EUGENE, Ore. – Speed, endurance and versatility.
All three of those attributes were on display before a crowd of 7,085 at historic Hayward Field on Wednesday during the second day of competition at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
After watching the first two rounds of qualifying, not too many were surprised that Team USA went 1-2 in the men’s 100 meters, but the one who broke the tape in first place was a bit of a shock.
On a cool evening, and running into a slight headwind, Kendal Williams put together the best race of his life as he defeated teammate Trayvon Bromell, the freshman from Baylor who won the NCAA title last month with a World Junior record of 9.97 seconds.
On this night, Williams got out of the blocks well, accelerated smoothly, and held his advantage across the finish line with a personal best time of 10.21 seconds. Bromell settled for second at 10.28 and Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu took the bronze at 10.34.
“It was the best race I ever had in my life,” said Williams, who is headed to Florida State. “I don ‘t want to jinx it, but the 4x100m relay will be blazing.”
The women’s 100 was equally compelling.
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won the gold medal with a time of 11.23, followed by Ecuador’sAngela Tenorio at 11.39 and 16-year-old Kaylin Whitney of Team USA at 11.45.
“I’m over the moon,” Asher-Smith said. “This is one of those things that I’ve always wanted. Everyone who is great seems to have been a junior champion, so being one now is unreal.”
Oregon signee Ariana Washington placed seventh at 11.64.
In the decathlon, Jiri Sykora, of the Czech Republic, took control with his efforts in the discus and javelin to claim victory with a meet record of 8,135 points, which is also the highest score ever recorded with junior implements.
Australia’s Cedric Dubler was second at 8,094 followed by Germany’s Tim Nowak at 7,980.
Great Britain’s Morgan Lake set a personal best of 6,148 points to win the heptathlon title. She never relinquished her lead after clearing 6 feet, 4 ¼ inches in the high jump on Day One. Lake, who chosethe World Juniors over the Commonwealth Games, is also favored to win the gold medal in the open high jump competition.
“I know now it was the right choice for me to be here,” Lake said. “Winning this means the world to me.”
Defending champion Yorgelis Rodriguez of Cuba took silver at 6,006, followed by Nadine Visser of The Netherlands at 5,948. UO signee Ashlee Moore was 13th with a PR of 5,466.
“I got a personal best and that’s really all I came here to do,” Moore said. “I did the best I could and I’m happy with the results. There’s a lot to work on so I’m excited to come back here for college.”
It was a 1-2 Ethiopian finish in the women’s 5,000 meters as Alemetu Haroye and Alemitu Hawi broke away early in the race and broke the tape in 15:10.08 and 15:10.46, respectively.
UO freshman and former Sheldon High standout Maggie Schmaedick just missed a PR as she placed 12th at 16:19.01.
“I was trying to run for a PR today,” she said. “But I still feel like I competed hard. It’s always a big deal to run at Hayward Field. Being the hometown girl is always fun.”