the 800 heats for Howard Shepard TX (1:53.76) and Dylan Ferris NC (1:55.09), as they advance to semis.
- Becky O'Brien ME is 8th in the discus with 145-11 after qualifying 12th with 144-00.
- Cameron Tabor OK is 10th with 59-04.50 in the shot after qualifying 4th in the morning at 63-11.75.
- Wayne Davis II NC and William Wynne GA move through 110H quarters with event-leading marks of 13.38 and 13.39, respectively.
- The two USA entries in the boys 100 move through easily from heats to quarters - Isaiah Sweeney TX runs 10.73 and Ken Gilstrap GA 10.81.
- Same for the Americans in girls 100, as Ashton Purvis CA 11.74 and Erica Alexander TX both run 11.74 in different heats to advance
- Cameron Tabor OK had an excellent 63-11.75 in the shot prelims to make the final. Michael Barbas 58-07.50 did not.
- Becky O'Brien ME just got into the discus final at 144-00. Erin Pendleton OH just missed at 142-07.
- Curtis Beach stands 8th in the Octathlon after two events, 11.20 in 100m and 21-11.50 in LJ.
Mike Kennedy's Summaries
Note to Readers—Despite the best laid plays of mice and men things do not always work out the way you would like them to work out, so instead of reporting for Ostrava I will instead be covering from Los Angeles.
Afternoon Session - Morning session
After one day of competition, the United States team is on track for a very productive championships. Rebecca O’Brien (Greely, Cumberland, Me.) was a surprise eighth-place finisher in the girls discus and Cameron Tabor (Norman, Ok.) finished a respectable tenth in the boys shot put.
In the boys qualifying, the U.S. advanced two runners to the semifinals in the 100, 400, 800 and 110 hurdles. The girls advanced two runners to the semifinals in the 100 and the 400, and Jordan Hasay (Mission College Prep, San Luis Obispo, Ca.) became just the second runner to qualify for the girls 1,500 final when she won her heat in 4:26.06.
Here is a more in-depth look at the evening session of Day One:
For Cameron Tabor (Norman, Ok.) it turned out to be a good morning, when he set a personal best 63-11 ¾ for the fourth-best performance in qualifying, and a not so good evening when he was only able to throw 59-4 ¾ and finished tenth. Tabor opened with a foul before reaching 58-4 ½ and finally 59-4 ¾. In order to earn three additional throws he would have needed to reach 62-6 ¾. His tenth-place finish equaled the best-ever finish by a U.S. team member. Darius Savage finished in tenth place in 2005.
At the end of the first round, David Storl of Germany had the lead at 68-10 ½, followed by Marin Premeru of Croatia at 66-3 and Savyttskyy of Ukraine at 65-9 ½. For the next five rounds the order did not change, but all three putters did improve. In the second round, Storl hit 70-2 ½ for the World Youth lead for the year and Premeru upped his best to 67-0. Savytskyy improved twice in the third and fifth round but his 66-1 ½ could not quite catch the top two. Hendrik Muller of Germany was even more unfortunate than Tabor. After qualifying second in the morning with a put of 65-0 ¾, he had no fair throws in the final.
First Three in Each Heat Plus Next
Four Fastest Qualify for Semifinals
Kenneth Gilstrap (Miller Grove, Lithonia, Ga.) surprised his competition and maybe even himself with personal best of 10.55 in winning his heat with a favorable 1.5 meter per second wind. It was also the fastest time in the quarterfinals. Keynan Parker of Canada was second, also in a personal best of 10.61, and heat favorite Allistar Clarke of St. Kitts was third at 10.71. Gilstap’s previous best had been 10.68.
Isaiah Sweeney (Hightower, Sugar Land, Tx.) was in a little tougher quarterfinal than Gilstrap, but acquitted himself very well in finishing a close second to event favorite Dexter Lee of Jamaica, 10.65 to 10.74. Vaclav Zich of Czech Republic, at 10.66, and Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica, at 10.62, were the other two heat winners.
