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Gold duo increases Team USATF’s medals to 10 at U20 World Championships




CALI, Colombia — Gold medals in the women’s pole vault and 400m hurdles and a few other medals led the USATF team to double digits on day four of the World U20 Athletics Championships at Pascual Guerrero Stadium. The US has 10 medals, five of which are gold, and leads the points standings with 107.

Seeking fifth Team USATF gold in the event at the U20 World Championships, Garrett thought: (Charlotte, North Carolina/USATF North Carolina) shot to an early lead in the women’s 400m hurdles final, taking two steps ahead of the rest of the field and entering the second turn. The field started to catch up around the corner, including American teammate Michaela Rose (Suffolk, Virginia/USATF Virginia), but Garrett found a reserve of energy and resolutely took the lead again. Rose took the last hurdle and lost some ground, leaving Garrett open the door to win the best 56.16 in her life, with Rose taking bronze, also in a big lifetime best of 56.86. Garrett’s time elevated her to number 6 on the all-time American high school performer list.

A dramatic third attempt at clearance at 4.35m/14-3.25 gave Hana Mol (Olympia, Washington/USATF Pacific Northwest) took the gold in the women’s pole vault, the first ever in the event for the United States at the U20 World Championships and only the second medal of any color since the women’s pole vault was added to the program in 1998. The twin sisters Hana and twin sisters Hana and Amanda Mol (Olympia, Washington/USATF Pacific Northwest) both were easy over 4.10m/13-5.25. When the bar rose to 4.20m/13-9.25, Hana went over the first time to keep her card clear, but Amanda needed two tries. Both women missed their first attempts at 4.30m/14-1.25 before Hana crossed the bridge the second time. Amanda missed her remaining two attempts and went out, missing out on a podium finish in fifth.

He came out of the last corner in fourth and with significant real estate to reclaim if he hoped for a medal, Steven McElroy (Pickerington, Ohio/USATF Ohio) kept his form and kept pushing, finishing second to take silver in 45.65. After a false start disqualification for Jamaica’s Delano Kennedy, the field got going and South African Lythe Pillay had the run of his life to win in 45.28.

Garrett Brown (Carlsbad, California/USATF San Diego-Imperial) missed 5.05m/16-6.75 and 5.15m/16-10.75 in the men’s pole vault, but cleared 5.25 on his first attempt m/17-2.75. He missed three times at 5.35m/17-6.5 and finished fourth. Justin Rogers (Hershey, Pennsylvania/USATF Mid-Atlantic) made two attempts to pass 5.15m/16-10.75 but failed to reach the next height and finished in a tie for ninth place.

With the unenviable task of running the men’s 200m final from lane one, Brandon Miller (Fenton, Michigan/USATF Michigan) admirably acquitted himself by finishing fifth in 20.64. Israel’s Blessing Afrifah upset Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo for the gold medal. Afrifah won by 0.006 seconds.

Returning to the field after shooting gold earlier in the week, Tarik O’Hagan (Woonsocket, Rhode Island/USATF New England) had a best time of 73.05m/239-8 in round three and finished eighth in the men’s hammer.

Seated 10th after the first day of the women’s heptathlon, JaiCieonna Gero-Holt (Puyallup, Washington/USATF Pacific Northwest) jumped 5.42 m/17-9.5 and threw the javelin 35.76 m/117-4 to enter the final event in 12th place in the points standings, seven places ahead Bryanna Craig (Ruston, Louisiana/USATF South). Craig spanned 5.55m/18-2.5 in the long jump and had a best of 36.12m/118-6 in the javelin throw. Gero-Holt clocked 2:39.22 in the 800m to 5,212 points and placed 17th, with Craig 18th after a 2:20.41 bringing her total to 5,192.

3,000 m steeplechasers women Karrie Baloga (New Windsor, New York/USATF New York) and Harper McClain (Saint Helena, California/USATF Pacific) finished 11-12, with Baloga 10:34.28 and McClain 10:37.58.

In the heats of the women’s 4x100m relay, a quartet of Lily Jones (Portland, Oregon/USATF Oregon), Autumn Wilson (Liberty Hill, Texas/USATF Texas South), and gray (Arlington, Texas/USATF Southwest) and Alyssa Colbert (Gilbert, Arizona/USATF Arizona) pushed the zone to its limits on the first exchange, but made the pass safely and from there, the lead grew with each leg, culminating in a 43.66 win.

As in the women’s preliminaries, the first exchange in the men’s 4x100m relay between Johnny Brakins (Lee’s Summit, Missouri/USATF Missouri Valley) and Michael Gizzi (Covington, Georgia/USATF Georgia) was shaky and cost the foursome ground. Gizzi’s pass to David Foster (Katy, Texas/USATF Gulf) went smoothly, but there were more issues in the final transfer with mixed gold medalist in the 4x400m relay Charlie Bartholomew (McKinney, Texas/USATF Southwest). Bartholomew was able to fight again as he approached the finish line and crossed the line in 39.78. The US advanced to heat winners after the disqualification of Colombia and France.

