BARCELONA, Spain – For Team USA, the evening session of the opening day at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona was highlighted by a solid finish by Aisling Cuffe in the finals of the women’s 3000, Gunnar Nixon’s taking of the lead in the men’s decathlon, and the American sprinting group cruising through the opening rounds of the women’s 100 and men’s 400.
The evening’s track qualifying rounds were dominated by the U.S. duo of Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Aldrich Bailey (Arlington, Texas) in the men’s 400.  Hall ran the first-round’s fastest time of 46.13 while Bailey won his heat in 46.40 as both easily qualified for Wednesday’s final.
In the women’s 100, it was Clemson freshman Dezerea Bryant (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Jennifer Madu (Murphy, Texas) taking care of business in the winning of their individual heats. Bryant had the qualifying-round’s best of 11.56 (-2.3 m/s).
Women’s 3000
Stanford freshman Aisling Cuffe (Cornwell-on-Hudson, N.Y.) finished sixth in the women’s 3000 final, equaling the best ever finish by the U.S. at a World Junior Championships (Laurynne Chetlet, 1998). Her time of 9:20.00 was clocked as the American junior-leading time for this outdoor season.
“I wanted to be a little higher up (in the finish order), said Cuffe. “This being my first world track meet, it was really different, but fun. I liked the experience.”
Connecticut freshman Lindsay Crevoiserat (Glastonbury, Conn.) placed ninth, equaling a personal best of 9:21.88.
Men’s Decathlon
Arkansas’ Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) is in the lead after day one with a score of 4,164 points. He is up 102 points on his personal-best (junior implements) that he recorded at the U.S. Junior Championships a few weeks ago. Nixon went from seventh to third after winning the high jump portion of the event as he was the only to clear 2.10/6-10½.
“I feel pretty good, “said Nixon on his performance. “Day one – nothing big happened and nothing bad happened, it was all even keel. Everything went smooth, but nothing spectacular. The high jump is my best event, and it’s very important to take advantage of that. Looking forward to tomorrow, sitting in first, I just want to maximize my point differential in each event, go out there and have fun.”
Men’s 400 (heats)
Reigning IAAF World Youth Champion Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) cruised to a 46.13 clocking, the best of any in the qualifying round. “I wanted to come out with a good tempo,” said Hall. “I didn’t want to go too hard, but, somehow it ended up being a fast time,” he added with a chuckle. “I just did what I had to do to win the heat. I’m always looking for a fast start and then maintain. It was great competition in my heat, that’s probably one of the main reasons why I raced like I did.”
Bailey (Arlington, Texas) made a 46.40 look exceedingly easy and won his heat by three-tenths of a second. “The race was just an opener,” said Bailey. “I didn’t want to do anything too special. (The Olympic Trials) gave me a lot of good experience, teaching me the way to run rounds the correct way and save as much as possible for the last one. Overall, today was okay – nothing too special.”
Women’s 100 (heats)
Clemson freshman Dezerea Bryant (Milwaukee, Wis.) led the field with a qualifying-round best time of 11.56 despite a headwind of 2.4 m/s. Bryant, the reigning World Junior Champion seemed happy with the race, “I executed really good in getting through the first round by not pressing. I felt good, I felt relaxed, and I did everything my coach told me to do. I had some nerves, but I got this first race off, now I’m good.”
Reigning World Youth Champion Jennifer Madu (Murphy, Texas) won her heat in 11.64, but said there’s more to improve on. “I wanted to come out and get my legs running again. Maintaining speed is something I’m good at, but my start has its off-and-on. I just hope I can come back next round and take care of business.”
Women’s Shot Put
Iowa State freshman Christina Hillman (Dover, Del.) finished fourth in the finals of the women’s shot put. Hillman marked 16.27/53-4½ in round three and entered the final three throws in third place. In round five, China’s Ka Bain passed Hillman with a mark of 16.48/54-1 to take over the bronze-medal position. Hillman responded in round six with a throw of 16.12/52-10¾, but it was not enough to move on to the medal stand.
