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Fourth day finishers set stage for weekend's finals at USATF Hershey National Youth Outdoor Champs

LISLE, Illinois -- Record attempts and fast times continued Friday on the fourth day of USATF Hershey Youth National Outdoor Championships at Benedictine University.
Morgan Zacharias challenged an American Youth record as was the top 17-18 girls’ pole vault competitor with her best clearance at 4.09m/13-5. Lily Moore was second with a height of the 3.25m/10-8.
The 100 meters men’s races showcased blazing speed, including that of Shandall Thomas, clocking the fastest time of the day at 10.87 in 17-18 age group. The fastest heat of the day involved three qualifiers for Sunday’s final in that same age division as Maurice Simpson, Vincent Gordon and Logan Daily tallied the three fastest times behind Thomas.
William Prettyman separated himself by .19 seconds ahead of the second fastest time in the 13-14 boys division, which was the largest differential between top two runners in all boys divisions.
Stephanie Davis finished with the top time in the 100m for all girls divisions at 12.11 and the top seed for the 15-16 girls finals. Kennedy Dennis registered the top time for the 17-18 women’s division at 12.25.
Dior Niles ran 55.36 in 13-14 girls 400m, clocking the fastest qualifying time among all female competitors. With a 56.84 finish in the third heat, Sierra leonard polished off a four second gap between her and the rest of the field. Elisha Salazar captured the fourth heat in similar fashion to advance to the final with a 57.31 time.
Chris Thompson and Caleb Ogden paced the 17-18 men’s 400m at impressive times of 48.25 and 48.85 respectively.
It was tough to gain any separation in the first heat of the 17-18 men’s 1,500. Conor McCue and Daniel Mazzei jostled the lead back and forth in the final stretch with McCue eventually proving superior at 4:04.31. Mazzei followed in 4:04.60, as both with look to take home the 1,500m title on Sunday.
Thomas Mosely asserted himself into strong contention for the 15-16 boys 1,500m title, placing the best time by more than seven seconds. His 4:06.05 mark ousted Jose Villalobos in the second heat, who finished 4:13.91. Villalobos then added a six second cushion of his own over the third best time of the day held by Andrew Gandy, who also ran the second fastest 3,000-meter time yesterday.
Jalen Royal ran the fastest time in the 15-16 boys division for the 400m at 50.60 and Jerry Harper finished with the best time in the 13-14 boys division on the last heat at 53.53.
Taylor Middleton won the 17-18 women’s triple jump title after the top distance of 30-9.25m/12.12 meters. Julia Howard landed the second longest jump at 11.72 meters/38-5.5 and Nichyria Byrd was third with a jump of 11.66m/38-3.25.
All track events from Thursday will hold final races throughout the day on Saturday, July 4.

Ryan Stevens
Communications Intern

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