Strong Performances highlight Day 1 for Team USA at World Youth

Strong Performances highlight Day 1 for Team USA at World Youth

Provided by USATF

DONETSK, UKRAINE - Team USA had a strong showing on the first day of competition, with many athletes securing personal records as they advanced to the next round of competition at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

In the first finals of the championships, Team USA had two athletes record top-10 finishes in the throws. First it was Amir Ali Patterson (Encino, Calif.) who took to the shot put ring, where he duplicated his mark of 19.69m/64-7.25 from this morning’s qualification. Then it was Lloydricia Cameron (Miami, Fla.) in the women’s discus who also placed eighth with her throw of 45.48m/149-2.

Kenturah Orji (Budd Lake, N.J.) landed a hop, skip and jump of 13.43m/44-0.75 to advance automatically to the finals of the women’s triple jump. Orji improved her personal best by 3.5 inches and moved up to No. 5 on the all-time high school list.

Bailey Roth (Colorado Springs, Colo.) recorded the No. 2 all-time high school performance in the men’s 2,000m steeplechase in 5:45.20. Roth was overtaken at the finish line by Filip Sasinek of the Czech Republic for the final auto qualifying spot. Roth will have another chance at the high school record as he advanced to the final as the sixth fastest man of the day.

In the 400m hurdles, all three athletes advanced with ease. Samantha Gonzales (Carrollton, Texas) ran a personal best of 59.66 to win the fourth heat and clock the third-fastest time of the day. On the men’s side, Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala.) and Kenny Selmon (Marbleton, Ga.) both won their heats to advance automatically to the semifinals. Humphrey crossed the line in the third fastest time of the day in 52.00, with Selmon one spot behind in 52.03.

The 100m women rolled straight through to the semifinals as Ariana Washington (Signal Hill, Calif.) and Ky Westbrook (Chandler, Ariz.) both won their heats to advance automatically. Washington cruised to the line in 11.52, with Westbrook in 11.59.

After four events in the men’s octathlon, Gabe Moore (Freeport, Fla.) sits in 6th place with 1,589 points. Moore is 189 points down from the leader Karsten Warholm of Norway, and only 16 points out of a podium finish. Moore was third overall in the men’s 100m in a personal best time of 11.28. Earlier in the day, Moore recorded another PR in the long jump with a mark of 6.90m/22-7.75. Jack Lint (Westerville, Ohio) is in 21st place with 1,454 points.

Robert Ford (San Antonio, Texas) ran in second through the first lap of the men’s 800m; however, he was unable to hold his position on the final straightaway and took 7th in 1:58.77

Competing in the IAAF’s youngest age group, the 16 and 17-year-old athletes were selected to represent Team USA after competing in the World Youth Track & Field Trials in Edwardsville, Ill., on June 25-26.

For complete results and schedule of events of the 2013 IAAF World Championships, visit Competition resumes Thursday at 9:15 am local time.

Athlete Quotes

Samantha Gonzales, women’s 400m hurdles, round 1

“It went really well. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the next round, it gives me a good boost.”

Marlon Humphrey, men’s 400m hurdles, round 1

“It felt pretty good. It is kind of like a dream come true coming out here and having all of these people watching me. I feel relieved, getting this first round done felt pretty good.”

Kenny Selmon, men’s 400m hurdles, round 1

“It was fun. When I walked out of the tunnel I was looking around and I was like ‘oh my gosh, there are so many people here.’ But it’s fun to do this in front of a big crowd. It is definitely good for the team to have No. 1 and 2 as Americans, so it is good in that aspect. But it also means my competition is on my team. But we’re all having fun.”

Ariana Washington, women’s 100m, round 1

“I felt relaxed and in control of my race from start to finish. I took control of the race right when the gun went off, so that is a really big thing for me. It was a lot of fun, it is a new experience, but it is a learning experience.”

Ky Westbrook, women’s 100m, round 1

“I think it was a good start. My start didn’t feel how I wanted it to be, but that is great, because now I can improve. I think I can definitely go out stronger, and like I said, it was a good start.”

Bailey Roth, men’s 3,000m steeplechase, round 1

“My goal was definitely to make the final. You can’t come in here with too many expectations. You can have goals for the final, but unless you make it there, you can’t accomplish them. So coming in, my main priority was to make the final. We can adjust and go over tactics later, now that this is done.”

Lloydricia Cameron, women’s discus,final

“I felt good. Coming to a big track meet like this and having a new experience, it makes me feel good that I placed. It wasn’t the best day, but it was a good day, and I thank God for allowing me to come here and compete.”

Robert Ford, men’s 800m, round 1

“I was more than proud to run for the USA. It’s an honor to be on this team and have the flag on my chest. Not many people get this opportunity, so I’m just happy to have run here. I came away with a lot of experience, and there was a lot to take in, I’ve never run at this level before.”

Katie Branham