World Youth Champs – Day 5
200m Final – Women
Great runs by the Americans, as Candace Hill (Rockdale County, Conyers, GA) gets the World Youth record (22.43) and Lauren Rain Williams (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, CA) cracks 23 seconds for the first time, running 22.90. Hill now owns both the 100m (10.98) and 200m World Wouth records. Only Allyson Felix has run faster for 200m as a high schooler. Williams’ time is the 11th best ever high school and 9th best ever World Youth.
200m Final – Men
Josephus Lyles (TC Williams, Alexandria, VA) was 5th halfway through the race and managed to power his way up to 3rd and getting a PR 20.74 in the process. That’s #4 US, the U.S. high school leader in this event being his brother, Noah (20.18). This is Josephus’ second medal, having gotten the silver in the 400 (45.46). How fast does one have to run to get a gold medal (I ask rhetorically)? The event was won by Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan, completing the 100-200 double. His 20.34 was a meet record. Only Usain Bolt has run faster as a Youth athlete.
800m Final – Women
Boy, did Samantha Watson show she belongs on the world stage! Last at the initial break, she quickly moved into the now slow-moving pack at 200 meters. She was third at 400m (63.06 for the leader), then 4th at the backstretch. Suddenly, at 600m, she “jumped” the field, much as the East Africans are wont to do. Gadese Ejara of Ethiopia tried valiantly to catch Watson, but Samantha maintained her lead, running a PR 2:03.54, .13 ahead of Ejara. Watson’s time is =14 all-time high school and a U.S. high school leader (if you don’t count pro Alexa Efraimson).
Long Jump Final – Women
Tara Davis (Agoura, CA) saved the best for last. She qualified second overall going into the finals, jumping 20-4.5. In the 5th round, she jumped 20-5.75, the same as the then leader, Kaiza Karlen of Sweden. Davis had a better second jump so moved into first. Then, as the next to last jumper in the competition, she unleashed the big jump of 21-0.5, a big PR. That makes her the #2 -anked high school girl in the U.S. this year, and #13 all-time. It also ranks her as second best in the world among Youth.
Pole Vault Final – Men
There were no Americans in this event, sort of. Armand Duplantis, who just finished his freshman year at Lafayette High School (LA), representing his mother’s country of Sweden, won the event in a personal best of 17-04.5. That also bested his prior national high school freshman record by ½ inch. With Elienor Werner winning on the girls’ side, Sweden has swept both boys and girls vaults.
Mixed 4x400m Relay Final – Men
The U.S. won in convincing fashion, running 3:19.54. It was the team of Keshun Reed (Martin, Arlington, TX - 46.4), Lynna Irby (Pike, Indianapolis, IN – 52.9), Norman Grimes (Canyon, TX – 46.9) and Samantha Watson (Rush-Henrietta, Henrietta, NY – 53.3). As teams can run in any order, most opted to run the boy first and finish with a boy. That is, except for Canada, who ran female Kyra Constantine last. Canada was in 2nd at the final exchange, well behind the U.S. But they well ahead of the other six teams. The 6 boys began their charge and Constantine bravely held them off, with her team finishing third overall, although their time was the same as that of second-place finisher South Africa.
Results for those events with no Team USA competing:
- Boys 2000m Steeplechase, Vincent Ruto, Kenya, 5:27.58
- Boys 3000m, Richard Kimunyan, Kenya, 7:54.45
- Boys Javelin, Paul Jacobus Botha, South Africa, 257-06