2023 Pan Am U20 Day 3 highlights

by Jim Spier

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico - The 21st  Annual Pan American U20 Track and Field Championships concluded on Sunday, August 6 at the Jose A. Figueroa Freire Stadium.

Full results will be posted here

Below is the recap of the Day 3 highlights. Photos by Joy Kamani.

3000m Women – Final

Ellie Shea

Ellie Shea (Belmont, MA), the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals 5000m champion has had a memorable weekend.  She won the 1500 meters on Friday and today ran the number 2 all-time 3000 meters with the time of 9:05.78.  Only Katie Rainsberger (Air Academy, CO) has run faster, setting the national record in 2016 (9:00.62). She replaces Lynn Bjorklund, Los Alamos, NM, 1975, 9:08.0) as the second fastest ever.   It is also the Junior class record, breaking that  previously held by Kate Murphy (Lake Braddock, Burke, VA, 2016 9:10.51). 

Second was Charlotte Sinke (Canada), the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals 2 Mile runner up in 9:50.93.  Third was American sophomore, Zariel Macchia (William Floyd, Mastic Beach, NY), the Nike Outdoor Nationals 5000m bronze medalist, in 9:52.40.  Fourth was Kaiya Robertson (CANADA; BOISE STATE; Franklin, Portland, OR), the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals mile bronze medalist, running 9:52.61 here.

Zariel Macchia


Javelin Women– Final

The favorite coming in Manuela Rotundo Silvera (Uruguay) was the winner. Her personal best is 184-06, and she threw 182-00 to win her.  Second, and taking over the US high school lead, was Evelyn Bliss (Union-Allegheny Clarion Valley, Rimersburg, PA) with a personal best of 173-00.  The Bucknell-bound athlete has had a story book spring and summer.  She threw 151-07 last summer after placing second in the Pennsylvania State champs.  This year, she improved to 155-09 at the state district meet, then won the state meet at 170-02, then the USATF U20 meet at 169-11 and, finally, second at the Pan American U20 Championships with that big mark.  The NSAF was instrumental in recommending and assisting Evelyn get to the USATF U20 meet.  That’s #15 all-time on the US High school javelin list.  Third was Shea Greene (PRINCETON, Weston, CT), the 2022 American JavFest champion, with a throw of 148-08

Evelyn Bliss, Manuela Rotunda Silvera, and Shea Greene

High Jump Men– Final

Grant Campbell (Heritage, Maryville, TN) was the winner here at 7-02.25, clearing that height on his first attempt..  He is the second ranked US high schooler, and owns 3 of the top 5 high jump marks for the year.  That’s pretty good for a guy who only managed 6-06 last year.  Like Evelyn Bliss, the NSAF was happy to assist Grant get to the USATF U20 meet.  Brion Stephens (LOUISVILLE, Warren Central, Indianapolis, IN), the  USATF U20 champion, was second at 7-01.5.  Brandon Pottinger (JAMAICA; TENNESSEE, Palmer Trinity, Miami, FL), 8th at the 2023 SEC Champs, was third at 6-11.  John Connors (PUERTO RICO; Rumson-Fair Haven, Rumson, NJ) no-heighted.

Grant Campbell

Triple Jump Women– Final

Asia Phillips (CANADA), the leading entrant at 43-06, and 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals runner up, beat fellow Canadian Tolu Akinduro (CANADA; U of MARYLAND), 43-00.5 (1.4) to 42-09 (1.4).  Tolu was 24th in the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals and 12 in this year’s Big 10 championships.  Agur Dwol (OKLAHOMA; Muller, Denver, CO), the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals Champ, was third in 41-07, and Suzan Ogunleye (TENNESSEE; Hendrickson, Pflugerville, TX), 7th in the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals triple jump won by Agur Dwol, was fourth, 3 inches behind her U.S. teammate.

Agur Dwol

Pole Vault Women– Final

Kenna Stimmel (VIRGINIA TECH; Margareta, Castalia, OH), the 2021 Nike Outdoor nationals third place finisher (and third at the USATF U20 meet) was victorious with a jump of 14-01.25.  Ella Mc Ritchie (Bainbridge Island, WA), second at the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals, and second at the USATF U20 meet, was second here as well with a jump of 13-11.25.  (Jathiya Muhammad of Dublin, CA, the USATF U20 champ and 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals bronze medalist, was not able to attend because of passport issues).  Alyssa Quinones-Mixon (PUERTO RICO; AUBURN; Reagan, San Antonio, TX), ninth in the SEC champs, was third her in 13-05.25.  Fourth was Eliza Aitken (CANADA; West de Pere, de Pere, WI), the 2023 Wisconsin high school champ in 12-07.5.

