DES MOINES, Iowa - LSU freshman Takeia Pinckney has certainly made her mark as one of the nation's premier young sprint talents with her performance during the 2010 season, and she backed up her All-America status on Thursday by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2010 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium.
In the wake of a breakthrough performance in Eugene, Ore., two weeks ago at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Pinckney dominated the field in the 100-meter dash at this year's USA Junior Championships in taking the title of USA Junior Champion in the event.
After qualifying for the final with the fastest time of the qualifying round at 11.38 seconds, Pinckney won the gold medal with a wind-legal time of 11.30 in the championship final.
Pinckney struck gold on Thursday afternoon over high school star and University of Miami signee Ashton Purvis (11.39) and Clemson freshman Stormy Kendrick (11.40).
With her victory, Pinckney earned the right to represent the United States at the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships to be held July 19-25 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. It would mark her first career appearance with Team USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
The Atlanta native is coming off a tremendous freshman campaign at LSU in which she won a trio of All-America honors as one of the premier sprinters in the NCAA. After finishing in seventh place in the 60-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March, Pinckney finished the collegiate season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships by earning a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash before running the third leg on LSU's 4x100-meter relay team that finished as the NCAA runner-up in 2010.
Pinckney, who also competed in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, established a pair of personal bests of 11.26 in the 100 meters and 23.32 in the 200 meters during the outdoor season.
She was also impressive in her first career appearance at the SEC Outdoor Championships as she scored a total of 13 points in leading the Lady Tigers to their third team title in four seasons.
Pinckney picked up her first career All-SEC honor with a second-place finish in the 100 meters, while she also finished in fourth place in the 200 meters at the conference meet. For her performance, Pinckney was named the SEC Women's Outdoor Freshman Runner of the Year for the 2010 season.
The future of the Lady Tiger program was also on display on Thursday at the USA Junior Championships as incoming freshman Jen Clayton of Suffern, N.Y., was the bronze medalist in the long jump. She posted a top mark of 19 feet, 9 ¾ inches on her sixth and final attempt of the competition.
Clayton is the reigning World Youth Championships bronze medalist in the long jump after establishing a personal best of 20-10 ¾ during the meet, which ranked No. 1 among the nation's prep jumpers in 2009.