Tyrese Cooper, Symone Mason Snag Silver Medals In 200m At Pan Am Juniors

While fellow South Florida sprinter and MGX teammate Jamal Walton was breaking records in the 400m, Tyrese Cooper was watching the action instead of being right in the mix. Cooper opted to compete in the senior level 400m at USA's instead, but changed his mind when it came to the 200m. He won the race in 20.85s to punch his ticket to the Pan Am Junior Championships in Peru. 

Lining up against a stellar field that included Jamaican Christopher "Cubby" Taylor, the kid they call "Smoke" held his own finishing right behind Taylor in a new personal best of 20.59s.

"He ran the first pay of the race really great, but didn't have much of a finish toward the end," said Coach Darius Lawshea. "I said he needed to train like we do when are back home while he was on this trip. He had to do whatever the team did and he wasn't used to that."

Cooper, who has run nearly 100 races this season, isn't done yet. He will head to Michigan for the AAU Junior Olympics. The rising junior set numerous age group records on the AAU circuit and is coming off wins in the 200, 400 and with an all-star 4x400m relay that just ran 3:04 at the AAU Club Championships. Last year, he pulled off the triple winning the 100,200, and 400 at the AAU Junior Olympics and is the favorite to do so again in the coming days.

"His last meet of the year is at the AAU Junior Olympics," Lawshea explained. "It's his favorite track meet because he feels at home. He really enjoys the welcome and the kids."

For Mason, it was her second medal in as many days. The incoming University of Miami freshman and former Southridge High School standout, won bronze in the 100m dash and followed that up with a silver medal performance in the 200m. Her time of 23.42s was the fourth fastest of her high school career and just behind the winning 23.27 from Stanford signee Ashlan Best of Canada.

"She executed her 200 meters exactly how I wanted her to," said Coach Joey Scott. "The key was for her to get out the curve aggressive and maintain her momentum down the straight. She put herself in the position to win, but unfortunately she ended up second. I'm proud that she gave it a great fight."