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Jim Spier, NSSF - Live on-site
Wednesday Report

from NationalScholastic.org

Morning Session - Afternoon Session

World Youth Champs Day 1- Morning

Setting the scene: Ostrava is an industrial city. It was once a coal mining hub, and still has several steel mills, several of which are near the stadium. The city is trying to make the transition to becoming a high tech center. That transition has been a slow one.

The weather has been too "summery.” It rains a lot here, and last night saw its share of precipitation.

The volunteers and staff we have encountered thus far have been friendly and helpful. The food has been excellent. Last night Joy had pike with a fresh - really fresh - tomato salad with smoked salmon, a seafood soup and a spectacular desert based on cottage cheese. Yes, cottage cheese. I had a local specialty - pork and sauerkraut with dumplings, along with a tomato/smoked turkey appetizer and onion soup. I was nice enough to help Joy with her desert.

This morning's breakfast was terrific, highlighted by the apple strudel and local breads (there's nothing like bread in Europe!).

To the track: a chilly overcast morning (mid-sixties). I seek out my spot on press row and, of course, can't find it. It happens to be in another section. Ugh! - another section. I go to the other section. Wow! It's a lot better there.

In any event, I note an empty spot in the original press row. It was assigned to Mike Kennedy of the L.A. Times who, at the last minute, was unable to attend. The new press aide, Olaf Brockmann of Austria, asked if I had a problem. I had prepared myself for my usual argument with someone in his position him over territory. He said. "OK. Problem solved. Now this is your spot.” I was flabbergasted. Nonetheless, I'll go to my assigned spot this afternoon. It's really much better.

I'm really thirsty. Posted in the press center is a notice about the restaurant in the center of the stadium. I go to find some water there. They wouldn't let me in because I didn't have the right credential. I go back to the press center to complain. They told me that there should not be a problem. They called down there to tell them to let the press in. I go back down to get the water. They told me I don't have the right credential. I give up. I'll try later.

Boys 110m Hurdles, Round 1 (at this level, 36" hurdles are used).

Heat 1 - Won by Cornel Bananau of Romania, who held his form against a charging Hansle Parchment of Jamaica (who didn't), with Bananau running 13.88 against Parchment's 13.95. Both advance to the next round.

Heat 2 - Wayne Davis, the sophomore from Eddie Harden's great program at Southeast Raleigh (HS) in North Carolina (and National sophomore record holder over the 39" hurdles) made it look easy, cruising to an easy 13.38 win. It would have been the World Youth leader had it not been aided by 2.1 mps wind. The meet record of 13.26 is certainly within reach, as is the World Youth record of 13.22. Wayne won graciously, shaking hands with ALL the other athletes in the race (I'm reminded of Wayne's father's reaction at the Nike Outdoor Nationals when it was announced that Wayne had just set the National Sophomore class record. Mr. Davis is an official who works many of the meets in the area. "That's my son!” he exclaimed).

(One of the young volunteers just asked if I needed anything. I asked for water. She brought me a 1.5 liter bottle. You know how big that is?! It'll take me all day to drink it).

Heat 3 - William Wynne (Mc Eachern, Powder Springs, GA) had some competition over the first half of the race from Martin Mazac of the Czech Republic and Daniel Martin of Australia. Wynne pulled away after the fifth hurdle for an impressive 13.39 win. The wind was legal (+0.4) so he gets the World Youth lead.

Heat 4 - Darn it. Giovanni Mantovani of Italy was leading for 8 hurdles before crashing and burning. I was all set to say that "Mantovani orchestrated a perfect race" (those who are post sixties would not understand that anyway; those who are might find a slight bit of humor there - Mantovani. Orchestra. Get it?). Andreas Martinsen of Denmark took this race in a less than stellar 14.19.

