USATF Day 2 World Juniors Morning Recap: Laura Roesler and Ajee Wilson Advance in 800, Recap of Men's 1500m, Women's Steeple, and More
MONCTON, CANADA -- The first full day of competition got off to a good start for Team USA Tuesday at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships, with almost every runner advancing from the first round in the morning session. Here's an event-by-event look at how the team did:
Women's 3000 Steeplechase: American Junior record holder Shelby Greany of Providence was one of the top seeds coming into the meet with her 10:00.88, but she struggled a bit through the middle of the race to finish fifth in the first heat at 10:18.74. That was enough to advance as a time qualifier, and Greany said, "It has been a long season, but I am just as fit now as when I set the American record. Everyone has an off day, and I had one today. I hope it all works out for me to run what I am capable of in the final." (Greany's lap splits -- 81.1, 86.9, 86.9, 89.1, 87.8, 88.6, 87.2)
Heat two saw a huge PR for Colorado high schooler Eleanor Fulton, who crossed the line at 10:25.89 to take fifth and nab a time-qualifier spot in the final. "I was just trying to qualify, qualify, qualify," Fulton said. "The first couple barriers were tough with all the contact, and I didn't like the outside water jump as much as I like inside jumps. I have a little more to give, so I will go all out in the final. I feel pretty good after this first big race." (Fulton's lap splits -- 88.2, 85.3, 87.0, 87.5, 89.9, 90.7, 89.2)
Women's Shot Put -- Brittany Smith of Illinois State made it easy on herself, hitting the auto qualifying mark with her first-round 15.84 toss, but Rachel Roberts was not so fortunate, managing only 13.28. Smith, whose mark was the fourth best of the session, said, "Luckily, I hit it on my first throw. I was kind of nervous before the competition started, but I took a big deep breath and told myself to just throw. I like the auto qualifying system, even though it is much different from what we do in college. My legs are a little tired after a long season, but I will rest up and eat and get ready for the final tonight."
Women's Javelin -- She left it until her final attempt, but Pennsylvania high schooler Allison Updike grabbed a spot in the final with her 48.93 effort. Nevada high schooler Avione Allgood recorded a 48.00 in her flight, but did not qualify for the final.
Women's 800 -- Both Team USA athletes easily advanced to the semifinals, with New Jersey prep Ajee Wilson leading the way with her 2:05.94 to take second in heat three. Wilson came through 400 in 60.9 in fourth place, but took the lead through 600 at 1:33.77 and finished strongly to assure moving on. "I felt OK, but I had a little trouble early," said Wilson. "It was not a bad race, I just wanted to try and qualify for the next round. When I felt the leaders starting to pull away at 400, I knew I had to move up. This has been an exciting experience so far, hearing all the athletes from other countries talk."
North Dakota high school star Laura Roesler also cruised to a berth in the next round with a third-place 2:08.17 after a 63.2 opening lap. "It felt really good for an opening round," Roesler said. "I was a little bit nervous, but just wanted to make sure I had enough left to get in. It was a real confidence booster, and nice to get it over with."
Men's 1500 -- Despite a lifetime best, Peter Callahan of Princeton narrowly missed out on a finals berth with his 3:45.04. Running in the final of three sections, Callahan ripped through the first 400 in 58.9 and came through 800 in 2:00.3. He started moving up slowly and was at 2:45.9 with one to go, hitting the 1200 at 3:01. A swift final 300 saw him get close to advancing, but he finished sixth, just out of the reckoning. "My coaches told me to be careful because of all the bumping," Callahan said. "It was a great experience for me to race these guys at this level, and I was very happy with my first international meet. I do feel like I could have moved up a little more in the middle of the race, but overall I am very happy to get a PR and hope this is just the first of many teams I make."
California high schooler Elias Gedyon was in a slower heat two, coming through 400 in 61.4 and 800 in 2:06.3. At 2:52 with one lap to go, Gedyon tried to move up with no luck, and he finished 12th in 3:52.44. "I just didn't have an extra gear to try and hang with these guys," Gedyon said.
Women's 400 -- Collegians Regina George of Arkansas and Stacey-Ann Smith of Texas had no trouble advancing to the semis, as George clocked 54.17 for second place in heat one, and Smith was a tad faster in heat two to take second at 53.41, the sixth-fastest time of the morning.
Men's 100 -- All eyes may have been on Jamaican star Dexter Lee, but Team USA's Charles Silmon of TCU and Michael Granger of Ole Miss crushed the competition in their heats after tremendous starts. Silmon zipped to a 10.33 in heat five, the second fastest time of the day, while Granger blasted to a 10.47, shutting down completely about 10 meters out. Granger, the US Junior champ, said, "I did what I wanted to do and just cruised to the end. I am hoping for a PR in the final."
Men's Pole Vault -- Kyle Ballew of Los Angeles Valley College cleared 5.05 on his first attempt to advance to the final, while Texas high schooler Mark Thomas went out with a clearance at 4.95, missing the final.
Competition resumes at 6:30 pm for the evening session, including finals in the women's shot and men's 10,000.
For more information on the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships, visit www.usatf.org.