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Piperi wins first gold of World Youth Championships

CALI, Colombia -- Taking the first medal of World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, Team USA’s Tripp Piperi won gold in the shot put, smashing a U.S. Youth record during the evening session on Wednesday.
Piperi (The Woodlands, Texas) was holding strong in third place after round one before he unleashed a 22.00m/72-2.25 on his second attempt to bring down Ryan Crouser’s U.S. Youth Record and take the lead. Piperi’s mark made him the ninth-best performer in Youth history, and he matched that effort in the final round to seal the gold. Piperi became only the second U.S. winner ever, joining Crouser from 2009. Fellow American Isaiah Rogers (Smyrna, Georgia) had a best of 19.28m/63-3.25 in the third round to finish 10th.                   
George Patrick (Brentwood, Tennessee) had the best decathlon day of his life with PRs in four of five events, capping off the first five events with personal bests in the high jump at 1.96m/6-5 and the 400m in 50.54 to tally 4,077 points and sit second in the standings heading into Day 2.
For the first time in WYC history, two U.S. throwers will take part in the women’s javelin final.       Sophia Rivera (Brentwood, Missouri) was in fifth place in Group A after her opening toss of 49.26. But unwavering under pressure, Rivera threw 52.21m/171-3 on her last attempt to sneak into the final as an auto qualifier, having surpassed the 52.00 standard. Katelyn Gochenour (Logan, Iowa) threw an opening 51.76m/169-10 for the best throw of all first attempts in Group B. That mark remained her best and advanced her to the final.
Cory Poole (New Jersey, New Jersey) was the first Team USA competitor on the track as he kicked off the evening session with a second-place finish in heat three of the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Poole was in the middle of the pack heading into the back curve until he made his way into the top two on the final straightaway, finishing in 52.98 and automatically qualifying for the semifinal.
Norman Grimes (Canyon, Texas) continued the U.S. success around the oval as he finished in 50.95 for first place in heat five and the second fastest time of the evening. Grimes took over the race on the back straight and was running virtually alone to a comfortable and composed finish.
Sydney McLaughlin (South Plainfield, New Jersey) was first over every hurdle in heat one and began to slow her stride into the finish to win with ease in 56.82, the fastest time of the day overall by more than a full second. Brandee Johnson (Suffolk, Virginia) also took an early lead in the final heat heading into the back curve. She found herself stride for stride with Italy’s Ilaria Verderio before pulling away and finishing first in 59.23.
Daniel Estrada (Oak Ridge, North Carolina) ran a lifetime best of 10.60 to place third in the second semifinal, but that wasn’t enough to earn him a spot in the final as only the top two in each semi and the next two fastest overall would advance. Micaiah Harris (Virginia Beach, Virginia) finished at 10.67, a personal best, in the last semi but did not advance and finished 15th overall.
Rylee Bowen (Santa Rosa, California) was among the top three in heat two during the early portion of the 2000m steeplechase before dropping back and settling into the chase pack behind eventual winner. Bowen’s 6:59.30 gave her sixth place in her heat and was good enough to advance as a time qualifier.
Both U.S. entrants qualified for the semifinal in the 800, as Connor Dunne (San Clemente, California) was fourth in heat one in 1:53.60 and Cameron Cooper (Detroit, Michigan) was third in heat five in 1:53.04. Dunne originally finished fifth in his heat, but moved up after the disqualification of the Ethiopian runner.
Josephine Schaefer (Baraboo, Wisconsin) opened up the discus final with a 48.02m/157-6 throw to put her in the top six after three attempts, and she improved to 48.99m/160-8 in the penultimate round to place fifth.
The first American ever to run the women’s 3,000m at the World Youth meet, Destiny Collins (Temecula, California) finished 16th in 10:21.36.
Follow along with the action and join the conversation by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Cali2015.
The complete event schedule and results are posted at

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