World Junior Championships Notes - Day 6

A blog of the experiences of Jim Spier throughout the World Juniors.

The Media Party — I'm not really a party animal, so I got most of this second hand. We got invitations for the media party at our hotel at the meet on Thursday. It was to begin at 10:40pm and was to include "Culinary Specialties". So Joy Kamani and I went. It was a sit down dinner (to begin with). They brought out ton of pork, chicken, rice, vegetables, etc etc etc. And it kept on coming. There were about 60 people there. After I ate I decided to pack it in and go to bed. It was about 11:30pm. At about 1:00am, I was awakened by what I thought was gunfire. I looked out the window and saw (and heard) fireworks going off in the driveway of the hotel. Joy had stayed and related the following: After dinner, a bottle of vodka was place in front of every other person at the table. Then the drinking began (Joy swore she only had one shot). Anyway, after about 1-1/2 hours, they decided to go outside and shoot off some fireworks. Joy figured that was it for the night. She retired to bed, but most others decided to back inside and continue with the vodka challenge.

The Park — The last day of the World Championships is always the shortest. Only a few events are contested today. It starts at 4:00pm and lasts only 2 hours or so. So we were looking for something to do in the morning and early afternoon. We found the Lesny Fauna Park, a monstrous (almost 400 acres) wooded park with a small zoo, walking and biking trails, a ski jump and lots of other activities. To get the park was a challenge. We had to take the #58 bus to the #1 or #2 tram and take the tram all the way to the end of the line. The problem was that we really didn't know where to get off the bus. We kept our eye out for the tram lines and luckily spotted it. Then we were going to enjoy a nice enjoyable ride on the tram, into virgin territory. We knew the line, because it's the same line we took to the stadium each day. So we passed the stadium and were going to ride, ride and ride until we got to the end of the line. And ride we did, about another 100 meters. It was the next stop past the stadium. That was it. But it was worth it. It's really a terrific park, sort of unlike anything I am aware of in the U.S. It's really spread out so we did a lot of walking (like 2 hours worth). Highly recommended, especially if you have overeaten the way I have this week. Here's the web site address:

Medal count through yesterday

Medal Table

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 USA 9 3 2 14
2 Germany 6 0 2 8
3 Kenya 3 4 1 8
4 Cuba 1 2 5 8
5 Ethiopia 1 2 4 7
6 Russia 3 3 0 6
7 Jamaica 1 4 0 5
8 Belarus 0 4 1 5


Day 5 recap


3000 — Laurynne Chetelat finished 6th, perhaps the highest finish ever for American. She got at PR and #5 all-time high school.

100h — Teona Rodgers won the gold.

4x100 — The US won the gold.

4x400 — The US ran the fastest time in the qualifying round.

LJ — no US finalists

Heptathlon — Ryann Krais finished a resepectable 9th, #3 all-time high school


110h — Booker Nunley advanced to the final, Ronald Brookins did not.

4x100 — The US won the gold

4x400 — The US ran the fastest time in the qualifying round

PV — Joe Berry finished 7th and Maston Wallace 10th

Hammer — Walter Henning and Conor Mc Cullough finished 1-2, the first medals ever for the US in this event.

Kosinski - Hasay

Day 6


US Medal history
No US Medalists
Gutsy races by Jordan Hasay and Alex Kosinski in what began as a painfully slow pace (74 seconds for the first lap). Hasay finished 4th and Kosinski 6th, the best performance ever for American athletes.

Women 4x400 gold

4x400 gold
US Medal history
1986 - gold
1988 - silver
1994 - gold
1998 - bronze
2002 - gold
2004 - gold
2006 - gold
It's 4 in a row for the US, with Lanie Whitaker, Jessica Beard, Erica Alexander and Takecia Jameson. The splits on the IAAF web site are incorrect. The should be (approximately) 53.1, 51.0, 52.6, 53.4.

Erica Alexander 4x400

US Medal history
1994 - Suzy Powell - bronze
1996 - Seilala Sua - silver
Anna Jelmini made the 8 person final but could only manage 7th (162-3). Erin Pendleton was 11th at 158-11.


