In a battle of precocious college freshmen, Penn State’s Cas Loxsom beat Virginia’s Robby Andrews, 1:47.45-1:47.75, in the U.S. Juniors championship 800 Friday afternoon at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Both teenagers thus qualified for the U.S. team that will compete at the World Juniors later this summer in New Brunswick, Canada.
Not far behind was another Easterner, Chris FitzSimons, the senior at Hamden H.S., in Connecticut, with a lifetime best, 1:48.83. Fitzsimons has signed with Villanova. Loxsom is also a Connecticut native (New Haven).
The Junior women’s 800 was also won by an Eastern runner, Ajee Wilson, the sophomore from Neptune (N.J.) H.S. Wilson ran 2:05.75 to edge Laura Roesler of North Dakota, who was .05 back. Roesler, who ran 2:03 as a high school sophomore two years ago, is an Oregon signee.
The Junior women’s steeplechase was won by the Providence freshman Shelby Greany (Suffern, NY). Greany, who broke the American Junior record recently in the event, won handily, 10:27-10:38.
Marquis Dendy, junior from Middletown, Del., also qualified for the U.S. Junior team, finishing 2nd in the men’s triple jump. Dendy jumped 51-2 1/4w. The winner was Omar Craddock of the University of Florida. In 5th was Carlton Lavong (Methacton, Pa), 49-11 ¾.
Princeton freshman Conor McCullough won the Junior men’s hammer throw and set an American Junior record, throwing the 6k implement 256-10 to break Walter Henning’s record of 251-4 from 2008. Alec Faldermeyer (Minisink Valley, NY) finished 3rd, at 219-4.
In the men’s 1,500-meter qualifying, Peter Callahan of Princeton had the fastest time of the day, winning Heat II in 3:50.74. Sean Halpin, freshman at Albany, also made the final. Among the non-qualifiers were Chris Stogsdill of Iona, Nathan Mathabane of Princeton and Joseph Gilhuley of St. Francis/Brooklyn. In the girls’ 1,500 heats, Jackie Gamboli of Marist failed to advance.
In the Junior girls’ javelin, Allison Updike, a junior from Tamaqua, Pa., threw a lifetime best of 167-1 on her final throw to win the competition and in the process pass the required World Junior qualifying standard of 162-5. Prior to that throw, Updike had been in 3rd and had not reached the 162-5 standard. /JP/