McPHERSON, Kan. — USA National Junior Track & Field Championships, Bloomington, IN – June 15-17, 2012
For the second time in three days Alli Cash (SM West) set a new Kansas all-time best for the girls’ 1500 meters. Cash finished fourth in Sunday’s finals of the 2012 USA National Junior Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, with a time of 4:21.95, lowering the previous all-time Kansas best she set in Friday’s preliminary round by 3.12 seconds. The only disappointment of Cash’s weekend in Indiana was the fact her fourth place finish was short of earning a spot for the USA team headed to Barcelona, Spain, for the IAAF World Junior Championships in mid-July.
Earning the two spots on the World Juniors team in the women’s 1500 meters were Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY, SOPH, ranked #1 US HS @ 1-mile and 1500m), who set a USA Junior Championships meet record with her winning time of 4:14.74, bettering the previous meet record by Jordan Hasay (current NCAA medalist, University of Oregon senior) by 2.24 seconds, and Hannah Meier (Grosse Point South, Mich., JR, winner of the New Balance Indoor Nationals 1-mile and member of 2011 USA team to IAAF World Youth Championships). The USA team alternate will be third place finisher, Cayla Hatton (Andover Academy, Mass., SR) who entered the meet ranked #2 US HS at 1500 and #1 at 5,000m. Crossing the finish right behind Cash was the top collegian, Katrina Coogan of Georgetown University, while the winner of last week’s adidas Dream Mile in New York City was Camille Chapus (Havard-Westlake, Studio City, Calif., SR) finished ninth.
Kansas will still have two representatives at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, July 10-15, as Le’Tristan Pledger, Texas Tech red-shirt freshman out of Kansas City Washington High, and Casey Bowen, University of Kansas freshman from Gardner-Edgerton High School, earned spots on the USA team in the women’s long jump and men’s pole vault, respectively.
The first day of competition at the 2012 USA National Junior Championships found Alli Cash (SM West) bettering the all-time Kansas best for the 1500 meters as she qualified for Sunday’s finals with a time of 4:25.07. That time was the fourth fastest of the 12 women qualifying for Sunday’s finals which would determine spots on USA team for the World Junior Championships (under-20 years of age athletes). Cash’s new all-time Kansas best, bettered the previous state best of 4:26.5, a 1-mile conversion to meters, run by Amy Mortimer in 1999.
In the men’s 1500-meter preliminaries, Reid Buchanan, 2011 graduate of Manhattan High now competing for the University of Virginia, grabbed the 12th and final qualifying spot for Sunday’s final in the Men’s 1500. On Sunday, Buchanan improved his preliminary time of 3:53.53 by 1.93 seconds, but his 3:51.60 was only good for eighth place in the 12-man field which saw the top three cross the finish line as one, separated by only 0.19 second, and topped by Austin Mudd’s (University of Wisconsin) 3:46.50.
In Friday’s men’s pole vault, Casey Bowen, 2011 Gardner-Edgerton graduate who just completed his freshman season at the University of Kansas, grabbed the USA’s second spot in the vault for the IAAF World Junior Championships with his second place clearance of 5.20m/17’00.75”. Nick Meyer (Bishop Carroll), who cleared 16’7” in winning the KSHSAA Class 5A state title the end of May, failed to clear the opening height of 4.85m/15’11”.
Saturday, day two of the Championships, saw Grace Picknell (SM East) no-height in Saturday’s women’s high jump as she failed to clear the opening height of 1.70m/5’7”, well off her season best 5’10.5”. Earlier on Saturday, Le’Tristan Pledger, 2011 graduate of Kansas City Washington High, earned a berth on the USA team for the IAAF World Junior Championships when she placed second in the women’s long jump with a legal wind jump of 6.23m/20’5.25”. With a World Championship berth in her pocket, Pledger then scratched from the 100-meter hurdles for which she also qualified for the USA Junior meet. Pledger finished her high school career ranked #2 on the all-time Kansas long jump list with a legal wind jump of
20’3” which she posted while competing as part of the USA team at the IAAF Youth Olympics in Singapore, China on August 21, 2010, the summer between her junior and senior seasons.
Emily Brigham (Mill Valley) and Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Free State) both scratched from the national meet competition after posting qualifying marks in the pole vault and heptathlon, respectively.
Brigham betters A-T Kansas pole vault best
USATF Missouri Valley Junior Olympics, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO – June 16-17, 2012
Emily Brigham (Mill Valley) passed on her chance to qualify for the USA National Junior team for the IAAF World Junior Championships, and instead bettered her own all-time Kansas best in winning the USATF Missouri Valley Junior Olympic title with a vault of 13’1.5”. That height would have tied her for third at the National Junior Championships.
Brigham will now advance to the USATF Region 9 Championships which will be held July 5-8 at Free State High School, Lawrence, Kan. The USATF National Junior Olympic Championships will be held July 23-29 at Hughes Stadium, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.