Collegians at the Pan Am Games Preview – Wednesday

Collegians at the Pan Am Games Preview – Wednesday

NEW ORLEANS – Track & field action at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto continues on Wednesday, with collegians looking to position themselves for multiple Pan Am titles.

Shamier Little, Andre De Grasse, Jeannelle Scheper, Conor McCullough and more will all be looking for titles, while early-round action in other events promises some intriguing collegiate match-ups.

Competition at the track continues today and runs through Saturday, with live coverage on the ESPN family of broadcast platforms. Here’s a full schedule of events, with links to live results.

A full list of collegians competing today can be found below the following previews.

WEDNESDAY

Women’s High Jump (10:05am ET)

Start List

NCAA Champion Jeannelle Scheper of South Carolina (St. Lucia) may be the top-seeded woman in this field at 1.96m (6-5), but she’ll once again have to outjump a crowd of familiar faces from the college level to take the title here.

Kimberly Williamson of Kansas State (Jamaica) has already come close to upsetting Scheper, as both cleared 1.90m (6-2¾) but Scheper took just one try and Williamson needed three. She’ll be joined by two of her Wildcat teammates in NCAA heptathlon champ Akela Jones (Barbados) and 2014 NCAA runner-up Alyx Treasure (Canada). Jones was fourth at NCAAs earlier last month, while Williamson will look to bounce back from a 12th-place finish.

Also in the field is Maryland’s Thea LaFond, who was fifth at NCAA Indoors.

Women’s 400 – Semifinals (10:30am ET)

Start Lists

When collegiate record holder and reigning national champion Courtney Okolo of Texas didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championships in June, a pair of young sophomores emerged atop the descending order list as frontrunners for the national title: Americans Shakima Wimbley of Miami (Fla.) and Kendall Baisden of Texas.

Well, it turned out that neither would go on to stand atop the NCAA podium as Kala Funderburk of Florida State, while Baisden and Wimbley were runner-up and fifth, respectively.

The duo once again find themselves atop the descending order list for Pan Ams, with Baisden having run 50.50 this season and Wimbley not far behind at 50.84. Wimbley is in semifinal heat 1, with Baisden in the second heat.

They’ll look to duel for the top spot and hold off a field that includes South Plains’ Chrisann Gordon (Jamaica), who won the NJCAA Outdoor title. She’ll square off with Baisden in heat 2.

Men’s 400 – Semifinals (11am ET)

Start Lists

Bralon Taplin of Texas A&M (Grenada) was the national NCAA runner-up in the event during the indoor season. Marcus Chambers of Oregon (United States) was the outdoor NCAA runner-up last month. Both men have dipped below the 45-second barrier this season.

But, believe it or not, the two have yet to tangle head-to-head on the track this year.

If Taplin, who is looking to bounce back from a 14th-place finish at outdoor NCAAs, advances from semifinal heat 1 and Chambers navigates through heat 2, that match-up will come to fruition in Thursday’s final.

Men’s 800 – Semifinals (11:35am ET)

Start List

He may not have an NCAA title to his name, but there’s arguably been no bigger breakthrough mid-distance runner than Clayton Murphy of Akron (United States). The sophomore followed up third-place finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships with three consecutive career bests in the three rounds at the USATF Championships, culminating in a fourth-place 1:45.59 in the final.

Who’d have thought he’d never broken 1:50 prior to this season?

His next test will be a rematch with the 2014 indoor/outdoor NCAA Champion Brandon McBride of Mississippi State (Canada). He edged out McBride by .10 at NCAA indoors, and just over half a second separated the two at NCAA outdoors as McBride was sixth.

McBride has long said his training was designed for him to start peaking for summer competition. We’ll see if that pays off starting this week.

Murphy will be in semifinal heat 1, while McBride will run in heat 2 against Florida’s Andres Arroyo (Puerto Rico), who finished eighth in the NCAA Outdoor final.

Men’s 100 – Semifinals & Final (6:50pm ET & 8:50pm ET)

Start Lists

Each of the top collegiate contenders made it safely through Tuesday’s round 1 competition, though not all without incident. Reigning NCAA 100/200 champ Andre De Grasse overcame a slow start to cruise to a heat 1 victory in 10.06, and SEC champ Shavez Hart of Texas A&M (Bahamas) finished third in heat 3 in 10.13 to safely advance.

Here’s where the fun started. Beejay Lee of Southern California (United States) ran both 10.07w and 9.99w to win heat 2, twice. He ran 10.07 in an initial running of the heat that was marred by a false start that wasn’t properly signaled, causing the race to be re-run following the conclusion of heat 3. He again took the win in that race.

All three now find themselves in the same semifinal heat #2, and only three from each of the two semifinal heats advance automatically to the final with the next two fastest getting additional bids.

Women’s 400 Hurdles – Final (7:15pm ET)

Start Lists

Reigning USATF champion and two-time NCAA champion Shamier Little of Texas A&M (United States) had no issue getting through the semifnals with an easy, yet authoritative, win in 56.08.

She’ll look to add yet another trophy to her collection as she lines up next to another collegian who won her semifinal heat in Sparkle McKnight of Arkansas (Trinidad & Tobago) and Western Carolina’s Jessica Gelibert, who took the final qualifing spot.

 

Here’s the full list of collegians competing today, in chronological order (events with both semifinals and a final on the same day are listed in order of their semifinal).

Event Athlete Country
Women’s High Jump* Deandra Daniel, Coppin State Trinidad & Tobago
Akela Jones, Kansas State Barbados
Alyx Treasure, Kansas State Canada
Kimberly Williamson, Kansas State Jamaica
Jeannelle Scheper, South Carolina St. Lucia
Thea LaFond, Maryland Dominican Republic
Men’s Decathlon Lindon Victor, Texas A&M Grenada
Women’s 400 Taylor Sharpe, George Mason Canada
Shakima Wimbley, Miami (Fla.) United States
Kendall Baisden, Texas United States
Audrey Jean-Baptiste, Tulsa Canada
Chrisann Gordon, South Plains Jamaica
Men’s 400 Bralon Taplin, Texas A&M Grenada
Marcus Chambers, Oregon United States
Men’s 800 Clayton Murphy, Akron United States
Andres Arroyo, Florida Puerto Rico
Brandon McBride, Mississippi State Canada
Women’s 100** Morolake Akinosun, Texas United States
Women’s Shot Put* Danniel Thomas, Kent State Jamaica
Men’s 100** BeeJay Lee, Southern California United States
Andre De Grasse, Southern California Canada
Shavez Hart, Texas A&M Bahamas
Women’s 400 Hurdles* Jessica Gelibert, Coastal Carolina Haiti
Shamier Little, Texas A&M United States
Sparkle McKnight, Arkansas Trinidad & Tobago
Men’s Hammer Throw* Conor McCullough, Southern California United States

* Final
** Semifinal and Final