Sprints highlight Day 2 of USA Junior Outdoor Champs

LOS ANGELES - A successful sprint double by Cleo Tyson and a down-to-the-wire men's 200 provided the highlights Friday 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.

The men's 200 meters provided the closest race of the day. With 100m champion J-Mee Samuels leading out of the turn, Tremaine Smith of Nebraska used a powerful stretch won to take the victory in 20.86 seconds. Otis McDaniel of TCU moved up for second in 20.96, followed by Samuels in 21.00.

Cleo Tyson encountered a challenge to her sprint double as well, but the Tennessee star successfully turned back high schooler Alexandria Anderson to win in 22.93, giving her the national 200m title to go with her 100m crown from Thursday evening. Anderson was second in 20.96.

Three-time Nebraska state high school champion Robert Rands won an excellent men's long jump competition, jumping 7.49m/24-7 to win over Jade Ellis (7.35m/24-1.5) and Nicholas Brown (7.32m/24-0.25). A graduate of Bellevue (Neb.) East High School and the state record holder indoors and out, Rands will attend the University of Nebraska in the fall.

Nicole Leach of West Catholic High School (Pa.), the 2005 Penn Relays high school athlete of the meet, won the women's 400m hurdles title in 57.25 over Krystal Cantey (57.66). Although Cantey entered the meet as the fastest prepster in the nation this year, a personal best by Leach on Friday gave her the win. Reuben McCoy of Auburn was an easy winner in the men's 400m hurdles with his time of 50.69.

The men's and women's 800 meter finals both featured frantic sprints to the finish. In the women's race, University of Oregon-bound Rebekah Noble moved strongly past Heidi Magill in the final 200 meters to win going away in a personal best of 2:03.73. Magill was second in 2:04.99.

The men's 800 was even closer as 10th grader Karjuan Williams of the New Orleans Comets, Jacob DuBois of Eastern Michigan and Nike Outdoor Nationals champion Robert Novak ran three abreast in the final stretch . Williams, the Nike Nationals runner-up, emerged the winner in 1:50.88, with DuBois second in 1:51.17 and Novak third in 1:51.22.

The women's 5,000 meters was decided much earlier on in the race. Nicole Blood led the women's race from start to finish, winning in 16:30.90. In the men's race, Paul Hefferon of Kansas (14:15.18) pulled away for Daniel Nunn of Georgetown (14:17.67) for the victory.

Shevell Quinley had an eventful day in the heptathlon, moving from second after day 1 to the USA junior championship. Quinley had a phenomenal effort in the long jump, her mark of 6.18m/20-3.5 giving her 905 points. After a javelin toss of 28.08m/92-1 yielded just 440 points, she finished with an 800m time of 2:27.83 (727) to finish the day with 5,142 points and the win. Day 1 leader Lauren Stewart was second with 5,056 points.

Corey White won the men's javelin with a throw of 67.46m/221-4, while Sarah Stevens of Arizona State won the women's shot put with a mark of 16.90m/55-5. Chelsea Taylor of the Colorado Flyers took the women's high jump (1.78m/5-10), and Rachel Greff of Rice won the women's pole vault (3.88/12-8.75).

Top qualifiers in Friday's rounds included Sarah Bowman in the women's 1500m (4:32.71), Mark Matusak in the men's 1,500 (3:55.28), Natasha Hastings in the women's 400 (52.76) and Lionel Larry in the men's 400 (46.71).

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