USA Leads medal count at 16 at conclusion of World Youth Championships in Lille.
by Joy Kamani
Story by Jim Spier
Photos by Joy Kamani
Girls 2000m Steeplechase Final
We thought the national record would be broken but didn't realize both Americans would break it. Maddie Myers (Northwest, Seattle, WA) was in 5th much of the race, running with Madane of Morocco, and trailing two Kenyans and an Ethiopian. With 350 meters to go, Madane took off to eventually get second. Meyers got passed down the homestretch by the second Ethiopian (Gerisa) to finish sixth. Charging down the homestretch was Briana Nerud (North Shore, Glen Head, NY) who almost got Meyers and finished just behind her in seventh. Both broke Meyers' 2 week old record of 6:32.02, with Meyers at 6:29.20 and Nerud at 6:29.56.
Boys Pole Vault Final
Jacob Blankenship (Lincoln, Gahanna, OH) was leading through 16-6.75, at which point he was guaranteed of a medal as only three were left. He missed three times at the next height (16-10.75) and got the bronze. The results:
Robert Renner Slovenia 17-2.75
Melker Jacobsson Sweden 16-10.75
Jacob Blankenship USA 16-6.75
Nicholas Southgate New Zealand 15-9
Heorhiy Bykov Ukraine 15-9
Oleg Zernikel Germany 15-9
Girls 200m Final
Bealoved Brown (Ozen, Beaumont, TX) had some serious competition here and, coupled with being in lane 1, managed only 8th in 24.08. The winner was Desiree Henry of Great Britain in 23.25, a 2011 world youth leading performance.
Boys 200m Final
Ronald Darby (Potomac, Oxon Hill, MD) got out first but was caught at the half way point by Stephen Newbold of the Bahamas, the eventual winner who got a PB of 20.89. O'Dail Todd (Jamaica), as he did in the semis, charged late to catch Darby who finished third in 21.08. Aldrich Bailey (Timberview, Arlington, TX), never really n the race, finished 6th in 21.36.
Girls 800m Final
The Americans took the lead with 250 meters to go after being part of a pack that passed 400 meters in just under 60 seconds. Coming around the final turn it was Ajee Wilson (Neptune, NJ) and Amy Weissenbach (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood, CA) with a significant lead. This is the first time in recent memory where Americans were leading with 120 meters to go. Wilson took over the lead at that point and began to pull away. Weissenbach began to fade and was passed by Chunyu Wang (China) and Jessica Judd (Great Britain), with Weissenbach diving and falling at the finish in an effort to nip Judd. Wilson won in a PB 2:02.64 with Weissenbach .16 out of third, running 2:03.59.
Boys 1500m Final
The usual two groups developed: the five East Africans and the rest of the world. Jacob Burcham (Cabell-Midland, Ona, WV) almost won the "rest of the world" group. He made his move with 250 meters to go, only to be caught at the finish by James McMurray of Great Britain. Burcham finished 7th in 3:46.55, a hugh personal best and equal to about a 4:04.6 mile.
Girls Medley Relay Final
There was no guarantee of a medal for the US. Even so, they almost got the gold! Robin Reynolds (Jackson,Miami, FL) almost caught the winning Jamaican anchor down the homestretch, with Reynolds running 51.8. The US ran second for virtually the entire race, with the legs: Jennifer Madu (East, Plano, TX) 11.2, Bealoved Brown (Ozen, Beaumont, TX) 24.4, Kendall Baisden(Detroit Country Day, Bloomfield Hills, MI) 36.6 and Reynolds 51.8. Jamaica's time of 2:03.42 is the World Youth record, and that for the US (2:03.92) is #3 all-time
Boys Medley Relay Final
An incredible performance by the US, where everything went right. It was Ronald Darby (Potomac, Oxon Hill, MD) 10.2, Aldrich Bailey (Timberview, Arlington, TX 20.8, Najee Glass (St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ) 32.7 and Arman Hall (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL) 45.8. All but Glass were on the CSI team last month which competed in Puerto Rico. Their 1:49.47 demolished the prior world record (1: 50.33) set by the US team two years ago in Bressanone, Italy.