Emily Sisson Sets US HS 5000m Record at World Juniors

Two silver medals and a high school record in the women’s 5,000-meters
highlighted Team USA performances Wednesday on the third day of the 13th
IAAF World Junior Championships.

LSU’s Takeia Pinckney put the U.S. on the medal board for the first
time as she raced to a silver in the women’s 100 at 11.49. Pinckney had a
decent start and executed her phases well, but couldn’t make up enough
ground on Britain’s Jodie Williams, who remained undefeated in more than
100 races as she won in 11.40. California high school sprint champion
Ashton Purvis finished fourth in 11.60.

“I think I was just a bit tired from running two rounds today,” said
Pinckney. “My semifinal was not good at all, but tonight I got out
better and just said to myself ‘catch, catch, catch’.”

Charles Silmon of TCU ran a lifetime best 10.23 into a 0.7 mps wind
to take silver in the men’s 100, just .02 behind Jamaica’s Dexter Lee,
who defended his title. “I didn’t execute well,” Silmon said. “This was a
tough race and I wasn’t in it at first, but I pushed late in the race
and was thinking I had it. I leaned too early. It has been a long year
and it will be good to get a break, but I am ready to compete with the
big boys now.”

Mississippi’s Michael Granger placed fourth behind Silmon with a
10.32. “I knew I lacked top-end speed,” Granger said. “I tried to have a
good start and hold it, but I just couldn’t quite hold it. I’m not
happy with the time, but the U.S. won a medal, so it’s good.”

Running the 5,000 as an afterthought following her PR in the 3K on
Monday, Missouri prep Emily Sisson was relaxed enough to smash the
national high school record with a 15:48.91 to take sixth. The previous
HSR was 15:52.88 by Caitlin Chock at the World Juniors in Italy in 2004.

“I went along for the ride with a fast pack,” said Sisson. “I didn’t
feel too exhausted after the 3K, and I am so glad I ran this. I didn’t
even know what the national record was, and I am so excited to break it
at this big meet. The crowd was awesome. I didn’t think it could beat
Monday’s crowd, but it was great. I was more excited than nervous,
because I cam in with my focus on the 3K, and this was just for fun. It
was different being able to hang of their pace and not have to do all
the work.”

Despite entering the championships as a medal hopeful, New Jersey
high schooler Nick Vena had an off day in the shot put, taking fourth
with a best of 19.72, well off his personal best. “I honestly don’t know
what happened today,” Vena said. “I was trying my best out there, and
usually I can tell what I am doing wrong, but not today. It is great
being on Team USA and now I need to go back and train some more and get
ready for the next time.” Hayden Baillio of Texas fouled three times.

Virginian Justin Hunter, who will play football at Tennessee this
fall, finished sixth in the men’s long jump with a 7.47-meter jump. “The
crowd on that side of the stadium was pumping everyone up, but I just
couldn’t get in my rhythm today,” Hunter said. “I just got off a few
weeks of football training, so I am not track sharp.”

A first-throw effort of 50.08 was good enough to put Pennsylvania
prep Allison Updike in eighth place in the women’s javelin. “It was
overwhelming at first,” Updike said. “Everything felt wrong in the
qualifying, but tonight I had a smooth first throw and that got me my
place. You just have to concentrate on yourself and believe you can do
your best when you throw at meets like this.”

Decathletes Neamen Wise of South Florida and Tennessee high schooler
Kevin Lazas were unhappy with their performances, as Wise placed 12th
with 7,132 points and Lazas took 14th with 7,028. Wise said, “I didn’t
perform as well as I hoped. Sometimes you just don’t do well, but in the
decathlon you always hope to get better every meet. I tore my hamstring
about six months ago and missed a lot of training, but that is no
excuse. I also was a little uncomfortable with some of the rules and
procedures they used with us, especially not getting enough warm-up

In qualifying rounds, both men advanced to the final in the 400, led
by California prep Joshua Mance, who won the third heat in 46.43, the
fourth-fastest time overall. Houston’s Errol Nolan eased through with a
second-place 46.47 in heat one. “The wind was a killer,” Mance said. “I
won my heat so I am happy about that. Coming off the last turn I could
feel them moving up on me so I picked it up a bit. I need to get out
faster in the final.”

Nolan said, “I ran very smooth and just counted people to make sure I
would qualify. I saw a shadow off the curve so I knew someone was
coming up on me. My goal was to be in the top two.”

One major casualty came in the women’s 100 hurdles semis, where
Donique Flemings of Texas A&M had a poor race to finish fifth in the
first heat and fail to advance to the final. Penn State’s Evonne
Britton looked better in the second heat, winning in 13.58. “My plan was
just to execute,” Britton said. “My focus was on my start and drive
phase today, and I made the final so I am satisfied.”

Day four of the Championships starts at 9 am Thursday with qualifying
in the women’s hammer throw.

For more information on the IAAF World Junior Championships, visit www.usatf.org.

About USA Track & Field
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

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