Michta breaks another AJR in day 3 at USA Juniors

LOS ANGELES - Maria Michta broke an American junior record in the first event of the day Saturday at the 2005 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Home Depot Center. Athletes ages 19 and under are competing for the right to represent Team USA at the 2005 Pan Am Junior Championships July 29-31 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, by placing in the top two of their events.

Already the American junior record holder on the roads, Maria Michta added the 10,000m track AJR to her resume, winning the event Saturday in 50:24.54 to break Lisa Chumbley's 1993 record of 50:26.9.

The women's triple jump was one of the closest competitions of the day, with Cassandra Strickland of Cal-Berkeley soaring 12.84m/42-1.5 for first. Ke'Niya Richardson was just a fraction back at 12.82/42-0.75, and heptathlon runner-up Lauren Stewart was third with 12.76m/41-10.50

Fauquier (Va.) High School star Sarah Bowman in the women's 1,500m displayed the form that has made her the third-fastest high school miler in history. Leading from the gun and running splits of 1:07.2, 2:18.3 and 3:28.7, Bowman won the 1,500 in 4:18.48. Erin Bedell of the Dallas Metro Stars was second in 4:20.61.

The Nike Outdoor Nationals boys' 2-mile champion, Mark Matusak of Torrance, Calif., ran the final lap in 58.0 seconds and sprinted past the University of Oregon's Galen Rupp in the final straight to win the men's 1,500m in 3:47.07. After running well clear of the field for three laps (60.3, 2:00.6, 3:01), Rupp finished second in 3:47.47.

Yet another Nike Outdoor Nationals high school champion, Brittany Daniels of Pompano Beach, Fla., overtook 2003 world junior gold medalist Natasha Hastings of the University of South Carolina in the final meters of the women's 400. Daniels finished in 51.18, followed by Hastings in 51.34, but Daniels was later disqualified, giving Hastings the win. In the men's race, Justin Oliver surged in the final steps of the race to win in 46.26. Nathaniel Anderson was second in 46.42.

Rachel Yurkovich, the national high school record holder from Newberg High School, won the USA junior title in the women's javelin with her throw of 50.62m/166-1. Kara Patterson was second with 50.08m/164-4.

Edward Cornell of Cal State-Long Beach won the men's discus with a toss of 55.73m/182-10, with shot put champion Ryan Whiting second with 55.56m/182-3. Boldizsár Kocsor of UCLA took the men's hammer throw with a best mark of 65.37m/214-6, followed by John Freeman at 62.75m/205-10.

Winning steeplechase titles were John Martinez in the men's race (9:06.60) and Lindsay Allen in the women's race (10:37.94). Michael Bingham of Wake Forest led the decathlon after day 1 with 3,854 points.

For complete results, athlete quotes and start lists from the 2005 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org