Judging by the closeness of the 16 qualifiers, who ran between 10.55 and 10.80, it appears that a number of the runners were not fully extended. That will certainly not be the case in Thursday’s semifinals and finals.
First Two in Each Heat Plus Next Eight Fastest
Qualify for the Semifinals (Thursday)
Danzell Fortson (Central, Keller, Tx.), the State 5-A champion at 46.76, had no trouble advancing with his heat winning time of 47.71—the third fastest qualifying time. In fact, when you look at all of the qualifiers, all of the runners who are in medal contention had no trouble advancing, which required a time of just 49.13. Fortson was the only U.S. entrant and it is amazing that the most dominant nation in the world at 400 meters could not come up with a second qualified runner.
Christopher Clarke of Britain, the world Youth leader at 46.70, had no trouble winning his heat easily in 48.03. The quickest race of the day came in heat five where Kirani James of Granada dropped his personal best to 47.38, from 47.86, as he engaged in a spirited battle with Hendrik Maartens of South Africa, who finished second in 47.62. Akihiro Urano of Japan was the only other runner under 48 seconds with a heat-winning 47.96.
First Two in Each Heat Plus Next Eight Fastest
Qualify for the Semifinals (Thursday)
In the four previous additions of the World Youth Championships, the U.S. has been able to advance just one runner, Michael Haddan, past the first round. This year the U.S. has two runners in the semifinals. Howard Shepard (Skyline, Dallas, Tex.), his State’s 5A champion at 1:51.31, just edged Garvyn Nero of Trinidad, 1:53.76 to 1:53.92. Nero has a best of 1:50.19. Michael Whitehead of New Zealand led at 400 in 57.12.
Dylan Ferris (East Forsyth, Kernersville, N.C.), his State’s 4-A champion, won the slowest heat of the round, defeating Ronny Heck of Germany, 1:55.09 to 1:55.12. Ferris, who has a best of 1:49.27, led at 400 in 58.18.
African runners won four other heats. Kenyan’s Geoffrey Kibet, at 1:54.36 and Samwel Chepkwony, at 1:51.80, were two of the four winners. Henok Tesfaye of Ethiopia, at 1:52.50, and Lahbib Izzabaha of Morocco, at 1:53.44, were the other two. All four runners have been under 1:50.0 and three are under 1:49.0, led by Kibet at 1:47.10 and Izzabaha, at 1:48.36.
First Four in Each Heat Plus Next Four
Fastest Qualify for Final (Friday)
Kenya has owned this event. In the first four championships, the East African powerhouse had provided three winners and three second place finishers. Mubarak Taher of Burundi broke a three-meet win streak of Kenya when he won in a championship meet record of 5:23.95 in 2005.
As usual, the Kenyans are the favorites but they could get a challenge from a familiar foe. Silas Kitum won the first heat in 5:40.46 and has a best of 5:34.0. Kitum led at 1,000 meters in 2:49.62. Teammate Jonathan Ndiku was content to finish third in heat two at 5:52.33, but has a best of 5:37.60. The winner of the second heat was Legese Lamiso of Ethiopia at 5:33.63. He passed 1,000 meters in 2:42.97. Lamiso came into the meet with a best of just 5:55.20. The U.S. has no entrants.
110-Meter High Hurdles
First Four in Each Heat Qualify for Final (Thursday)
To the surprise of probably no one, Wayne Davis II (Southeast, Raleigh, N.C.) and William Wynne (McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga.) each won their heats, but neither one ran faster then they had in the first round, mainly because they were running into the wind. Davis won in 13.44 with Daniel Martin of Australia in second at 13.93. Wynne was a winner in 13.42 with Cornel Bananau of Romania in second at 13.89. It would be a giant upset if the two did not finish 1-2 in the final. The only real question is who will win.
Top 12 Advance (Thursday)
If the qualifying is any indication, the final could be very entertaining. Both the Group A and the Group B leaders set personal bests. Kirill Kadukov of Russia led Group A at 246-1 and Hamish Peacock of Australia was the Group B leader at 245-7. Edgars Rutins of Latvia was second in Group B with a personal best of 244-6 and Tuomas Laaksonen was third at 243-6. All four throws bettered the automatic qualifying standard of 229-8. Laaksonen does have a best of 257-11.