Octathlon 100 Meters

The eight event multi vs the ten event decathlon. Curtis Beach, who just finished his sophomore year at Albuquerque Academy (the only US entrant) stands ninth with 817 points after the first event, having run 11.20. (By the way, his aunt, who has been an influence to Curtis athletically and otherwise, is named Sandy Beach). The leader is Eusebio Caceres of Spain with 922 points for his 10.73.

Octathlon Long Jump

Caceres had the big jump here, extending to 24-10 to maintain his lead. Curtis Beach jumped 22-0.75 to move up to eighth place overall. Caceres leads with 1874 points, with Beach at 1558.

Girls Discus Qualifying

Group A -Becky O'Brien (Greely, Cumberland Center, ME) threw 144-0 to sit in seventh place. She does have a shot to make the final as they will take the top 12 (or anyone who attains the automatic qualifier of 150-11). Yuanyuan Jin of China led this group with a throw of 166-5.

Group B - Erin Pendleton (Woodmore, Elmore, OH), younger sister of recent Pan Am Junior competitor Emily Pendleton, just missed making the final. Her throw of 142-7 finished her fourteenth overall. The good news is that Becky O'Brien did make it into the final based on her group A throw. Sandra Perkovic of Croatia, winning this group, has the furthest throw overall at 172-4.

Boys Shot Put Qualifing (5kg, or a little over 11 pounds)

Group A - Cameron Tabor (Norman, OK) got right to business and had to throw only once to qualify. The automatic qualifier is 63-0, and Sean threw 63-11.5, taking him right to the finals later on this week.

Group B - Michael Barbas (Jersey Village, Houston, TX) did not have as good a day as Tabor, finishing 11th in his group at 58-7.5 and not moving on. The overall leader was David Storl of Germany at 67-0.75.

Girls 100 Meters, Round 1

Heat 1 - Ashton Purvis, a soon-to-be sophomore at St.Elizabeth in Oakland, CA, easily qualified for the next round, running 11.74.

Heat 2 - From Lane 1, long striding Andrea Ograzeanu of Romani, eased to an 11.80 win.

Heat 3 - Asha Phillip of Great Britain, touted as a favorite to win here, showed why she is the favorite with an easy 11.61 win.

Heat 4 - Aleksandra Kociolek of Poland edged Huijang Han of China, 11.91 to 11.95.

Heat 5 - Rosangela Santos of Brazil, last week's Pan Am Junior silver medalist in this event, easily won, running 11.72.

Heat 6 - A contest between adjacent lane runners Olivia Tauro of Australia and Xianping Ha of China, with Ha the victor, 11.80 to 11.83.

Heat 7 - Erica Alexander (Clear Brook, Friendswood, TX) was "nipped" at the finish by Ashlee Nelson of Great Britain, 11.70 to 11.74.

Heat 8 - Shanice Hazel of the British Virgin Islands, second to Chalonda Goodman of the US at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational two weeks ago, was the only sub-12 runner, winning in 11.95 from lane 1.

Heat 9 - Another impressive looking Brazilian runner, Barbara Leoncio, wins relatively easily in 11.92.

Boys 100 Meters, Round 1

Heat 1 - An easy win for the Brit, Olufunmi Sobodu, wining in 10.71.

Heat 2 - Warren Fraser of the Bahamas strided to a relaxed win (10.88) from lane 8.

Heat 3 - Newcomer Nickel Ashmeade made it look easy with a 10.70 victory. He came into the event with a 10.39 best and seems to be a finalist and, perhaps, a medallist.

Heat 4 - Allistar Clarke of St Kitts had an easy win in 10.58, fastest of the competition thus far.

Heat 5 - Another Jamaican, Dexter Lee, won his heat. And very easily. The 10.33 competitor took heat 5, running 10.55.

Heat 6 - Tse-Ching Liange of Taipei ran well in winning (10.72), with Michael Tumi of Italy the other automatic qualifier (10.84).

Heat 7 - South Africa's Patrick Vosloo, a Galen Rupp look-alike, was impressive in his 10.69 win.

