(Photo by Larry Simms via Twitter)
Day 1 of Pan Am Juniors included two long sessions, and it was a successful day for the California athletes that traveled to Peru for the Under 20 competition! As has so often been the case, the Golden State contingent was led by Rachel Baxter, who set a new PR of 14' 5.5" (4.41 meters) in her final high school meet. That mark makes her the 3rd best high school vaulter in US history, and the jump is the 4th-best performance ever! It's also a California record, and if that's not enough Baxter now ranks 5th in the world among Under 20 vaulters. What an amazing finish for the soon-to-be Hokie!
If you had to name the second Californian to win gold, I bet it wouldn't take many guesses. Tara Davis won the long jump with a best mark of 21' 4.25" (6.51 meters), the only jumper in the competition to go beyond 21 feet. She came up just a fraction of a second short of winning a second event, but Tia Jones just edged past her in the 100 Hurdle final to win 13.01 - 13.05. Something tells me the Georgia-bound star will still be happy with her day's work!
On the other hand, if you weren't following the meet directly you might have a hard time picking the third Pan Am Junior champion from our state. After tying for the second-best time in the prelims of the 100 Dash, former Chaminade Prep star Tarrik Brock Jr (now a rising sophomore at USC) claimed victory in the final with a time of 10.45 into a slight headwind.
In other Day 1 action:
- Joseph Anderson finished 3rd in the 110 Hurdles, clocking 13.43
- Zach Shinnick also earned a bronze medal, running 45.98 in the 400
- Cooper Teare advanced to the 1500 final, held Sunday, with a time of 3:57.25
More highlights to come after today's action!