EUGENE, Ore. – Sunday’s finale at the 2014 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be one to remember for Lady Tiger freshmen Jada Martin and Rebekah Wales as each earned their spot on Team USA competing at the IAAF World Junior Championships with silver-medal-winning second-place finishes at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Martin sprinted to a personal best to score the silver medal in the women’s 200-meter dash, while Wales nearly set a personal best of her own to take home the silver medal in the women’s javelin throw as each is set to return to the University of Oregon later this month for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships that will also be held at Hayward Field in Eugene.
The Top 2 finishers in each event during the two days of competition at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships earned their spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
After earning a fifth-place finish in the women’s 100-meter final on Saturday night, Martin returned to the track on Sunday looking to take advantage of her final opportunity to earn a spot on the Team USA roster with her appearance in the 200-meter dash. She did just that while turning in a personal best in the championship final.
Martin warmed up by clocking a wind-legal 23.23 seconds (+1.2) to win the second of two qualifying heats in the 200 meters to earn her lane in the final. She then returned to the track and raced to a new wind-legal PR of 23.02 (+1.3) for a silver-medal-winning second-place finish as she crossed the finish line behind only Kaylin Whitney’s winning time of 22.49 in the women’s 200-meter final.
A native of Lithonia, Georgia, Martin smashed her previous personal best of 23.19 she set in a third-place finish in the 200 meters at LSU’s Battle on the Bayou held on April 5 at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Martin nipped Iowa’s Brittany Brown for Team USA’s second roster spot to line up in the 200 meters at the IAAF World Junior Championships as Brown won the bronze medal with her run of 23.10 in the final. Rounding out the finalists were Arkansas’ Regine Williams (23.65) in fourth place, Texas State’s Marika Brown (23.67) in fifth place and Teahna Daniels (24.00) in sixth place in the championship final.
While Martin raced to a personal best in the 200-meter dash in Sunday’s finale at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Wales was just over two feet short of setting a personal best of her own with her silver-medal-winning runner-up finish in the women’s javelin throw as she opened the competition by throwing a series-best of 164 feet, 7 inches in the first round of qualifying in the second flight.
Wales’ opening throw of 164-7 held up for second place in the preliminary rounds and also in the final as she became the second Lady Tiger on the day to qualify for Team USA as she will join Martin in a return trip later this month to Oregon’s Hayward Field for the IAAF World Junior Championships. She nearly improved her mark in the final round with a throw of 163-6 to close out a second-place finish in the competition.
Wales finished runner-up to USA Junior Champion Megan Glasmann, who threw a leading mark of 169-9 in the second round of qualifying and raised her mark to 175-0 in the fifth round to claim the javelin crown.
Gabrielle Kearney followed Wales in third place with her bronze-medal-winning throw of 161-1. Rounding out the Top 10 of the javelin throw were Sophia Rivera (157-0) in fifth place, Duke’s Christine Streisel (147-6) in sixth place, Nebraska’s Sarah Firestone (147-1) in seventh place, Katelyn Gochenour (146-8) in eighth place, Virginia’s Caitlin Mautz (140-7) in ninth place and Peyton Montgomery (139-4) in 10th place.
A native of West Monroe, Louisiana, Wales came up just short of her personal best of 166-11 she set in winning the javelin title in her collegiate debut at Louisiana Tech’s Jim Mize Invitational back on March 22.
Also setting a new personal best during Sunday’s finale at Hayward Field was Lady Tiger freshman Bryiana Richardson, who clocked 58.61 for a fifth-place finish in the final in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Richardson followed the likes of Texas A&M’s Shamier Little (55.43), Sydney McLaughlin (55.63), Harvard’s Jade Miller (57.27) and Reonna Collier (58.55) across the finish line in the final. She eclipsed her previous best time at 58.63 that she set in the first round of qualifying at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.
Lady Tiger freshman Nataliyah Friar earned a fifth-place finish of her own with her appearance in the women’s long jump during Sunday’s finale at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she posted an impressive wind-aided series-best of 20-5 (+3.3) on her very first attempt of the competition. Nebraska’s Jazmin McCoy was crowned the long jump champion with her wind-aided best of 20-11 ¼ in the first round.