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Cross wins USA Jr. hurdles title

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Cross wins USA Jr. hurdles title

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas Razorback freshman Caleb Cross, a member of the men’s track and field team, punched his ticket to the World Junior Championships with a race win at the USA Championships, at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.

Cross, a native of Newport, Ark., won the USA Junior National title in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 13.64. He finished sixth in the prelims earlier in the day with a then-personal best of 13.91. The hurdles in the races were at junior height, not at collegiate height, so his time doesn’t count for Arkansas records purposes. His time is a big PR as his high school best was clocked at 14.01.

"Caleb did a phenomenal job today," Arkansas’ sprint coach Doug Case said. "We were a little worried about him competing in the hurdles at junior height because he hasn’t practiced at that height all season. The prelims really helped him get adjusted. I’m really impressed with how he ran today. It’s been a long collegiate season and he’s done a lot of work for us in the hurdles and on the relays. Plus, he ran the prelims and the finals within just a few hours of each other. We’ve said it all year how much promise he has and what a future Caleb has in front of him. His win today is just another reminder of that."

Cross will be a member of Team USA at the World Junior Championships, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, in July. He will also run the prelims of the junior 400-meter hurdles on Friday and, potentially, the finals on Saturday at the USA Championships.

"That race felt pretty good," Cross said. "I didn’t get the good races I wanted this season so I’m happy to come here and race well. It was an adjustment going back to the lower hurdles but the prelims helped me adjust and by the finals, it felt pretty good clearing the hurdles. Making Team USA for the World Junior Championships in Canada has always been a goal. I want to race well there, represent my country and the Razorbacks. I’m excited for another chance tomorrow in the 400-meter hurdles."

In the junior 800 meters, freshman Stephanie Brown won her heat and finished second overall in the prelims. She clocked a time of 2:08.46. Brown will run the in the junior 800-meter finals on Friday. Junior Shelise Williams finished 15th overall in the prelims of the 400 meters. She clocked a time of 53.64 and will compete in Friday’s semifinals. Women’s track and field volunteer assistant coach Monica Hargrove also competed in the prelims of the 400 meters. She finished sixth overall with a time of 52.86 and will compete in Friday’s semifinals.

Former Razorback Christin Wurth-Thomas ran the prelims of the 1,500 meters. She finished sixth overall with a time of 4:12.34 and will run in Saturday’s finals. Former Razorback LaShaunte’a Moore ran the prelims of the 100 meters. She clocked the fastest overall time of 11.26 and will compete in Friday’s semifinals. Former Razorback Wallace Spearmon, Jr. competed in the prelims of the 100 meters. He finished sixth overall with a time of 10.33 and will run in Friday’s semifinals.

In the junior men’s decathlon, soon-to-be Arkansas freshman Kevin Lazas earned a runner-up finish with 7,291 points. Lazas’ finish earned him a spot on Team USA for the World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, in July. Soon-to-be Arkansas freshman Dwayne Golbek competed in the junior men’s high jump. He finished tied for sixth overall with a clearance of 6-9. Freshman Leoman Momoh competed in the prelims of the junior 800 meters. He finished 13th overall with a time of 1:52.29.

Competition for the Razorbacks will resume at 11:05 a.m. on Friday.

On TV (CST):

ESPN, June 25, 7-9 p.m.

ESPN, June 26, 12-1:30 p.m.

NBC, June 26, 2-3 p.m.

ESPN, June 27, 12-1:30 p.m.

NBC, June 27, 2-3 p.m.



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