Heat 8 - Christophe Lemaitre of France got a PB 10.62 in winning from lane 1.

Heat 9 - Kenneth Gilstrap (Miller Grove, Lithonia, GA), held off Jordan Huggins of Great Britain, with Gilstrap running 10.81. He was a tenth faster than Huggins, who was in an adjacent lane.

Heat 10 - Isaiah Sweeney (Fort Bend Hightower, TX) tried to relax after leading at 85 meters, but had to "turn on the gas" soon thereafter to get the win, running 10.73.

Heat 11 - Country favorite Vaclav Zich got his nation's youth record in winning at 10.65. Joel Dillon of Trinidad was a close second at 10.65.

World Youth Champs Day 1 - Afternoon

Girls 400 Meters, Round 1

Heat 1 - Mara Weekes of Barbados went out fast and there was some doubt if she could hold on to qualify. She did, just barely, and won in 55.29.

Heat 2 - Breanna Frazier (Raines, Jacksonville, FL), who won the Florida 2A state championships two months ago as a freshman, led from start to win in 55.46.

Heat 3 - Meshawn Graham (Bowsher, Toledo, OH), ranked number 2 in the world among youth, ran an even race to win this heat in 55.12. She's not only the second fastest in the world, but second fastest in the state of Ohio, having run her time of 52.51 behind Jessica Beard's US leading 51.63 in the Ohio Division 1 state meet in June.

Heat 4 - Latoya Mc Dermott (Jamaica) had no problem in winning this heat (55.93).

Heat 5 - I just saw the potential winner. Yuliya Baraley of the Ukraine strided to a comfortable 53.92 win, the fastest time of the competition to date.

Heat 6 - An almost local favorite won this heat. Alexandra Stukova of Slovakia (remember, it was CzechoSLOVAKIA not too long ago) came from behind in an outside lane to win in 54.63.

Boys 400 Meters, Round 1

Heat 1 - Christopher Clarke (Great Britain), the World Youth leader at 46.70, made easy work of it with a 48.03 win, shutting it down at the 370-meter mark.

Heat 2 - Jordan Mc Grath of Great Britain made a charge over the last 40 meters to garner the victory in 48.25.

Heat 3 - Danzell Fortson, a recent grad of Keller Central (TX) High School and the only American entered in this event, led wire to wire, winning in 47.71. Fortson will be attending the U. of Texas in the fall.

Heat 4 - Kirani James of Grenada surprised everyone in this race, including perhaps, himself. His 47.38 win from lane two bested his PR by almost one-half second.

Heat 5 - A great race but without super times. Pako Seribe of Botswana took the heat in 48.53.

Heat 6 - Finishing strong, Vladimir Krasnov of Russia, who had a seasonal best of 46.96 coming into the meet, ran 48.09 for the win.

Heat 7 - Jonathan Da Silva of Brazil staved off a charging Sajjad Hashemiahangari of Iran, running 48.40 to Hashemiahangari's 48.55.

Heat 8 - Akiro Urano of Japan surprised from the outside lane, winning in 47.96.

Girls Triple Jump Qualifying

No Americans entered. The leading qualifier was Maja Bratnic of Slovenia, jumping 43-3.

Girls High Jump Qualifying

No Americans entered. Fifteen qualified at 5-7 or better, led by Esthera Petre of Romania and Natalya Manlina of Russia, who both cleared 5-10.75.

Boys Javelin Qualifying

No Americans entered. The leading qualifier was Kirill Kadukov of Russia, throwing an even 75 meters (246-1).

Boys Octathlon Shot Put

Eusebia Caceres (Spain) maintained his lead though he did not win the event. He threw 46-0.75 and now has the leading total of 2605 points. Curtis Beach threw 44-0 and moved to tenth place with 2250 points.