Stipe Zunic of Croatia was also an automatic qualifier at 232-9, but has thrown 242-6. David Golling of Germany was the only other automatic qualifier at 231-1. Five of the six automatic qualifiers got it done in the first round. One casualty was Kuan-Lun Chen of Taiwan, who came into the competition with a best of 253-4 but could only manage 205-0.
Going into the third event, the shot put, Eusebio Caceres of Spain led with 1,874 points, Jaroslav Hedvicak of Czech Republic was second at 1,737 and Adam Bevis of Australia was third at 1,698. Despite a throw of just 46-0 ¾, worth 731 points, Caceres continued to lead with 2,605 points, although his margin dropped from 137 points to 109.
Bevis has the sixth best throw at 49-5 but it was good enough for 793 points and a total of 2,491 to move from third to second. Stefan Matula of Germany, who has a decathlon score of 7,471 with the junior implements, had the fifth best put of 50-10, worth 820 points and a total of 2,467 to move from fifth to third. Hedvicak had a put of just 44-11, worth 709, and dropped from second to fourth with 2,446 points.
Curtis Beach (Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, N.M.) had a throw of 44-0, worth 692 points and a total of 2,250 that dropped him from eighth to tenth. Simon Feurer of France had the best put of the competition at 51-4 ¼, worth 830 points, and moved from 12th to eighth with 2,300 points.
Curtis Beach had the event’s 2nd-best performance at 48.82, worth 870 points and a first-day total of 3,120 points that moved him from tenth to seventh – and just 135 points out of third place. Caceres had just the 16th fastest time at 52.23 and was worth just 715 points, but still retained the lead with 3,320 points.
Hedvicak had the fourth-fastest time at 49.27, worth 849 points and moved from fourth to second with 3,295 points. Bevis with a 51.12, worth 784 points and a total of 3,255, dropped from second to third.
Kenya has won seven of the 12 medals available in the first four editions of the World Youth championships, including three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. African nations have won 11 of the 12 medals, with Japan being the only interloper. Guess what? Things just never seem to change.
Mercy Cherono of Kenya won in 8:53.94 and Ethiopia was second and third with Mahlet Melisa running 8:53.94 and Sutle Utura running 9:06.48. Cherono broke the championship record of 9:01.61 set by fellow Kenyan Veronica Wanjiru in 2005. Cherono entered the meet with a best of 9:11.30 while Melese had a best of 9:35.21 and Utura’s best was 9:31.43.
For those of you who might have speculated on how Jordan Hasay (Mission College Prep, San Luis Obispo, Ca.) might have faired in this race, Saki Nakamichi of Japan was fourth in 9:13.84, followed by Ayaka Mori of Japan in fifth at 9:13.89, and Daniela Fetcare of Latvia in sixth at 9:21.36. There were no U.S. entrants.
The amazing Rebecca O’Brian just continues to amaze. Competing in her secondary event—she is a 48-5 ¼ shot putter—she squeaked in to the final twelve with an eleventh-place finish in the qualifying, and then was the eighth and final thrower after three rounds and earned a final three throws. She was not able to improve on her position, but her 145-11, achieved on her first throw, was just off her personal best of 147-5.
In the battle for the medals, things were decided early. Julia Fischer of Germany, throwing third in the order, opened up with a personal best 168-9 and then had five straight fouls. It didn’t matter because her first throw turned out to be the best of the competition. Yuanyuan Jin of China took over second place in the second round with a 168-0 and Sandra Perkovic of Croatia grabbed third, also in the second round, with a throw of 167-11. In the fifth round, Perkovic answered with a 168-1 to move from third to second by one inch.
