Home >> US Garners 1st Gold on Day 5 of World Jrs.

US Garners 1st Gold on Day 5 of World Jrs.

Kendrick storms to Team USA’s first gold on day five of IAAF World Junior Championships

MONCTON, CANADA — In what must surely rank as the upset
of the meet, Clemson’s Stormy Kendrick ran a spectacular curve and held
on down the stretch to win the women’s 200 in 22.99 for Team USA’s
first gold medal Friday at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships.

Running in lane six outside heavily favored 100 champ Jodie Williams
of Great Britain, Kendrick blasted through the first 100 and had a
three-meter lead coming into the straight. She maintained her form all
the way to the line to record a lifetime best.

“I just ran my own race and was patient,” Kendrick said. “I was
feeling very good, and I came here to win. There was great competition
but I kept my focus on me. I love running because I am good at it and I
have been doing it forever.” California high schooler Ashton Purvis
finished fifth at 23.62.

Georgia prep star David Smith added a silver medal to the count with
his lifetime best 2.24-meter clearance in the high jump. Smith was
perfect at his first four heights before having one miss at 2.24, and
he narrowly missed at 2.26 to go out. “I just wanted to medal,” Smith
said. “I had to take a quick break before 2.24 and it kind of threw me
off when I came back to the competition area and was up right away, but
I put it back together and was able to have a good jump on my second
attempt. Last year’s World Youth meet (he was seventh) motivated me a
lot. Seventh place is nowhere. I have to give thanks to God for it all.”

Improving his personal best twice on the day, Washington’s Joe
Zimmerman added more than six feet to his previous PR with a 74.64 to
place fifth, the best finish ever for a U.S. javelin thrower. The
previous best finish was eighth by Art Skipper in 1988. “Honestly, my
first PR throw felt horrible, but it got me three more throws,”
Zimmerman said. “Then, I relaxed and got good rotation on my fifth
throw and hit it through the point. I have thrown far in practice
before, so it felt great to do it at such a big meet. My strength is
great, now I just need to work on my flexibility.”

Hoping for a top-10 finish coming into the meet, Iowa prep Alex
Gochenour did just that in the heptathlon, scoring 5,260 points to take
tenth in a very strong field. “This was fun, and I am very happy,”
Gochenour said. “I have so much room for improvement, I am just excited
to grow and get stronger and better. I was happy to finish so well in a
great group. My calf tightened up at the 500 mark in the 800, so I
might have been able to run a bit faster and score a few more points.
Overall I am just so excited to have had this experience.”

In the evening’s other field event final, Stanford’s Karyn Dunn placed 11th with a jump of 5.83.

Both 4×100 relay squads were successful in moving on to the final
with ease. Kendrick ran a superb first leg for the women before 100
silver medalist Takeia Pinckney of LSU blew it open on the second
carry. Wisconsin high schooler Dezerea Bryant and Texas prep Ashley
Collier completed the quartet, and Collier crossed the line at 43.56,
the fastest time overall. “We did our job,” Collier said. “The handoffs
were good, we got the stick around and now we just need to win the
gold.”

The men’s squad got a good lead leg from Mississippi’s Michael
Granger, and TCU’s Charles Silmon, the 100 silver medalist, opened up a
big gap on the second leg. Joeal Hotchkins of Central Arizona and
Florida high schooler Marvin Bracy ran the third and fourth legs as the
team won in 39.69, the fastest junior time in the world this year. “We
were just working the zones, trying to make the final,” Bracy said. “It
felt good to run fast and qualify, and we are ready for the final.”

Team USA finished the fifth day with the medal tally at six. Day six
competition begins at 1:30 pm Saturday with the women’s hammer final
and the men’s 110 hurdles semifinals.For more information on the IAAF
World Junior Championships, visit www.usatf.org.

About USA Track & Field
 
USA
Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and
field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.
USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the
most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and
junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult
runners in the United States.
 
For more information on USATF, visit
www.usatf.org
 

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