Kenna Stimmel                                       Ella McRitchie

Javelin Men– Final

Mike Stein (IOWA; Spirit Lake, IA), the US U20 leader at 248-00, won with a toss of 234-02.  Aside from one foul, he had the best 5 throws of the competition.  Our research did not find a comprehensive history of javelin throwing. From the U of Iowa web site:

High School — learned how to throw javelin in a state that doesn’t offer that event at high school level… won javelin at Central College Meet, and two meets at Mount Mercy in 2021… member of Drake Relays qualifying 400-meter relay team as a freshman… third team all-state baseball player, earning two all-district honors as an outfielder and three all-conference honors as a pitcher.

Second was Kaden Cartwright (BAHAMAS) at 214-08.  Third was Blake Orr (FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL; Niceville, FL) with a throw of 213-07.  Blake was third at the USATF U20 meet.  The winner, Dash Sermon (NEBRASKA; Walla Walla, WA), the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals and 2023 USATF U20 champion, was originally on the USATF entry list but did not compete for some reason.  There were four total entrants in this event.

Mike Stein and Blake Orr

Triple Jump Men– Final

Sterling Scott (Starkville, MS), the 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals runner up, came into the competition with a best of 50-11.  He won the event on his first attempt (51-05, 1.5).  That jumped moved him to #2 in the US high school ranks and #3 US U20 for this year.  Second was Diego Bustamente Bastias of Chile at 50-01.75, moving into second on his final jump.  Divine Aniamaki (Canada) was third with a jump of 50-00.5w.  Fifth was Jared Harrell (EAST CAROLINA; Panther Creek, Cary, NC), the 2019 NB Nationals Outdoor Freshman Long Jump runner up with a jump of 49-02.5w.  The top 2 finishers at the USATF U20 meet opted not to attend this championship.  They are Kyvon Tatham (FLORIDA STATE: Pembroke Pines Charter, Pembroke Pines, FL), the 2019 NB Nationals Outdoor Freshman Long Jump champion and Sir Jonathan Sims (ARIZONA; JR Tucker, Henrico, VA), who was 12th at the NB Nationals Outdoor Triple Jump. 

Sterling Scott

200 Meters Women – Final

The win was never in doubt, as Shawnti Jackson (South Granville, Creedmoor, NC) took over the US High school and US U20 leading, sprinting 22.35 (1.6) for the win.  That’s #2 all time outdoor high school.  Only Allyson Felix has run faster, and that was 22.11 at altitude. She has come a long way from winning the 2019 NB Nationals Outdoor Middle School 100 meters!  Second was Elise Cooper (Mc Donogh, Owings Mills, MD), third at the 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals 200m, with a time of 22.80.  That moves her to #3 on the US high school outdoor list for 2023.  Emily Martin (CANADA; UTAH STATE U) was third in 23.75.  Sofia Swindell (US VIRGIN ISLANDS; The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ) was 6th (24.39)

Shawnti Jackson                                    Elise Cooper

Shawnti Jackson and Elise Cooper                                           

200 Meters Men – Final

Renan de Lima Gallina, the Brazilian U20 recordholder was the heavy favorite going in, and he did not disappoint, winning in 20.44 (1.3).  Garrett Kaalund (NEBRASKA; Antonian, San Antonio, TX), the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals 400m runner up, coming in with a 20.79 best,  was second in 20.57.  Local favorite Jose Figueroa Acevedo (PUERTO RICO) was third in 20.63, just off his 20.59 personal best.  Cameron Tarver (SAN JOSE STATE, Fresno Central, Fresno, CA) was 4th in 20.92.  Shavique Bascus (ANTIGUA and BARDUDA; Clarke Central, Athens, GA) who will enroll at North Carolina A&T U in the fall, was the 7th fastest qualifier (20.99) but did not run in the final.  The first and third place finishers at the USATF U20 meet opted out of this event:  Christian Miller (Creekside, St. John’s, FL) and Jazonte Levan (Seaford, DE).

800 Meters Women – Final

US High School leader Sophia Gorriaran (Moses Brown, Providence, RI), the 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals Mile bronze medalist and Allison Ince (Normal Community, Bloomington, IL), 44th at the 2020 XC Town Cross Country event, ran together for 750 meters. Gorriaran continued on to victory, winning in 2:04.68.  Allison started to fade down the homestretch with the Canadians charging.  They passed on either side of her to take second and third.  It was Sorcha Shiu, third at the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals (and second at the 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals) taking second in 2:06.32, with teammate Kyla Martin third in 2:06.57.  Allison missed third by .06.  Isabel Conde de Frankenburg (ARGENTINA; Cedar Park, TX), 6th in the 2022 Nike Cross Nationals cross country championship, was 7th in 2:12.68.

