With the 2017 Pan Am Junior Championships taking place this weekend in Trujillo, Peru we look back to the 2015 edition in Edmonton Canada where Khalifa St. Fort and Jamal Walton brought home golds for Trinidad & Tobago and the Cayman Islands respectively. The two will look to add more gold medals to their collection.
Khalifa St. Fort and Jamal Walton didn't skip a beat as the pair flew straight from the Nike Elite Sprint Camp in Portland north to Edmonton, Canada for Pan Am Juniors. St. Fort who represented Trinidad and Tobago was victorious in the 100m dash (11.31) while Walton rocking the Cayman Islands uniform picked up gold in the 400m dash in a blazing 46.08.
St. Fort's coach and Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Ato Boldon recorded this interview afterward with the gold medalist who has had a spectacular junior season which included wins at Golden South, a third place showing in the Dream 100 in New York City, gold at the T&T Junior Championships, silver at the World Youth Championships in a US#2 time of 11.19, and now gold for her country at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada.
Walton (pictured right), who clocked a personal best of 45.99 two weeks ago at the IAAF World Youth Championships to place fourth, told flrunners.com following the race he thinks he could have ran even faster.
"I felt kind of tired before the race, but I pulled it off. I really thought my time wasn't going be fast what I had expected cause I cruised all the way to the last 100m."
While St. Fort and Walton stole the show and brought home gold medals, they weren't the only sprinters with Florida ties taking in hardware. Former First Academy and University of Texas signee Teahna Daniels who was the USA Juniors champion was third in the 100m dash with a time of 11.46. Daniels wasn't exactly pleased with her time, but knows their is more work to be done later in the week.
"I felt okay about my race. I'm just happy that I placed and got a medal for USA. I'm really excited about the 4x1 on Sunday."
Walton was joined in the quarter miler with another South Florida athlete, former Miami Northwestern star and current Clemson freshman Cordell Lamb. Lamb, the USA Junior champion in the same event claimed the last qualifying spot into the finals, and finished fifth overall in 47.35. He had this to say after the race.
Lamb, has been training since last August, at a high frequency, something he says is a first for him considering this is first year as a full-time track and field athlete.
"Other years I've played football or done extra curricular activities where track was not a main priority in my life, but at the end of the day the season was long literally and filled with obstacles, but it felt good to compete for my country."
Four-time high school state champion in the 400m Kendall Ellis, a current freshman at Southern Cal, earned bronze in the women's race with a time of 52.85. Like Daniels, she wasn't pleased with her race, but still has one more race left.
"The race was okay. I'm satisfied but not happy with it. It wasn't a PR, but I learned a lot about myself. I learned what I'm capable of and that I belong at the top with everybody else. I'm looking forward to the 4x4. We're winning this thing. Might just get a record too.
Rounding out day one, was another Florida athlete Daeshon Gordon in the 100m hurdles. Coming in with the second fastest time from the prelims (13.37), the Northeast High School grad and LSU freshman snagged the bronze medal into a negative wind with a time of 13.70.
Keandre Bates, a current freshman at the University of Florida jumped 7.54m/24-9 on his second jump to win bronze in the long jump.