USA Juniors Day Two Recap: Mason, Schwartz, Kirby Claim Spots On Pan-Am Roster

A week after winning the 100m dash at New Balance Nationals Outdoor, Symone Mason and Anthony Schwartz were at it again in Sacramento.

Mason, who swept the 100, 200, and 400m dash at the 4A state championship, advanced to the finals after a first round photo finish with ShaCarri Richardson that saw both girls run 11.48. Coming in with the fourth fastest time, the University of Miami signee drew lane three with Candace Hill who ran 10.98 at the Brooks PR Invitational and is now a professional for Asics on outside in lane five. Hill crossed the line first in 11.37 with Mason coming in second at 11.42. The top two finishers in every event earn a spot on Team USA at the Pan-Am Junior Championships in Peru. The pair were teammates at the World Youth Championships in 2015.

American Heritage rising senior Anthony Schwartz didn't pick up the win at USA Juniors, but his fourth place finish did earn him a spot in the relay pool in Peru. Schwartz went down with a hamstring injury last month at the state meet and has been working his way back to form. It's just a matter of time until we see the US#1 sprinter back to 100 percent. 

Both Mason and Schwartz will compete in the 200m on Saturday.

Speaking of New Balance standouts, a week after winning the heptathlon, East Lake's Kaitlyn Kirby finished third this weekend against the best juniors in the country and is an alternate for Team USA.

With three athletes bound for Peru, the chance for several more to make the team is very possible. Another New Balance Nationals champion, Thomas Burns ran the second 400m hurdle race of his high school career lowered his US#1 time of 50.63 down to 50.12s, the second best time of the day, only behind Quincy Hall who won the heat in 50.06s.

Caitlin Collier decided not to compete in New Balance Nationals instead racing the first week of June at the Nike Festival of Miles against a professional field. Collier ran a Florida state record and US#2 mark of 2:03.32 for the win. Now with her eyes set on her first Team USA, the Bolles rising senior ran 2:05.45 in the opening round and is the top seed heading into the finals.

Lakewood Ranch's John Rivera, an Ole Miss signee was second in his heat behind Cameron Cooper with a time of 1:53.49, the fifth best overall. Former Flagler Palm Coast runner and current Florida Gator Justin Pacifico also advanced to the finals.

Lastly, several Florida alumni made the finals in the hurdle events. East Ridge grad and University of Texas hurdler Ashley Miller had the sixth fastest time heading into the women's 100m hurdles finals and that is exactly where she placed with a time of 13.72. In the men's 110m hurdles Paxon class of 2016 graduate and current Oregon freshman Braxton Canady was 5th in 13.91 after running 13.72s in the prelims. Jordan Fields now at the University of South Carolina was 8th in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:02.49.

Other Notable Florida Performances Include:

  • Junior Women's Long Jump - Kaira Simmons - 8th (19-0.5) - Caroline Johnston - 10th - (18-10)
  • Junior Women's Shot Put - Sherry Lubin - 14th - 46-9
  • Junior Men's 5,000m - Rob Leverone - 15th - 15:54.04