The second-placed competitor in the women’s 100m hurdles with a lifetime best of 13.05, Jalaysiya Smith (Glenn Heights, Texas/USATF Southwestern) started out after the fifth hurdle in heat four and walked away from the field to win very easily in 13.42. Eddiyah Frye (Miami Gardens, Florida/USATF Florida) was second in the second moto at 13:57 and also qualified for the next round.

A slow first 200 meters brought all seven men together in the second moto of the 800 meters and the pack continued halfway through in 57.47. Miles Brown (Novi, Michigan/USATF Michigan) finished well and took the third automatic qualifying spot for the semifinals in 1:51.82. Samuel Rodman (Bealeton, Virginia/USATF Virginia) ran close to the back of the pack in the final heat as the leaders went 400m in 56.05. Rodman started to go up, got past 600m in 1:23.37, and he went wide out of the last corner en route to past everyone but the winner, finishing second in 1:50.36.

With just three automatic qualifying spots in each of the three heats, Addison Wiley (Huntington, Indiana/USATF Indiana) just behind the heat floated a leader through the first 400m in just over 72 seconds and then took the lead. Wiley continued to lead the 800m in 2:25.91, with Kenyan Purity Chepkirui on her shoulder. Wiley was challenged by Ethiopia’s Chepkirui and Mebriht Mekonen as they passed the bell at 3:17.82, and the Ethiopian moved forward in the final corner en route to a 4:18.97 win. Wiley finished well, finishing second in 4:19.39 ahead of defending champion Chepkirui.

Pacing heat two through the first 400m in 69.61, Mia Barnett (La Crescenta, California/USATF Southern California) led comfortably until Birke Haylom of Ethiopia passed her and took the lead in the 800m in 2:18.77. Haylom took a big lead heading into the final circuit, with Barnett still holding on to second. In the final 150m, Barnett was passed by Finland’s Ilona Mononen and took third in 4:18.51 to advance automatically.

Saving his best for last, Evan Niedrowski (Wyomissing, Pennsylvania/USATF Mid-Atlantic) finished fifth in Group A of the men’s javelin throw with a 69.42 m/227-9 throw in round three and that was enough to earn him a place in the final as the tenth best qualifier.

Solomon Washington (Round Rock, Texas/USATF Texas Southern) made quick work of the qualifying round in the men’s triple jump, capping a lifetime best 15.85 m/52-0 to automatically advance to the final. Floyd Whitaker (Clementon, New Jersey/USATF New Jersey) needed a 15.54 m/51-0 effort in the third round to advance to the final in 10th overall.

It was always a challenge for the American men to make it to the final of the 400 meter hurdles, but Grant Williams (Celina, Texas/USATF Southwestern) walked step by step with the leaders in half two into the backstretch before stuttering at hurdle four. He recovered well enough to stay close and pushed hard through the finish to clock a lifetime best 50.82 in fourth. He just missed the final with the ninth fastest time overall. Kody Blackwood (McKinney, Texas/USATF Southwestern) was in lane one of the final semifinals and could never quite come to rest, finishing fourth in 51.15.

high jumper Emma Gates (Turner, Oregon/USATF Oregon) managed to win 1.80m/5-10.75 on her third attempt to earn a berth in the final as one of 12 women to reach that height.

As expected from two of the top-ranked entrants, both American women made it through the 200-meter heats unscathed with the two fastest times overall. Jayla Jamison (Gaston, South Carolina/USATF South Carolina) turned the corner well and had an unassailable lead on the stretch, winning moto four in 23.36, while finishing seventh in the 100m. Mia Brahe Pedersen (Lake Oswego, Oregon/USATF Oregon) took heat five in 23.25.

Jamison won the final semi-final in 23.01 after a very strong turn, while Brahe-Pedersen chased Jamaican Brianna Lyston in the second semi-final, finishing in second place with a lifetime best of 22.95, also in the final.

Medals won by Team USATF

Total (10)

Gold (5)

  • Mixed 4x400m relay, 3:17.69 (CR) (Charlie Bartholomew, Madison Whyte, Will Sumner, Kennedy Wade)
  • Men’s Shot Put, 20.73m/68-0.25 (Tarik O’Hagan)
  • Women’s 800m, 1:59.13 (CR) (Roisin Willis)
  • Women’s Pole Vault, 4.35m/14-3.25 (Hana Moll)
  • Women’s 400m Hurdles, 56.16 (Akala Garrett)

Silver (2)

  • Men’s 110m Hurdles, 13.27 (Malik Mixon)
  • Men’s 400m, 45.65 (Steven McElroy)

Bronze (3)

  • Women’s 800m, 2:00.18 (Juliette Whittaker)
  • Women’s 100m, 11.15 (Shawnti Jackson)
  • Women’s 400m Hurdles, 56.86 (Michaela Rose)

A full list of results can be found here.

Join the conversation with USATF on Twitter, Instagramand Facebook with the hashtag #JourneyToGold.




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