Boys 800 Meters, Round 1

Heat 1 - So begins the tactical races that are so much the style of international running. Alexander Sheplyakov of Russia (1:53.61) held of Amine El Manaoui of Morocco (1:53.66) as both qualified for the next round.

Heat 2 -Samwel Chepkowny, a 1:49.7 performer, toyed with the field, passing 400 meters at 55.61 and 600m at 1:24.46. He left the field at the 600 meter mark to win in 1:51.80. Finishing strong and also qualifying was Artem Kazban of the Ukraine, running a PB 1:52.74.

Heat 3 - Howard Shepard (Skyline, Dallas, TX) showed a lot of confidence running a solid race. Leading at 400m was Michael Whitehead of New Zealand (57.12) with Shepard in third. Shepard moved to the lead on the backstretch just shy of the 600m mark (1:25.98) and charged to the finish holding off Garvyn Nero of Trinidad. Shepard ran 1:53.76 to Nero's 1:53.92.

Heat 4 - Dylan Ferris (East Forsyth, Winston-Salem, NC) appeared to be toying with the field - a dangerous tactic in this kind of competition. He led a very slow pace (58.18 at 400m) and tried to control it though 600m. As he was about to be passed at the point (1:27.61), he held off the charge, maintained a sustained kick through the finish to win in 1:55.09 to the German Ronny Heck's 1:55.12.

Heat 5 - Lahbib Izzabaha of Morocco, a 1:48.35 performer, bided his time tucked in behind James Kaan of Australia. Kaan led at 400m (55.80) and 600m (1:24.36) with Izzabaha making his move with 100m to go and winning in 1:53.44 to Kaan's 1:53.68.

Heat 6 - The world leader, Geoffrey Kibet of Kenya (1:47.1 coming in), led at 400 meters (57.40) and had an 8 meter lead on the back, even at that slow pace. They began to come back on him in the backstretch but Kibet still led at 600m (1:26.59). He held off the charge to win in 1:54.36, but just barely. Cihat Ulus of Turkey passed two runners on the inside in the last 10 meters to run an identical time to Kibet and to automatically qualify.

Heat 7 - An impressive race for Ethiopian Henok Tesfaye. Leading the field at 400m (55.53), he broke away at that point, passing 600m in 1:23.83. He never let up and won in 1:52.50, over two seconds faster than second-placer Canadian Trent Sayers (1:54.95).

Heat 8 - Another slow pace with Jan Bena (Slovakia) leading at 400m (56.44), but playing into the hands of Saudi Arabia's Ali Al-Deraan. Al-Deraan was 57.54 at the point, but quickly charged into the lead to win "going away" in 1:53.98.

Girls 100m Quarterfinals (top 4 in each heat advance to the semifinals)

Heat 1 (-1.2 mps) - It was a very even race with Andreea Ograzeanu (Romania) the clear winner (11.94). Just .03 separated second from fifth, with Ashton Purvis (US) taking second in 12.09, the same time as third placer Alyssa Conley (South Africa) and .01 ahead of Olivia Tauro of Australia. Those four qualified but Gabriela Laleva (Bulgaria) missed out by .02 in fifth.

Heat 2 (+1.2 mps) - Rosangela Santos of Brazil dominated this race running 11.68 with Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad second in 11.89. Loudia Laarman of Canada (11.96) and Jura Levy of Jamaica (11.98) also advanced.

Heat 3 (-0.9 mps) - Asha Phillip showed why she is the favorite. Leading from the gun, she separated herself from the field early, shut it down with 20 meters to go, and won in 11.53. Barbara Leoncio (Brazil, 11.75) was second. The other qualifiers were Huijiang Han of China (11.83) and Shanice Hazel of the British Virgin Islands (11.93).

Heat 4 (+0.7 mps) - After two false starts and one delay, Ashlee Nelson of Great Britain emerged the victor in 11.65. Erica Alexander of the U.S. had the start of her life to lead early, only to be caught by the eventual winner. Alexander finished second in 11.75, with Sabrina Nettey of Canada (11.90) third and Aleksandra Kociolek of Poland finishing fourth (11.94). Gayon Evans of Jamaica was the athlete disqualified for the second false start.

