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USA could have trouble three-peating

Mike Kennedy analyzes Team USA selections

         Sixteen boys and fifteen girls have been U.S.A. Track and Field to represent the United States at the Fifth World Youth championships for athletes under 18 years of age, July 11-15, in Ostrava, Czech Republic. With just 31 athletes in action the U.S. might find it very difficult to defend the titles it won in 2003 in Sherbrooke, Canada and in 2005 in Marrakech, Morocco. 

Team USA Roster

     Leading the way for the Boys team will be sprinter Jeremy Rankin of Overland High in Aurora, Co., hurdler William Wynne of McEachern in Powder Springs, Ga. and hammer thrower Conor  McCullough of Chaminade Prep in Canoga Park, Ca.

       Rankin, who ran 10.33 and 21.05 in the 100 and 200 earlier this year, last week won the Colorado State 5A  100 in 10.32 to rank No. 2 in the nation and was second in 200  in 21.36.

       Wynne won the state 5A 110 hurdles in 13.72 and the 300 hurdles in 35.67. His time in the 300 hurdles ranks equal eighth on the all-time high school list and he is ranked in the top five nationally this year for the 110 hurdles. Wynne is also the national leader at the 400 hurdles in 51.65.

       McCullough, is the National freshman and sophomore record holder for the high school 12-pound hammer and recently threw the 5-kilo (11 pounds) Youth hammer 244-2 to rank No. 1 in the world.   

       Two other athletes to watch are Danzell Fortson, a junior at Central High in Keller Tx., who won the State 5A 400 title in 46.76 and Christian Taylor of  Sandy Creek in Tyrone, Ga. Taylor won the State 3A title in the long jump at 23-4 ¼ and the triple jump title at 49-11 ¾.

    The Girls squad is paced by sprinters Erica Alexander of Clear Brook High in Friendswood, Tx. and freshman Ashton Purvis of St. Elisabeth in Oakland, Ca.

        Alexander was the Texas St. 5A champion in the 200 at 24.12 and the 400 winner at 53.29. The 400 time ranks No. 1 in the nation. Alexander has bests of 11.63w, 11.77, 23.86w, 24.12 and 53.39. Purvis is the national freshman indoor record holder at 200 in 23.55 and has bests of 11.40 and  23.50 outdoors.

       Junior Ryann Krais of Methacton High in Norristown, Pa. is the No. 2 ranked Youth 400 hurdlers in the world with her Penn Relays win and will be aiming to win the same title that Ebony Collins won for the U.S. two years ago.

       Chanelle Price of Easton, Pa. will be attempting to do what no other Youth 800 runner has ever done—make the final. Earlier this year indoor Price ran 2:04.96 indoors and has ran an unpressed 2:07.96 outdoors this season.

      Sophomore Jordan Hasay of Mission College Prep in San Luis Obispo, Ca. has already broken new ground by becoming the first U.S. athlete to ever qualify for the 3,000 final. Her best of 9:26.9 puts her in a position to finish in the top eight.

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