MONCTON, CANADA — Texas high schooler Parker
Stinson turned in the best finish ever by an American in the men’s
10,000-meters Tuesday, crushing his lifetime best by more than a minute
to take sixth in 29:32.23 at the IAAF World Junior Championships. The
previous best finish was seventh by Tom Paskus in 1986. Stinson, who
recently graduated from Cedar Park High School, also moved to sixth on
the all-time prep 10K list with his effort.
“My goal coming in was to break 30 and finish in the top 12,”
Stinson said. “This feels so good! I was in great shape all year and it
feels great to finally have a performance that shows that. I knew I had
to stay with the second pack no matter what, and after the 14:42 first
5K I knew I was on good pace. Even when I was running by myself later
in the race it felt good because I was picking people off. My USA
teammates were going crazy for me and that helped a lot. This is a
great finish to my high school career.” Maryland high schooler Graham
Bazell ran well early but struggled later in the race and finished 16th
In the evening’s other final, Brittany Smith of Illinois State took seventh in the women’s shot put with a 15.47-meter throw.
All eight Team USA athletes in qualifying races advanced to the next
round, including pre-meet women’s 100 favorites Ashton Purvis and
Takeia Pinckney, and Errol Nolan in the men’s 400.
Pinckney, the US junior champ from LSU, had a superb technical
effort in heat three of the 100 to record the day’s fastest time at
11.48, and Purvis overcame a poor start to win heat two in 11.73. “I
was feeling good and relaxed, and made it through to the next round,”
Pinckney said. “I maybe could have got out stronger, but my transitions
were good and I was happy with my phases. I love being the ‘surprise”
runner and getting the silent treatment.”
Purvis, the double California prep sprint gold medalist, said, “I
stumbled out of the blocks. They wouldn’t let me bring my measuring
tape out for the blocks, so I didn’t have them set right. I had to
overcome that, and I felt I did a good job. I just want to keep
improving into the final.”
In the men’s 400, Nolan, an NCAA qualifier for Houston as a
freshman, had the fastest time of the day at 46.67. California high
school champ Joshua Mance, the World Youth silver medalist last year,
also had an easy road to the next round with a 47.29 to win his heat.
“This was a good race to build back my confidence after not racing for
a few weeks,” Nolan said. “I feel fine, and after my unexpected
improvement this year, I look forward to getting even better.”
Mance, who has a season best of 45.90, said, “I wanted to run 47 in
this round and I did it. I didn’t want to do too much today, and I was
able to back off a bit near the end. I didn’t mind running in lane
eight since I have been a target all year and I am used to people
Collegians Donique Flemings of Texas A&M and Evonne Britton of
Penn State were among the fastest qualifiers for the semifinals in the
women’s 100 hurdles, with Flemings winning the first heat in 13.50, the
third best of the round, and Britton placing second in heat two at
13.57. Flemings, who had a slowish start and made up ground on hurdles
7-9, said, “The starting noise was unusual (electronic clap) and it
left me in the blocks for a bit. I just focused on qualifying after
that and it went pretty well.”
Britton said, “I was a little nervous because I was late to
check-in. I got more into my rhythm on hurdles 3-5, and I know I need
to drive a bit more and focus on technique. I feel good and confident.”
Team USA’s decathletes had varying levels of success on day one.
Neamen Wise of South Florida won the 100 in 10.84 and had a solid long
jump at 7.29 before a subpar shot put brought him back to the field. He
cleared 1.92 in the high jump to stay in the top 10, but a 50.33 in the
400 gave him 3,923 points after five events to put him in 11th.
Tennessee high schooler Kevin Lazas, a better second day performer,
stands 14th with 3,732 points.
“My shot was not very good,” Wise said. “I have been transitioning
from the glide to the spin. You just try to set PR’s in every event in
the decathlon, and then you have to forget and move on. You can’t think
about what happened in the last event. Hurdles and discus are some of
my strongest events, and I have been improving a lot in the pole vault,
so the second day should be good for me.”
Lazas said, “It was not a good day for me. I was not happy with any
of my events. The second day is my stronger day, so I should move up.”
Men’s long jump qualifying saw Virginia prep Justin Hunter advance
to the final with a 7.64 leap, the seventh best effort of the day.
Pennsylvania high schooler Carlton Lavong was below par and finished
28th with a 7.14 jump.
Day three of the Championships starts at 9 am Wednesday with the decathlon 110 hurdles.
(For stats nuts, here are Parker Stinson’s 400 splits for the 10K
— 69.5, 74.7, 73.7, 71.9, 72.2, 69.0, 69.2, 68.9, 69.5, 69.8, 69.6,
70.4, 70.0, 69.8, 69.4, 70.2, 69.8, 69.8, 69.7, 69.9, 72.8, 74.9, 74.6,
For more information on the IAAF World Junior Championships, visit www.usatf.org.