US Medal history
No US medalists
How do you compete against 13:08.57! That was what Abraham Cherkos of Ethiopia ran to win. Then two others followed at 13:11! This was a race with an African pack and a non-African pack which developed early. When you see the complete results, you'll see what I mean. Matt Centrowitz finished 11th in 13:58.31, a PR for him. Ryan Collins was 16th in 14:30.16.

Booker Nunley - 110h - silver

110m Hurdles
US Medal history
1988 - Stephen Brown silver
1988 - Elbert Ellis - bronze
1994 - Dudley Dorival - silver
1994 - Darius Pemberton - bronze
1998 - Sharif Paxton - silver
2002 - Antwon Hicks - gold
2004 - Aries Merritt - gold
2004 - Kevin Craddock - bronze
Booker Nunley, though having the worst start of the field (as he did in the semis) finished second in 13.45 to a very strong Russian hurdler. He now owns the 3 fastest US times for high schoolers. He is the leader of 3 North Carolina hurdlers who are the top 3 hurdlers in the US (Spencer Adams and Wayne Davis are the other two).

3000 Steeple
US Medal history
No US medalists
(On Ethiopia or Kenya have won gold medals — no other country has). The Kenyans took 1-3, with a Ugandan with the Kenyan name of Kiplagat taking second. Curtis Carr got a PR of 8:53.79 for 10th, and Dylan Knight finished just ahead of him in 9th at 8:52.90, just off his PR.

Men 4x400 gold

US Medal history
1986 - gold
1988 - gold
1990 - gold
1992 - gold
1994 - gold
1996 - gold
1998 - silver
2000 - no US team
2002 - gold
2004 - gold
2006 - gold
(In 2000, when the meet was in Chile, it was held in October. The US sent a skeleton Team. That year the winning time was the slowest winning time ever).
Another gold (4 in a row). The splits on the IAAF web site are incorrect. It was Boyd 46.0, Miller 46.4, Wilder 45.3 and Anderson 46.1, approximately).

US Medal history
1986 - Hollis Conway silver
2002 - Andra Manson gold


This has been another enjoyable meet. I've been to all of the World Junior Championships except the first (1986) and this was on a par "presentation-wise" with any I've been to. Of course the music was a bit loud, but I think it's just me getting older. The English language announcer, Marton Gyulai, was terrific. He was informative, "loose" and sometimes funny. He would say things like " … he ran a helluva turn", or "give it up for so and so". He was just fun to listen to.

Some other observations:

  • No US flags: apparently someone forgot to bring them. Virtually every gold medalist or gold medal team took a victory lap with their country's flag. But no one from the US, the team that won the most golds, had the opportunity to do that.

  • This was one of the greatest performances by a US team, garnering 17 medals, 11 of them gold. Apparently the conflict with NON did not hurt the team. Of course, two-thirds of the team were collegians, so that helped.

  • A scary thought: Kirani James of Grenada who finished second in the 400m at 45.70, will be eligible for the IAAF World Youth Championships (17-18) next year.

  • A guy no one had really ever heard of, Josephat Bett of Kenya, who had a previous best of 28:10, set a meet record in the 10000 of 27:30.85.

  • The US has made marked improvement in many events. The most obvious is the incredible 1-2 finish in the men's hammer. But some of the other unprecedented performances were Laurynne Chetelat in the 3000 finished 6th and Jordan Hasay and Alex Kosinski in the 1500, finishing 4th and 6th.

  • It's always enjoyable meeting the parents of some of the athletes. We seemed to run into the Taylors (Christian's parents and his sister Kaitlyn) and Amber Purvis' mom on a daily basis. They are terrific, supportive people. We also met Luke Laird's (javelin) parents who had come from Kansas to see their son compete.


We're headed back to the US tomorrow, via Warsaw. There are no easy air connections from Bydgoszcz, so we'll take the train (4 hours) to Warsaw, stay overnight there, and get a 6:30am flight back home. I go Warsaw-Munich-Washington-Raleigh. It will be a long day. Normal life resumes at the end of the week. On to cross-country.

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