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Hill completes sprint double; Team USA hauls in a record 19 medals

CALI, Colombia -- With temperatures rising, American athletes did the same on the fifth and final day of IAAF World Youth Championships at Estadio Pascual Guerrero, where Candace Hill set a World Youth best of 22.43 to become the first American to sweep the sprint titles. Team USA started the day with three medals in 15 minutes and ended with six medals on the day, and a record 19 medals overall, eight of them gold.
Hill (Stockbridge, Georgia) did what she does best, running smoothly out of the blocks and around the curve before turning on a kick that could not be matched. She maintained the advantage as teammate Lauren Rain Williams (Lakewood, California), who had the best start in the field, was the closest behind her. Team USA finished 1-2 with Hill taking the gold and the record and Williams also running sub-23 in an astounding 22.90.                 
Until her final attempt in the long jump final, the field was packed around the medal positions with the top six separated by less than two inches. Tara Davis (Agoura Hills, California) smashed that logjam as she leaped a lifetime best on her sixth and final jump with a mark of 6.41m/21-0.5 for the gold medal. It was the first long jump gold ever for Team USA for either gender at the WYC.
Sammie Watson (Rochester, New York) ran comfortably through the first 400 meters, content to hang on the shoulder of the second-place runner as the leader went through at 63.06. On the backstretch she moved up gradually before making a strong move with 200 to go to take the lead going into the final curve. Watson came into the home straight with a small lead and managed to keep that lead to the line, winning the gold in 2:03.54, a lifetime best. She is only the second American to win the event, along with Ajee’ Wilson in 2011.
For the 14th time in meet history, Team USA won relay gold to cap off the Championships, this time dominating in the newly-introduced mixed 4x400. Leading off with Keshun Reed (Arlington, Texas), the American quarter never trailed as Reed split 46.4 before handing off to Lynna Irby (Indianapolis Indiana), who stretched the margin with a 53.3 carry. Norman Grimes (Canyon, Texas) was running all alone at the front on the third leg and split 46.8, leaving it up to Watson to bring it home for gold on the anchor in 3:19.54 with a 53.1 split.
Running in lane three, Josephus Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia) had Japan’s 100 meter champion Sani Brown in his sights as he powered around the bend. Brown had a one meter lead with 100 to go and pulled away from the field on his way to a Championships record, with Lyles sprinting to a lifetime best 20.74 for the bronze.             
Team USA Medals at World Youth Championships (19)
Gold (8)
Tara Davis, Long Jump (6.41m/21-0.5)
Sammie Watson, 800m (2:03.54)
Candace Hill, 200m (22.43, WYB)
Norman Grimes, 400mH (49.11)
Sydney McLaughlin, 400mH (55.94)
Candace Hill, 100m (11.08)
Adrian “Tripp” Piperi, Shot Put (22.00m/72-2.25)
Keshun Reed, Lynna Irby, Norman Grimes, Sammie Watson, Mixed 4x400 (3:19.54)
Silver (5)
Lauren Rain Williams, 200m (22.90)
Lynna Irby, 400m (51.79)
Josephus Lyles, 400m (45.46)
Brittley Humphrey, 100mH (13.22)
Sophia Rivera, shot put (17.93m/58-10)
Bronze (6)
Josephus Lyles, 200m (20.74)
Darius Carbin, High Jump (2.16m/7-1)
Brandee Johnson, 400mH (57.47)
Isaiah Lucas, 110mH (13.54)
Keshun Reed, 400 (45.96)
Jayla Kirkland, 100m (11.41)
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The complete event schedule and results are posted at

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