Vaughan, Kirillov rewrite records on Day 1 USA Junior Championships
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Shelbi Vaughan set an American Junior record in the women’s discus and Nikita Kirillov broke a 19-year-old meet record in the men’s pole vault to highlight competition on day one of USA Junior Track & Field Championships. The competition kicked off this afternoon in Bloomington, IN at Indiana University.
The Junior Championships serve as the selection meet for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, scheduled for July 10-15 in Barcelona, Spain. The top two finishers, provided they have meet the qualifying standards in each event, will be invited to compete in Barcelona as members of Team USA.
Vaughan of Mansfield, Texas threw a new American Junior record twice during today’s discus competition. Vaughn first bettered the record on her fourth attempt with a heave of 60.03m/196-11. Her best mark and second record-breaking throw came on final attempt with a mark of 60.59m/198-9. Vaughn’s record betters Olympian Suzy Powell’s mark from 1995.
“Each meet I’ve gone to this summer I’ve broken records,” said Vaughan. “At practice I’ve been throwing well over 200m and I was hoping to do that today but the winds were really dead, but I’m really excited to break the record twice in one meet.”
Alex Collatz of USC took the runner-up spot in the discus with a throw of 52.18m/171-2 to punch her ticket to Barcelona.
Kirillov of Georgia Tech out jumped the field in the men’s pole vault with his new meet record of (5.54m/18-2). The previous record was set by Lawrence Johnson in 1993, the same year Kirillov was born.
“I’m originally Russian and I got my citizenship a while ago, “said Kirillov. “It’s definitely going to be a great honor representing the U.S.; I’ve always wanted to.”
Casey Bowen took the runner-up spot to qualify for World Championship as he bettered the 5.0m ‘A’ standard with his clearance of 5.20m/17-0.75.
Brianna Nerud made it a one-woman show in the 3,000m steeplechase. Nerud jumped off the line to quickly take the lead, and led the race from the first barrier to the last. Nerud came into the meet with the best high school time in the U.S. this year, and came close to bettering her season best of 10:19.91, but finished a few seconds off in 10:23.87. Courtney Frerichs will join Nerud at the World Junior Championships with her second place finish of 10:35.23.