Morning Session Gets Underway in Canada

by Joy Kamani

Women's 3000m Steeplechase

(2 heats. First 4 in each heat and those with the next 4 fastest times avance to the final)

Section 1 — The Kenyan (Cherotich) and Ethiopian (Ayana) separated themselves early. They ran stride for stride the entire race, with Chertotich winning in 9:52.77 (she was 4th last night in the 3000 meters). Ayona was second in 9:53.53. A second pack developed behind those 2. It included Gesa Krause of Germany, Maria Jose Perez of Spain, and Shelby Greaney of the US (Providence). Those three stayed together for most of the race. Greaney lost ground at each barrier, but made it up in between. With 1 ½ laps to go the German and the Spaniard pulled away and would finish 3rd and 4th. Greaney hald on for 5th, hoping for a time qualifier.

Section 2 — The story of this heat was the Canadian, Genevieve Lalonde. Coming in with a prior best of 10:33.24, she finished second in a big PR of 10:03.88, a Canadian junior record. The winner was Adama of Ethiopia. Eleanor Fulton of the US finished fifth in 10:25.89, a personal best for her. She will advance, as will Shelby Greaney from the prior heat.

800m Qualifying — 5 sections — (first 4 in each section and those with then next four fastest times advance to the semifinals tomorrow).

Section 1 — Natoya Gould of Jamaica went out in a very fast 60.46. Laura Roesler was back in about 5th at that point, running about 63 and pacing herself nicely. She moved into 5th with about 200m to go and gained on the leaders down the homestretch and easily qualified to the next round, running 2:08.17

Section 3 — Let's see if Ajee Wilson can live up to the billing. It was a relatively fast pace with the leader passing 400 meters in 60.65. Ajee was sitting in fifth. Let's see how she handles the upcoming surge. The Romanian Elena Lavric (and the favorite with a best of 2:00.06) started to make a move. Wilson began to move up with 250 meters to go and took the lead. At 200 meters, the point at which most US athletes have big challenges, Wilson held her own. But .. here they come! And they did. But so did Ajee. Lavric made a concerted effort to win the race but Wilson held her off. But it was not like she was straining to do so. Now I believe that Ajee can medal. I don't think I've ever said that about any other US Junior athlete in this event after the first round. If she stays healthy, she may be the best junior 800 meter runner the US has ever produced. (Her winning time was 2:05.90).

800m Qualifying — 5 sections — (first 4 in each section and those with then next four fastest times advance to the semifinals tomorrow).

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