McArthur wins USA Junior title in Indiana


(20-Jun) The 2018 USATF Junior (U20) Outdoor Championships held in Bloomington, Ind. concluded on Sunday (17-Jun).  Fifteen athletes from Virginia competed during the three days of competition on the campus of Indiana University.  The event served as the selection meet for the IAAF World U20 Championships to be held in Tampere, Finland, July 10-15.  The top two finishers in each event qualified for Team USA (assuming they had met the IAAF entry standard).
It was Rachal McArthur of Bristow, Va. that headlined the Virginia performances as she ran to victory in the 1500m to qualify for the world championships.  McArthur, a high school star while at Nokesville Patriot High School and now freshman at Villanova University, ran 4:25.70 to finish .33 seconds ahead of Caitlin Collier of Florida.  This will be the first time that McArthur will be part of Team USA in an international competition.

As a high school senior last year she established the #2 marks in Virginia history in the 800m (2:05.42) and 1600m (4:41.67) and the #6 mark in the 3200m (10:19.91).

In the triple jump Hasani Knight of Virginia Beach finished second with a mark of 15.54m (51-0).  Unfortunately the performance fell just .03m (1 inch) shy of meeting the IAAF entry standard for the world championships and thus Knight was not named to the team for Finland. Knight, a 2017 graduate of Landstown High School, set the Virginia 6A meet record last year with a mark of 51-3¼; the #2 mark in Virginia history.  He is now a freshman at Miami University. 

Noel Palmer (Forest, VA / Liberty University) was ranked only #9 coming into the 5000m on Saturday but ran to a fourth place finish in a time of 17:01.69.  
Picking up fifth place finishes were 400m hurlers Britton Wilson (Henrico, Va.) and Emmanuel Waller (Lynchburg, Va.) as well Frank Royal (Richmond, Va.) in the long jump and Zoi Betties (Fredericksburg, Va.) in the 10,000m Race Walk.  Wilson, a junior at Mills Godwin High School, ran to a career best time of 57.95 to finish just .42 seconds behind the event winner, June Woodward.  Her career best prior to Bloomington was 1:01.60; the #11 entry mark.  In the first round on Friday she ran 59.51 and then improved on that time by 1.54 seconds in the finals on Saturday.  In the men's 400m hurdles Waller, the 2018 Virginia 4A 110m hurdles champion, ran 51.75 as he finished fifth.  He is a recent graduate of E.C. Glass High School.  Royal, a junior at Saint Christopher`s School, leaped 7.43m (24-4½) to place fifth in the long jump competition.  The performance is the #1 mark in Virginia this year and the 11th best since 1999.  Also competing in the long jump was, 2017 Broad Run grad, Travis Hung (Ashburn, Va.) who placed seventh with a jump of 7.29m (23-11).  On Friday morning Betties finished 10th in the 3000m race walk at the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina and then traveled to Bloomington where on Sunday morning she finished fifth in the 10,000m race walk in a time of 1:05:40.39.
Sixth place finishes were turned in by Kelly Cook (Buena Vista, Va. / William & Mary) in the men's discus throw and Sydney Banks (Woodbridge, Va.) in the women's high jump.  Cook's best throw was 54.96m (180-3); a career best by over 7 feet.  Banks cleared 1.73m (5-8).
In the men's 200m Gordon Lewis (Fredericksburg, Va. / N.C. Central) and Alen Blair both qualified for the finals where they finished seventh and eighth, respectively.  Lewis ran 21.43 and Blair stopped the clock at 21.62.

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