WMU - Gaines Advances to Finals at USTAF Junior National Championships
Provided by WMU
EUGENE, Ore. -- Western Michigan freshman Ayiana Gaines advanced to the finals of the 400-meter dash at the 2015 USA Track and Field Junior National Championship after taking third in the preliminaries on Friday at the University of Oregon.
Gaines took second overall in her heat after running a time of 53.97 seconds, the second-fastest time of her career. The University of Southern California's Kendall Ellis took the second qualifying spot at 53.69 seconds and ZOla Golden, a high school student from the Bronx, N.Y., claimed the top spot at 53.52 seconds.
"She started out kind of slow in the first 100 meters," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "We're going to have to work on that if she wants a chance to win this but she did a great job closing out the race and ran a great time."
Gaines also had to battle high heat with temperatures reaching 100 degrees at Hayward Field.
The finals are slated for a 4:30 p.m. PT start on Saturday afternoon.