FAYETTEVILLE – Soon-to-be sophomores Regina George and Caleb Cross, members of the Arkansas Razorback women’s and men’s track and field teams, wrapped up competition at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships on Sunday, in Moncton, Canada.
George anchored the Team USA 4×400-meter relay to a gold medal and a winning time of 3:31.20. She was joined on the relay by Diamond Dixon, Stacey-Ann Smith and Laura Roesler.
"When I got the baton in first, I didn’t want anybody to catch me," George said. "I thought, I’m going to bring it home, I’m going to bring in the gold. They handed it to me first and I’m going to show them the respect I have for them not to lose this. And I’m so happy with my teammates, too. It means everything to us. We wanted it from the start. We prayed to God and He answered our prayers and gave us what we wanted, and I’m so thankful right now."
Earlier in the week, George, a native of Chicago, Ill., picked up a sixth-place finish in the open 400-meter finals. She clocked a time of 53.83. In Tuesday’s 400-meter preliminaries, George clocked a time of 54.17 for second place in heat one and advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals. In the semifinals, George was fourth in the first heat at a clocking of 53.59 and she had to wait until the last of three sections to learn she advanced as the last time qualifier.
In the finals of the 110-meter hurdles, Cross was among leaders late in the race. He clipped the ninth hurdle and had an awkward misstep when his foot hit the track, making him off balance for a split second, which was enough to knock him out of medal contention. He finished fifth with a time of 13.86.
In Saturday’s semifinal round of the 110-meter hurdles, Cross finished second in heat one with a time of 13.72 and earned an automatic spot in the finals on Sunday. In the Friday prelims, he won heat four with a junior-hurdle height personal-best time of 13.56. He clocked the third-fastest time of the prelims.