(Photo by Damion Thomas)
Arman Hall led a contingent of six athletes who ran their high school track and field in the state of Florida traveled across the Atlantic to Barcelona Spain to compete in the IAAF World Junior Championships this week.
Hall, the St. Thomas Aquinas class of 2012 star, and incoming University of Florida freshman won his heat in 46.62 to advance to the finals where he didn't disappoint. Arman was in a great spot in lane four heading into the race against top ranked Luguelin Santos the youngster from the Dominican Republic and fellow American counterpart Aldrich Bailey. Hall couldn't hold off Santos who ran a blistering 44.85 for the win, but the future Gator did run a new personal best and runner-up time of 45.39. Hall picked up a gold in the quarter mile at last year's World Youth Championships in Lille, France as well as a gold in the 4x400 meter relay. He and Bailey will have a chance to add gold at this year's event with the prelims set for Saturday and the finals on Sunday.
Mens 400m Dash
Speaking of relay events and South Florida, two Boyd Anderson girls will get test their hand on the international stage. State champion and incoming University of Florida freshman Shayla Sanders and senior teammate Kali-Davis White will run on the USA's 4x100 relay team. Sanders who won the Dream 100 as well earned the spot by finishing third in the 100 and 200 at USATF Junior Nationals. Kali-Davis White who was runner-up at state and third at the Adidas Dream 100 earned a spot by finishing fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200. Prelims are slated for Friday at 12:35 p.m. eastern time and finals on Saturday. The U.S. has won gold the past four years in this event.
* Update: I spoke with Boyd Anderson coach Damion Thomas last night and he said that Shayla would be anchoring the team. Kal Davis-White told me this morning she will be running the prelims, but is unsure about the line up for the finals.
Another Miami standout Robin Reynolds, with her state leading 14 state championships, competed in the long jump in Barcelona. Reynolds unleashed a monster jump of 20-6.25 to win a state title. At USATF Junior Nationals she placed first with a leap of 20-05.75 to punch her ticket to Spain. Last year she finished 7th at World Juniors, but in the 400. A different event for Robin this year, but it doesn't seem to bother her. Reynolds unleashed one of the best jumps of her career 6.12 meters (20-1), but failed to produce a 20 foot plus jump after that. Her mark wasn't good enough to advance her to the finals. She finished 14th overall.
John I. Leonard class of 2011 alum and current University of Oregon freshman Ryan Pickering was one of two Americans in the 35 man field for the 10,000 meters on Tuesday. Pickering finished 15th in a time of 31:33.69. The time was just shy of a personal best 30:56.77 he set last month at USATF Junior Nationals where he placed third.
Another class of 2011 standout didn't have as much luck. Garrett Scantling who was known for his pole vault and high jump prowess as a high schooler at Jacksonville Episcopal, spent the past year as a multi-event athlete for the University of Georgia. Scantling competed in the Decathlon Junior and was having an average run through day one. He had a new personal best throw of 14.41 meters (47.28 feet) in the shot put and had the 4th highest mark of any competitor in the high jump of 2.01 meters (6.59 feet). According to the official results he was disqualified in the 400 meters and did not start any of the events on day two.