Sophia Gorriaran

Allison Ince and Sophia Gorriaran

800 Meters Men – Final

Daniel Watcke (Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale, IL) anchor for the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals 4x800m champions, led for the second half of the race and never seriously challenged.  He won in 1:48.86.  Simeon Birnbaum (Stevens, Rapid City, SD), relying on his patented kick, ran out of room down the homestretch to finish second in 1:49.31.  Both athletes had run sub-1:48.0 times this year.  Third was Marco Silva Goncalves of Brazil in 1:49.46.  Riley Flemington (CANADA/U of Michigan), 9th in the 2023 Big 10 Champs, who won the 1500 meters yesterday, was 5th.

Simeon Birnbaum

3000 Meter Steeplechase Women – Final

It was a four women field, with two Americans and two Peruvians.  Veronica Huacasi (Peru) was the entry with a sub-10:00.00 minute time coming in.  She won in 10:23.60, holding off a persistent Catherine Garrison (WILLIAM and MARY; Maggie Walker, Richmond, VA) who was second in 10:28.34.  Catherine was a member of the 2022 Nike Indoor Nationals Emerging Elite 7th place finishing 4x800m relay team.  Third was Sydney Collier (Skyline, Sammamish, WA) in 11:25.04.  Sydney was 17th in the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals  5000 meters.  Angelina Napoleon (Allegany-Limestone, Allegany, NY), the high school recordholder in the 2000 meter steeplechase and USATF U20 champion, opted to not join the team.  She was 12th in the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals 2000 Meter Steeplechase as a sophomore.

4x400m Relay Women – Final

There was not going to be any serious competition for the U.S. squad with 2 women on the team who had run 51.17 or better during the year.  They won in 3:30.25 with the team of Lauren Lewis (Prosper, TX), a member of the 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals 4x400m championship team, Madison Whyte (Heritage, Newport News, VA), the 2021 Nike Outdoor Nationals 200 meter bronze medalist, Sydney Segalla (BOSTON COLLEGE; Housatonic Regional, Falls Village, CT)  and Christine Mallard (USC, Legacy, Mansfield, TX).  Jamaica was second (3:38.56), just edging out Brazil (3:38.87).  In the post meet interview, Lauren Lewis insisted on doing it in Spanish and was incredibly proficient.

4x400m Relay Men – Final

There was some question about the U.S. team, given some of the other teams in the field.  Canada, for example, had the 400m champion (Will Floyd) and a member of the U of Georgia’s 4x400m relay, Christopher Morales Williams.  But the US prevailed and won with a time of 3:05.98.  It was the team of George Garcia (LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN; Eastwood, El Paso, TX), Jake Andrews (Sehome, Bellingham, WA), third at the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals 200m, Jake McGavock (Campo Verde, Gilbert, AZ) and Grant Buckmiller (Lake Stevens, WA), 4th at the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals 400m.  Second was Jamaica (3:09.17) and third was Brazil (3:09.57).

Heptathlon Women – Final

JaiCieonna Gero-Holt (Emerald Ridge, Puyallup, WA), the freshman and sophomore class record holder, continued her dominance in winning with 5463 points.  The 2023 Nike Outdoor Natonals champion now has the top 3 performances in this event this year.  She scored 5553 points in winning the USATF U20 meet, 5481 in winning the 2023 Nike Outdoor Nationals, then 5463 points here.  Abby Elmore (Gunter, TX) was second in 5186.  She will be a senior next year so she and JaiCieonna will continue to battle.  Third was Julia Leite of Brazil with 5067 points.  Shaunice Miller (BAHAMAS/ST. AUGUSTINE’S; Montverde Academy, Montverde, FL) was 7th with 4074 points.

JaiCieonna Gero-Holt

Abby Elmore

Decathlon Men – Final

A nightmare struck heavy favorite Nate Paris (CANADA), the 2023. NAIA champion for U of British Columbia.  He “no-heighted” in the pole vault, virtually eliminating him from a gold medal.  He finished third (there were three competitors) with 5954 points (besides the no-height, he also only started the final event, the 1500 meters, running only about 10 meters so as not be disqualified overall).  That opened the door for USATF U20 champ Aidan Carter (Brentwood, TN), the 2023 Nike Indoor Nationals pentathlon champion.  He won with a point total of 6808, under his 6915 point winning performance at the USATF U20 meet.  Second was Koby Kessler (OREGON; Tigard, OR), 14th at the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals with 6748 points.  Third was Nate Paris.

Aidan Carter

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