2015 Pan Am Jrs 7/31 p.m. Report: Saunders’ record leads 5-GOLD night for USA

by Jim Spier


400m Final – Women

Canadian national favorite Kendra Clarke (Johnson C. Smith/Canada) held off a fast-charging Sada Williams (Barbados) to win in 52.55, her second personal best of the day after running 53.09 in the prelims.  Williams, headed to Kansas State in the fall, was second in a PR 52.75.  Kendall Ellis (USC) was third in 52.81 and 2014 New Balance Nationals Outdoor champion Zola Golden (Arlington, La Grangeville, NY) was 5th in 53.12.




400m Final – Men

Jamal Walton, the Florida high school sophomore-to-be representing the Cayman Islands, took the win in 46.09.  That was only .1 off his personal best set 2 weeks as the 4th place finisher at the IAAF World Youth Championships.  My’lik Kerley (Stephen F. Austin) was second in 46.33 and Jamaican Renardo Wilson was third in 46.59.





Decathlon High Jump

Harrison Williams (Stanford) increased his lead and reached 3,286 points with a 6-8 clearance in the high jump.  Travis Toliver (Episcopal, Houston, TX) moved into second, jumping 6-2 for a total of 3000 points.  He is 18 points ahead of Canadian Kayden Johnson.

Decathlon 400m

Harrison Williams won the 400 meters as well (48.28) reaching 4,182 points and increasing his lead again.  Travis Toliver remains in second (3,805) and Johnson in third (3,743).







100m Final – Women

Khalifa St. Fort (Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL/Trinidad and Tobago) led from start to finish, winning in 11.31 [-0.6].  Americans Aleia Hobbs (LSU) and Teahna Daniels (First Colonial, Orlando, FL) got second and third in 11.50 and 11.54, respectively.







100m Final – Men

This was a classic rematch between NBNO 100/200 champ Noah Lyles (TC Williams, Alexandria, VA) and Reynier Mena (Cuba).  Mena had edged Lyles in the 2015 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational 200 meters in Havana in June.  It was Mena, with the better start, edging Lyles 10.17 to 10.18.  Christian Coleman (Tennessee) finished third in 10.32.





Discus Final – Men

Payton Otterdahl (North Dakota State) saved the best for last.  He led after round 3 with a best of 182-09.  Demar Gayle (Jamaica) overtook him in round 4 with 183-08.  Now in the final throw of the competition, Otterdahl responded with a big 190-02 to win.  Jose Miguel Ballivian of Chile was third at 178-07.  Reno Tuufuli (Iowa) did not have a good meet, finishing 8th in 157-03.


Shot Put Final – Women

NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Raven Saunders (Southern Illinois) set the meet record with a big 59-11.25 throw.  There was no one remotely close.  Second was Portious Warren (Trinidad and Tobago) at 51-01, with Sophia Rivera (Brentwood, MO) third in 50-04.  Saunders and Rivera swept the NBN indoor and outdoor shot puts last year and this year, respectively.


Pole Vault Final – Men

The U.S. took 1-2 here with NBNO champion Paulo Benavides (Franklin, El Paso, TX) winning at 17-08.75 and Audie Wyatt (Texas A+M) taking second at 17-06.75.  Third was Jose Rodolfo Pacho Velez of Ecuador also at 17-06.75.  Tristan Slater (Capital, Charleston, WV), representing Canada, was fourth at 17-00.75, a PR.

Long Jump Final – Men

A bit of a surprise here as Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuban got the gold, jumping 25-05.5.  The favorite was his country-mate, Maikel Masso, the 2015 IAAF World Youth champion who only managed 10th , not making the 8-man final.  Second was U. of Arkansas signee Laquan Nairn (Bahamas) at 25-00.75.  NSAF Project Triple Jump alum Keandre Bates (Florida) was third at 24-09 with Nate Moore (Oregon) just behind at 24-08.5.



3000m Final – Women

Harvard-bound Erin Dietz (Bedford, MA), the NBNO 5000m runner-up, led from start to finish to win convincingly in 9:37.51. 









5000m Final – Men

Matthew Maton (Summit, Bend, OR) and Cerake Geberkidane (Oklahoma State) drafted on each other for much of the race, trading 1st and 2nd positions.  With 300 meters to go, Maton showed his sub-4:00 minute mile prowess, running the last 400m in 60.56.  He won in 14:20.58, the U.S. high school leader.  Geberkidane well back in second at 14:28.45.






100m Hurdles Final – Women

This race was never in doubt as World Junior record-holder Dior Hall (USC) led from the gun, winning in 13.20 with a negative (-1.7) wind.  Maribel Caicedo (Ecuador), the IAAF World Youth runner-up was 2nd at 13.45, and Florida high schooler Daeshon Gordon (Northeast, Oakland Park, FL), representing Jamaica, was third in 13.70.

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