Torie Owers (Athens, Ga.) claimed seventh in the competition, finishing the day with a best mark of 15.88/52-1¼ from a round-two toss.
Men’s 10,000
Notre Dame’s Jacob Kildoo (Grove City, Pa.) placed 11th in the finals of the men’s 10,000 at 31:09.94. Oregon’s Ryan Pickering (West Palm Beach, Fla.) took 15th at 31:33.69.
Men’s Discus (heats)
Texas A&M freshman Dalton Rowan (Spring, Texas) qualified for Thursday’s final of the discus. He marked a throw of 57.65/189-1 in the third round to gain a spot in the next round. LSU’s Rodney Brown (Chappell Hill, Texas) finished 18th overall with throw of 179-4/54.66.
Men’s Long Jump (qualifying)
Jarrion Lawson (Texarkana, Texas) leapt to 7.58/24-10½ in the qualifying round of the long jump to advance to the finals. Mississippi State’s Jarrett Samuels finished 14th overall at 7.45/24-5½.
1. Yigrem Demelash (ETH), 28:16.07
2. Philemon Kipchilis Cheboi (KEN), 28:23.98
3. Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui (KEN), 28:30.47
11. Jacob Kildoo (USA), 31:09.94
15. Ryan Pickering (USA), 31:33.69
1. Mercy Chebwogen (KEN), 9:08.99
2. Hiwot Gebrekidan (ETH), 9:09.27
3. Emeila Gorecka (GBR), 9:09.43
6. Aisling Cuffe (USA), 9:20.00, AmJL
9. Lindsay Crevoiserat (USA), 9:21.88, =PB
1. Shanice Craft (GER), 17.15/56-3¼, WJL (17.15, 16.12, 16.12, f, f, p)
2. Yang Gao (CHN), 16.57/54-4½ (16.45, 16.34, f, 16.57, f, 16.14)
3. Ka Bain (CHN), 16.48/54-1 (15.78, 15.87, 16.16, 16.05, 16.48, 16.16)
4. Christina Hillman (USA), 16.27/53-4½ (16.03, 15.94, 16.27, f, 15.93, 16.12)
9. Torie Owers (USA), 15.88/52-1¼ (15.00, 15.88, 15.17, 15.13, f, 14.89)
Q1 (1h6). Arman Hall (USA), 46.13
Q9 (1h8). Aldrich Bailey (USA), 46.40
[semifinal Wednesday evening]
Q1. Sergey Morgunov (RUS), 8.01/26-3½
q8. Jarrion Lawson (USA), 7.58/24-10½
14. Jarrett Samuels (USA), 7.45/24-5½
[final Wednesday evening]
DISCUS (1.75kg)
Q1. Wojciech Praczyk (POL), 60.72/199-2
q8. Dalton Rowan (USA), 57.65/189-1
18. Rodney Brown (USA), 54.66, 179-4
[final Thursday evening]
(after Day 1, 5 events)
1. Gunnar Nixon (USA), 4164 (11.23, 7.12, 14.54, 2.10, 49.13)
2. Tim Dekker (NED), 4154 (11.06, 7.23, 14.68, 2.04, 49.70)
=3. Cedric Debler (AUS), 4101 (11.05, 7.47, 12.35, 2.07, 49.70)
=3. Jake Stein (AUS), 4101 (11.31, 7.41, 16.39, 1.95, 51.15)
23. Garrett Scantling (USA), 3077 (11.35, 6.61, 14.47, 2.01, DQ)
=Q1 (1h5). Dezerea Bryant (USA), 11.56 (-2.4 m/s)
Q8 (1h6). Jennifer Madu (USA), 11.64 (-2.6 m/s)
[semifinals and final Wednesday evening]
Contact: Tom Lewis (