First Four in Each Heat Qualify for Semifinals (Thursday)
Neither Erica Alexander (Clear Brook, Friendswood, Tx.) nor Ashton Purvis (St. Elizabeth, Oakland, Ca.) won their respective heats, but they both comfortably qualified for the semifinals. Alexander, running against Ashlee Nelson of Britain, as she had done in the first round, was again second, 11.65 to 11.74. In the first round they ran 11.70 and 11.74, respectively. Purvis was handled rather easily by Andreea Ograzeanu of Romania, 11.94 to 12.09.
Again, Asha Philip of Britain, who has a best of 11.37 and appears to be the class of the field, was the fastest runner to advance with her 11.53. Barbara Leoncio of Brazil, who has run 11.52, was second at 11.75. Fellow Brazilian Rosangela Santos, who has a best of 11.44, easily won the remaining heat in 11.68. The real running will begin in the semifinals.
First Two in Each Heat Plus Next Two
Fastest Qualify for Semifinals (Thursday)
Both Brianna Frazier (Raines, Jacksonville, Fl.) and Meshawn Graham (Bowsher, Toledo, Oh.) were heat winners and easy qualifiers. Frazier defeated Betty Chelangat of Kenya, 55.46 to 55.66, with third place going to Dade Sealy of Barbados in 56.08. Graham, who has a best of 52.51, defeated Natalie Geiger of Canada, 55.12 to 55.50, with Natalia Zsigovics of Hungary a nonqualifying third at 56.18.
The only two runners to break 55 seconds were heat winners Yuliya Baraley of Ukraine at 53.92 and Alexandra Stukova of Slovakia at 54.63. Baraley has a personal best of 53.92 and Stukova has run 54.09. Two runners who did not enter were Folashade Abugan of Nigeria, who has a best of 51.49 and has the top five Youth times in the world this year, and Racheal Nachula of Zambia, who has a best of 52.99.
First Four in Each Heat Plus Next Four
Fastest Qualify for Final (Friday)
Jordan Hasay (Mission College Prep, San Luis Obispo, Ca.) became just the second U.S. runner to qualify for a World Youth Championship final, joining Chantelle Dron of Manchester (N.H.), who achieved that feat in 2003. Hasay won the first heat in 4:26.06. After Melissa Duncan led the first 400 in 71.76, Hasay took over passing 800 in 2:25.76 and 1,200 in 3:34.84. Judging how closely things were bunched—less than on second separated the first five finishers—the pace almost surely will be cranked up in the final.
Rei Ohara of Japan was second, followed by Sheila Kiprotich of Kenya and Duncan Antonija Zalac of Croatia. Kiprotich has a best of 4:12.29. Sammary Cherotich of Kenya and Bartukan Feyisa of Ethiopia set personal bests of 4:19.64 and 4:22.36, respectively, in finishing one-two in the second heat. Cherotich led at 400 in 69.45 and then Feyisa took over passing 800 in 2:18.15 and 1,200 in 3:30.12, before Cherotich retook the lead for good.
So what type of pace might be expected in the final? In 2001, the leader splits were 70.26, 2:21.00 and 3:28.29 (Georgie Clark) with a final time of 4:14.08 (Clark). In 2003, the splits were 64.73, 2:17.61 and 3:29.09 (Naomi Kipkemboi) with a final time of 4:17.41 (Kipkemboi 4:17.65). In 2005, the splits were 65.29, 2:14.22 and 3:22.60 (Kuriko Kobayashi) with a final time of 4:12.29 (Kobayashi 4:13.96).
High Jump Qualifying
Top 12 Advance (Friday)
Esthera Petre of Romania and Natalya Mamlina of Russia were the only two jumpers to clear 5-10 ¾, although it seems clear that the officials were able to determine that all jumpers who had bettered 5-8 ½ or had first-attempt clearances at 5-7 would advance, and therefore stopped the qualifying.
Petre, with a best of 6-0 ¾ , and Mamlina, with a best of 6-0, were the only jumpers to have no misses. Also qualifying were Kimberly Jess of Germany and Elena Vallortigara of Italy; both advanced with 5-9 ¾ clearances but have personal bests of 6-1 ½ and 6-0 ½, respectively. There were no U.S. entrants.
