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Leading Ladies steal the show on final day of World Youth Trials

LISLE, Illinois -- On the second and final day of World Youth Trials, held in conjunction with the weeklong USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships at Benedictine University, Sydney McLaughlin set a lifetime best for a near record-breaking performance, and Sophia Rivera and Samantha Watson each posted a top-5, 2015 World Youth mark in their respective events.
McLaughlin (South Plainfield), ran the women’s 400 meters in 55.28, improving her previous personal best of 55.63 and narrowly missing the high school national record by a mere .08 seconds. After cruising in under the 57.20 standard, McLaughlin is eligible for nomination to the World Youth Team along with second-place finisher Brandee Johnson, who crossed in 57.90.
Meeting the entry standards in two women’s throws events is Sofia Rivera (Brentwood, Missouri), who tossed 18.09m/59-04.25 in shot put for the third best youth mark in the world in 2015. She also threw the javelin 51.60m/169-03. With second place finishes, Nickolette Dunbar (Whippany, New Jersey) tossed 16.91m/55-05.75 in shot and Katelyn Gochenour (Logan, Iowa) threw  51.07m/167-07 to also meet the required entry marks.
Candace Hill (Stockbridge, Georgia) broke the 200m-meet record, making her finish in 23.14 to take down Ky Westbrook’s 2013 time. Finishing in second place and also with the standard was Lauren Rain Williams (Lakewood, California) in 23.53.
Middle distance runner Samantha Watson (Rochester, New York) lead from start to finish in the women’s 800m,  pulling away from the field after the completing the first 400 meters in 60 seconds. Watson finished in a comfortable 2:04.27 to claim No. 3 on the World Youth list this year, as Julia Victoria Heymach (Houston, Texas) came in at 2:07.97, more than seven seconds faster than the standard.
Destiny Collins (Temecula, California) made history as she dominated the 3,000m field, clocking a 9:41.53 finish to become the first female, youth athlete to make an international team in the event since 1999.
On the men’s side Maxwell Willis (Bowie, Maryland) ran the best 200m race of his life, finishing in 21.21 for a .05 PR improvement and a shot at the U.S. team. On his heels, and also under the standard was World Junior 4x400m relay gold medalist Josephus Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia), who finished in 21.35.
Lyles, who also met the entry standard in the men’s 400m, clocked 45.77 to become the first of two eligible athletes. Keshun Reed (Arlington, Texas) was the runner up in 46.06.
The men’s high jump competition was incredibly close to call. Darius Carbin (San Jose, California) won the three-way tie, missing on the fewest attempts at the previous height. Earning second was Jaron Brooks (Lexington, Kentucky).

Candace Hill (won her first sprint contest of the trials event, running a wind-legal 11.48. Both she and Lynna Irby met the qualification standard with Irby’s finish in 11.73. The two men meeting the entry standard for the 100m are Micaiah Harris, who ran 10.68, and Daniel Estrada, who ran 10.74.
In men’s middle distance, Connor Dunne (San Clemente, California) and Cameron Cooper (Detroit, Michigan) completed their races more than two seconds faster than the standard with Dunne crossing in 1:51.7 and Cooper in 1:52.22.
Alexus Duncan (DeSoto, Texas) and Brittley Humphrey (Birmingham, Alabama) had the times and places in the women’s 100m hurdles with Humphrey’s 13.16 and Duncan’s 13.32. Isaiah Lucas (Houston, Texas) and Norman Grimes (Canyon, Texas) battled to a close finish in the men’s 110mH, as Lucas had the edge, 14.20 to 14.0.
Grimes, also a two-event contender for the World Youth Team, Men’s 110mH ran 51.67 in the 400mH ahead of the 52.38 by Cory Poole (New Jersey, N.J.).
A pair of female distance runners added a second event to their standards met, as 800m runner-up Heymac gained revenge, winning the 1,500m in 4:27.94. Tuesday’s steeplechase winner, Rylee Bowen (Santa Rosa, California) will also compete in the 1,500m after her finish of 4:30.56.
The top-two 1,500m, male competitors both eligible for U.S. team nomination were Phillip Rocha (Azusa, California), crossing in 3:57.36 and Dalton Hengst (York, Pennsylvania) in 3:58.58.
In horizontal jumps, Tara Davis (Agoura Hills, California) earned a come-from-behind win after fouling her second, third and fourth attempts before leaping to a four-inch lifetime best of 12.77m/41-10.75. Lajarvia Brown (Hazelwood, Missouri) had the lead from the second round on until the final jump, finishing with a best leap of 12.69/41-07.75  for second place and above the standard. In long jump, Justes Nance (Blairstown, New Jersey) landed with a mark of  7.43m/24-04.50.
In men’s discus, both Adrian Piperi (Spring, Texas) and Gabriel Oladipo (Missouri City, Texas) with 58.80m/192-11 and 58.11m/190-08 respectively.
George Patrick (Brentwood, Tennessee) was first place in decathlon with 7,282 points, while Jordan Fields (Saint John, Florida) sand Caice Lanovaz (Los Gatos, California) scored 5087 and 5041 to meet the standard in heptathlon.
The roster of nominated Team USA athletes can be found here.

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