An afternoon breeze appeared unwilling to relent Friday, at least making temperatures bearable while threatening to spoil any wind-legal runs at the 2016 USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships.
But finally, just before dusk, the breeze yielded and North Carolina prep champ Marcus Krah took advantage. Krah won the men’s 110-meter hurdles in 13.25 seconds – the fastest junior time in the world this year – on the opening day of the elite three-day meet at Buchanan High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
It’s the third big win for Krah in a few weeks, having won his state’s Class 4-A title in a record 13.32 and the New Balance National Outdoors in 13.39.
And still his performance Friday in Clovis was his best yet.
At about the fifth hurdle, the Hillside High-Durham product found himself just behind University of Florida-bound Grant Holloway but kicked it into high gear toward the finish.
“I just started pushing and pushing and got a lead,” said Krah, who will run as a collegian for North Carolina. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to kick that much, but I definitely had more and I was just telling myself to push and I felt myself getting faster.
“This felt really good,” he added. “My form going over, my start, my finish, the quickness over the hurdles. I didn’t feel like one of them was sloppy.
13.25 Marcus Krah’s junior world record time that won the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the USATF Junior Championships
“It feels great; it feels amazing. But now I have to pray again.”
Next stop: Poland – for the IAAF U20 World Championships. The top two finishers in each event this weekend will represent the U.S. at the Junior Worlds from July 19-24.
Amere Lattin (13.32) of Houston was the runner-up, with Holloway (13.37) third.
Robert Colantonio Jr. of Barrington, R.I., was the meet’s first gold medalist, winning the hammer with a personal-best throw of 243 feet, 2 inches with Princeton’s Adam Kelly the runner-up at 239-06.
Katelyn Gochenour of Logan, Iowa, and Emma Fitzgerald of Braintree, Mass., finished 1-2, respectively, in the javelin throw at 163-10 and 160 to become the first world qualifiers on the women’s side.
USC’s Mikaela Smith made a successful return to the track where she starred as a prep at Clovis North, winning her preliminary heat and advancing to the final in the women’s 800 in 2:07.54.
Smith, who ran in lane three, got off to a fast start, fell to the back of the pack after the first 200 meters, then made two outside passes – including one on the final turn – to edge Virginia Tech’s Rachel Pocratsky.
“I needed to get that qualifying space because I knew our first 400 had come through pretty slow and that we weren’t looking pretty fast going through,” Smith said.
I knew I had to get that qualifying spot to ensure myself (a place) in the finals.
USC’s Mikaela Smith, who prepped at Clovis North, on her preliminary heat in the women’s 800 meters
The 800 final is at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sydney McLaughlin, of Union Catholic, N.J, cruised to the top qualifying time of 56.62 seconds in her 400 hurdles prelim. McLaughlin, who is the top-ranked junior hurdler and fifth overall in the world after setting a national high school record of 54.46 at the New Balance National Outdoors earlier this summer, will run in Saturday’s final at 7:25 p.m.
ASICS pro Candace Hill, the reigning World Youth gold medalist in the 100 and 200, won the 100 final in 11.24. Noah Lyles of Alexandria, Va., won the men’s 100 in 10.08 with Ohio State’s Nicholas Gray (10.32) second.
Day 2 of the meet will feature a handful of other local rooting interests, including Buchanan graduates Hannah Waller in the women’s 400 and Paramveer Chohan in the men’s 400 hurdles, and Clovis North’s Rhesa Foster in the long jump.
Edison grad Lindsey Lopes, also now at USC, will compete in the heptathlon starting with the 100 hurdles at 3:10 p.m. Jacob Wilson, who will be a senior at Buchanan next fall, will compete in shot put Saturday and discus Sunday.
Editor’s note: A subhead was updated to reflect the meet Junior Outdoors are for athletes who are 19 and younger.
USATF Junior Nationals Schedule (UPDATED)
- 3:15 p.m.: Men’s 110 high hurdles (decathlon)
- 3:30 p.m.: Women’s 100 high hurdles (heptathlon)
- 3:45 p.m.: Women’s long jump (final)
- 4 p.m.: Men’s discus (decathlon)
- 4 p.m.: Men’s shot put (final)
- 4:35 p.m.: Women’s high jump (heptathlon)
- 4:55 p.m.: Women’s 100 high hurdles (first round)
- 5:15 p.m.: Men’s pole vault (decathlon)
- 5:20 p.m.: Women’s 400 (first round)
- 5:45 p.m.: Men’s 400 (first round)
- 6:10 p.m.: Men’s 400 hurdles (first round)
- 6:30 p.m.: Women’s hammer (final)
- 6:35 p.m.: Women’s 200 (first round)
- 6:40 p.m.: Women’s shot put (heptathlon)
- 7 p.m.: Men’s 200 (first round)
- 7 p.m.: Men’s javelin (decathlon)
- 7:10 p.m.: Men’s triple jump (final)
- 7:25 p.m.: Women’s 400 hurdles (final)
- 7:30 p.m.: Women’s high jump (final)
- 7:35 p.m.: Women’s 200 (heptathlon)
- 8 p.m.: Women’s 800 (final)
- 8:10 p.m.: Men’s 800 (final)
- 8:15 p.m.: Men’s 1,500 (decathlon)
- 8:20 p.m.: Women’s 100 high hurdles (final)
- 8:45 p.m.: 3,000 steeplechase (final)
- 9 p.m.: Women’s 3,000 (final)
- 9:15 p.m.: Men’s 5,000 (final)
- 7 a.m.: Men’s 10,000 racewalk (final)
- 8:30 a.m.: Women’s 10,000 racewalk
- 4:45 p.m.: Women’s long jump (heptathlon)
- 5:30 p.m.: Women’s pole vault (final)
- 5:40 p.m.: Women’s shot put (final)
- 5:45 p.m.: Men’s high jump (final)
- 6:15 p.m.: Men’s discus (final)
- 6:30 p.m.: Women’s triple jump (final)
- 6:35 p.m.: Men’s 400 hurdles (final)
- 6:45 p.m.: Women’s 400 (final)
- 6:55 p.m.: Men’s 400 (final)
- 7:05 p.m.: Women’s 800 (heptathlon)
- 7:22 p.m.: Women’s 200 (final)
- 7:32 p.m.: Men’s 200 (final)
- 7:42 p.m.: Women’s 1,500 (final)
- 7:54 p.m.: Men’s 1,500 (final)