Triple Jump Qualifying
Top 12 Advance (Thursday)
Maja Bratkic of Slovakia was the leading qualifier at 43-3, followed by Ecaterina Malihina of Moldova at 42-7, Yoselidis Rivalta of Cuba at 42-2 ¾ and Dailenis Alcantara of Cuba at 42-0 ¾. All four exceeded the automatic qualifying standard of 41-8. The two Cubans rank one-two on the yearly World Youth list with Alcantara having a best of 46-7 ½ and Rivalta having done 44.4. It took 39-10 ¾ to make the final 12. There were no U.S. entrants.
First Two in Each Heat Plus Next 10 Fastest
Qualify for Quarterfinals (Wed. evening)
This is the first time that four rounds have been used in the World Youth Championships, and so there is not a whole can be gained after the first round and probably the same will be for the quarterfinals. There were eleven heats in the first round and nine athletes ran 10.70 of faster. However, Kenneth Gilstrap (Miller Grove, Lithonia, Ga.) and Isaiah Sweeney (Hightower, Sugar Land, Tx.) were not among the nine. Both did win their heats.
Gilstrap defeated Jordan Huggins of Britain, a 10.45 sprinter, 10.81 to 10.91 into a 1.3 meter per second wind. Sweeney just edged Harold Houston of Bermuda, 10.73 to 10.76 with a wind-legal 1.4 wind. Dexter Lee of Jamaica, who won the national youth championship in 10.33, had the fastest time at 10.55 with a nice breeze of 1.8, Alistair Clarke of St. Kitts ran a personal best of 10.58 with a maximum allowable wind of 2.0 and Christophe Lemaitre of France also set a personal best of 10.62 in winning his heat.
One name that was conspicuously absent was the newly crowned World Youth Record holder Rynell Parson (Stevens, San Antonio, Tx.), who ran that time (10.23) in winning the U.S. National Junior championships. Unfortunately Parson was never considered for the team because he did not attend one of three national junior championship meets in 2006. You just have to ask yourself, would that stipulation, a year before the World Youth Championship, have kept him off of any other nation’s World Youth team?
110-Meter Hurdles (36”)
First Three in Each Heat Plus Next Four Fastest
Qualify for the Semifinals (Wed. evening)
Wayne Davis II (Southeast, Raleigh, N.C.) and William Wynne (McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga.) got the U.S. off to a flying start with the two fastest times in the first round. Davis dominated heat two with a 13.38 that was aided by a just over the allowable wind of 2.1 meters per second. Denis Semenov of Kazakhstan was second at 13.87 for the fourth fastest time of the round. Wynne was up next in the third heat and he had no trouble winning easily with a wind legal time of 13.39. Daniel Martin of Australia was second at 13,83 for the third fastest time of the morning.
Seven runners broke 14 seconds while the slowest qualifying time was 14.44. The rest of the world runs over 36 inch hurdles while the U.S. uses the U.S. high school height of 39 inches, which could be an advantage. Davis’ best over the 39 inch hurdles is 13.65 while Wynne has run 13.72. Both Davis and Wynne will be shooting for the meet record of 13.26 set by Ladji Doucoure of France in the First World Youth championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 1999.
Top 12 Qualify for Final (Wed. evening)
Cameron Tabor (Norman, Ok.) ended the suspense quickly with a an automatic qualifying mark of 63-11 ¾ in the first round of Group A, good enough for the fourth best put in qualifying. Michael Barbas (Jersey Village, Houston, Tx.) was not as fortunate in Group B, where he had a nonqualifying best of just 58-7 ¼ good enough for 21st place overall.
There were ten automatic qualifiers, led by David Storl of Germany at 67-0 ¾, Hendrik Muller of Germany at 65-0 ¾ and Mykyta Nesterenko of Ukraine at 65-0. Nesterenko had the best mark coming into the competition at 70-0 ½ and is actually better in the discus where is has set the World Youth record of 236-0. Martin Premeru of Croatia, who qualified at 65-5 ½, is close behind at 69-8 ¾.
