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Steeplechasers, sprinters turn in top times Thursday

JACKSONVILLE -- Thursday saw tough competitors and top times on the fourth day of the 2015 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships, held at Hodges Stadium on the campus of University of North Florida. A national record was tied in the women’s 17-18 200m semifinal, as Cassondra Hall (Warner Robins, Georgia) ran 23.24 to tie Victoria Jordan’s mark set back in 2007.
The steeplechasers took to the track Thursday in the 2,000m races, with a duo of steeplers coming out on top in convincing fashion. In the second section of the 2,000m steeplechase, Chloe Cox (Greenville, North Carolina) used a late kick to win the 17-18 girls’ title in 7:27.51 ahead of Julia Reicin (Potomac, Maryland) in 7:29.48
In the 15-16 girls' division, Clare Martin (Newton, Massachusetts) led a very competitive second section and came away with the title in 7:18.55. Behind Martin was Britney Johnson (Derry, New Hampshire), who finished in 7:35.73.
Gabriele Cunningham (Charlotte, North Carolina) solidified the best time in the 17-18 women’s 100mH opening rounds after getting out of the blocks quick to close in 14.20. MiAngel Daniels (Columbus, Ohio)  finished second behind Cunningham in the sixth heat in 14.34.
Wurrie Njadoe (Seattle, Washington) got the field events off to a great start, winning the 17-18 girls’ long jump with a best leap of 5.81m/19-0.75. Jernaya Sharp (Garland, Texas) also jumped 5.81m/19-0.75, but Njadoe won the tiebreaker because of her second longest attempt.
Ashton Allen (Odenton, Maryland)put together a great performance in the 13-14 boys' 100mH with the best overall time heading into finals in 13.60. Three other runners in the division ran sub-14 including Jessie Parson (Laurel, Maryland), Tysamin Glaze (Athens, Georgia) and Freddie Allen (Douglasville, Georgia). Parson turned in a time of 13.75, while Glaze and Allen both crossed the line in 13.98.
The 11-12 80mH girls' division featured a terrific feat from Aaliyah Brown-Muhammad (Mobile, Alabama), who led the 24 qualifiers with her top overall time of 12.32. Chakiya Plummer (Austell, Georgia) was the only other athlete to go sub-13, crossing in 12.89.
The 17-18 men’s shot put was a battle with Isaiah Rogers (Smyrna, Georgia) ending up atop the podium with his best of 19.03m/62-5.25. Connor Bandel (Ortonville, Michigan) and Marcus Abraham (Charlotte, North Carolina) finished second and third, respectively, with throws of 18.97m/62-3 and 18.91m/62-0.50.
In the 1,500m prelims, Ashley Klingenberg (Altamonte Springs, Florida) was the top qualifier in the 13-14 girls' division by a convincing margin, coming in in 4:38.19. Three girls from the third heat, including Klingenberg, finished with the top qualifying times in the age division. Isabella Fauria (Roseville, California) and Kelli Hines (Laguna Beach, California) finished second and third overall with respective times of 4:39.91 and 4:41.39.
It was a similar result from the second heat in the 13-14 boys' division, as David Vannucchi (Onalaska, Wisconsin) and Hunter Gilbert (Sherwood, Oregon) finished with the top two overall times in 4:15.73 and 4:15.77, respectively.
Competition was cancelled during the preliminaries for the 15-16 girls 4x100 event. Competition will resume on Friday morning at 8 a.m.
Click here for full results from the first two days of the 2015 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships.
The USATF National Junior Olympic Championships can be seen live on USATF.TV. Action concludes Sunday, August 2. Click here for more information regarding the rest of the weekend.
Fans are invited to join the conversation by following USATF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtags #JOTF and #USATFutureStars.
Ryan Stevens
Communications Intern

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