Boys 100m Quarterfinals (top 4 in each heat advance to the semifinals)

Heat 1 (+1.5 mps) - It was an even race halfway until Kenneth Gilstrap made his move to burst into the lead. He held it through 90 meters then shut it down wisely, still totally under control. His winning time of 10.55 was a personal best. Keynan Parker of Canada was second (10.61), Allistar Clarke of St. Kitts was third (10.71) and Harold Houston of Bermuda was fourth (10.75) to round out the field of advancers.

Heat 2 (-0.2 mps) - Czech favorite Vaclav Zich was the winner here (10.66), edging Joel Dillon of Trinidad by .03. Jordan Huggins of Great Britain was third (10.76) and Patrick Vosloo of South Africa fourth (10.85).

Heat 3 (-0.3) - Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica ran a controlled race for a comfortable win (10.62). Benjamin Olsson of Sweden closed fast to nip Christophe Lemaitre of France for second, 10.76 to 10.78. Fourth was Warren Fraser of the Bahamas (10.86).

Heat 4 (+0.3) - Dexter Lee of Jamaica looked like he can run just as fast as he needs to. He won in 10.65, with Isaiah Sweeney trying to catch him, but to no avail. Sweeney ran 10.74 in second, just .03 ahead of third placer Ian Warner (Canada). Tse-Ching Liang of Taipai finish fourth (10.80) to be the final qualifer in these rounds.

Girls 1500m Round 1

Heat 1 - I have become a true believer in Jordan Hasay. I don't believe I've ever seen an American in Youth or Junior competition control an international race at this distance like she did this one. She has been so dominant in the U.S. that she never had to worry about getting lost in a crowd, or suffer the jabs and shoving that are so prevalent in world competition. And she got plenty of that. In fact, she ran the risk of getting boxed in after one and one half laps, and stumbled twice in a 50 meter stretch while trying to work her way out of the box. She made her move with a lap to go and would not let anyone pass. Even when Sheila Kiprotech of Kenya, the 4:12.29 runner, tried to pass her down the homestretch, Jordan responded with an "extra gear" though she had one of the four qualifying spots locked up. Granted, her winning time of 4:26.06 was not overly impressive. But the fact is that she won a very tactical race against some very formidable foes.

Heat 2 - It was a two person race for the most part, between Sammary Cherotich of Kenya and Bertukan Feyisa of Ethiopia. Cherotich outkicked Feyisa at the end with a sustained kick over the last 200 meters. Cherotich ran 4:19.64 to Feyisa's 4:22.36.

Boys 110m Hurdles Semi Finals

Semi 1 (-1.0) - Talk about domination! Wayne Davis led from the gun and won by almost a half-second. His time of 13.44 was quite impressive given the negative wind. Daniel Martin of Australia (13.93) was second, with Andreas Martinsen of Denmark (14.03) third and Martin Mazac of the Czech Republic fourth (14.06).

Semi 2 (-0.5) - As dominant as Wayne Davis was in the Semi 1, William Wynne was his equal. Wynne won his race "going away" in 13.42. Cornel Bananau (Romania, 13.89) was second, Denis Semenov (Kazakhstan, 13.90) third and Athanasios Hrisaidis (Greece, 14.06) fourth to complete the finalists.

Boys Shot Put Final

David Storl of Germany got his big world youth leading throw of 70-2.5 on his second throw. Cameron Tabor of the U.S. finished tenth with a toss of 59-4.75.

Girls Discus Final

Becky O'Brien made the 8-person cut to the final with (what we believe) was a personal best throw of 145-11. The winner was Julia Fischer of Germany, whose winning 168-7 toss came on her first throw.

World Youth Index