Tabor is just the third U.S. shot putter to advance to the finals. Darius Savage from San Diego and now at UCLA is the highest placer at 10th in 2005. Like many of the weight events, the rest of the world uses a different weight than the U.S. The world uses a 5-kilo implement (just over 11 pounds) and the U.S. used the high school weight of 12 pounds. Tabor’s best high school put is 63-1 ½ compared to his qualifying round put of 63-11 ¾.
First Day Events (Final day, Thursday)
Eusebio Caceres of Spain ran 10.73, just off his personal best of 10.69, to score 922 points and lead all competitors. Also in that heat Jaroslav Hedvicak of Czech Republic and Shane Brathwaite of Barbados, ran 10.84 and 10.86, respectively for the second and third fastest times. Hedvicak earned 897 points and Brathwaite collected 892 points. Curtis Beach (Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, N.M.) had the ninth fastest time at 11.20, worth 817 points.
Eusebio Caceres extended his lead with an event-leading jump of 24-10, worth 952 points and a two-event total of 1,874 points. Jaroslav Hedvicak again had the second best performance with a 23-4 effort, worth 840 points and a total of 1,737.
Adam Bevis of Australia turned in the third best jump at 23-3 ¼ worth 835 points and good enough to move him from fifth to third with 1,698 points. Shane Brathwaite jumped 22-5 ¼, worth 776 points, but fell from third to fourth with 1,668 points. Curtis Beach was off his best of 23-0, but his 21-11 ½ was good for 741 points and moved him from ninth to eighth with 1,558 points.
First Three in Each Heat Plus Next Five Fastest
Qualify for Quarterfinals (Wed. evening)
As with the boys, this is the first year for four rounds of the 100 meters. And like the boys, not a whole lot is likely to be learned in especially the first round and probably the not from the quarterfinals.
Seven runners ran 11.70 or faster, including freshman Ashton Purvis (St. Elizabeth, Oakland, Ca.), who won the first heat at 11.74. Erica Alexander (Clear Brook, Friendswood, Tx.) found herself in a much tougher fight and finished second to Ashlee Nelson of Britain, 11.70 to 11.74, in her heat. Nelson has a best of 11.58. Alexander’s time is her legal best this year although she has run a wind-aided 11.61. Asha Philip of Britain, the World Youth leader at 11.37, was an easy winner in 11.61 for the fastest time in the opening round.
Discus Qualifying Round
Top 12 Qualify
Talk about nail biting competition in a qualifying round. Group A opened up with four automatic qualifiers in Jin Yuanyuan of China at 166-5, Julia Fischer of Germany at 162-2, Mariya Koshkaryova of Ukraine at 153-6 and Lolo Vika of Australia at 152-9. Meanwhile, Becky O’Brien (Greely, Cumberland, Me.) got off a first round throw of just 131-3. She improved to 144-0 in the second round, which was just over three and one-half feet short of personal best.
However, her third round throw was just 117-05. That left her in seventh place with Group B yet to throw and hoping that six athletes did not better her 144-0. After the first four throws in Group B, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia at 172-4 and Kimberly Mulhall of Australia at 155-0, were automatic qualifiers, Matilda Gunnarson of Sweden was in third at 148-11 and Shaunagh Brown of Britain was fourth at 147-11 . O’Brien, with two and one-half rounds remaining, had dropped to eleventh and had to hope no more than one other thrower would move ahead of her.
If O’Brien was feeling apprehensive, imagine what Erin Pendleton (Woodmere, Elmore, Oh.) must have been going through. After the first two rounds of Group B, Peterson had two fouls. With just three throwers remaining in the qualifying round, the fate of the two Americas was yet to be decided. Pendleton was first up but her throw of 142-7 left her just short in thirteenth place. The agony ended for O’Brien when Hristina Anagnostopoulou of Greece improved, but only to 143-11, which was just one inch short of O’Brian, but good enough for twelfth place and guaranteeing a spot for O’Brien in the final.
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