Friday was the busiest day for California athletes in the Pan-American Championships in Peru, but Saturday and Sunday still brought us plenty of top performances.
After coming in 3rd in the 400 on Friday, which is excellent but below his own expectations, Zach Shinnick had a chance for redemption in the 4x400 on Sunday. He made the best of it, helping Team USA to the victory and a new World Junior Record time of 3:00.33! Shinnick finishes the 2017 season on top of the national 400 leaderboard, and you have to think he still has room to improve as he moves on to USC. Team USA also struck gold in both 4x1's, with Tara Davis running a leg of the girls' relay and Tarrik Brock Jr. on the boys' squad.
Another Californian struck gold on Saturday, when Laulauga Tausaga-Collins dominated the women's discus throw with a best mark of 59.29 meters (194' 6.25"). That shattered the previous Pan-Am Juniors meet record, and fell just 3 inches short of the former Mt Miguel star's all-time PR. Laulauga is a rising sophomore at the University of Iowa, and she will be one of the top returners in the NCAA next spring - let's hope she hits the 200-foot mark soon!
Pole Vault continued to be the golden event for Golden State jumpers, as Tate Curran claimed victory yesterday with a clearance of 17' 0.75". He joins Rachel Baxter in finishing their high school careers with a win, and it will be interesting to see where he lands for college and whether he will continue to pursue the vault.
The 1500 was also a featured event for California runners. First Michelle Magnani brought home a bronze medal with a time of 4:25.65, then Cooper Teare duplicated her 3rd-place finish by clocking 3:46.46. Teare's performance was part of a 1-3 finish for Team USA, as Eric Van Der Els won the race in a meet-record time of 3:43.16. Cooper's time is also US #1 among high school runners this year, which provides a fitting close to his high school career as he prepares to move on to Oregon this fall.
Although he's not a native Californian, Quincy Hall does attend Sequoias College, so we can still be proud of his 400 Hurdles win Sunday. The Kansas City, MO star ran 49.02 to break the meet record, and
Dennis Hicks (formerly of Liberty Bakersfield, now at CSUN) broke 50 feet in the triple jump for the fourth time, including three consecutive performances. His 50' 5.25" mark was enough to earn him 4th place
Tierra Crockrell competed in the heptathlon over both days, finishing 5th overall - and she set a new PR in the shot put along the way, with a toss of 41' 4".