Collegian Medal Hopefuls At IAAF U20 Championships
NEW ORLEANS — Starting tomorrow, hundreds of athletes will compete in Bydgoszcz, Poland at the IAAF U20 Championships. Among them will be collegians from the 2016 track & field seasons.
On Friday, we listed those collegians that will be representing Team USA.
Today, we’ll look at those collegians that have the best chance winning a medal.
We’ll list them by event and by IAAF ranking, starting with those athletes who are No. 1, then No. 2 and so on.
Men’s High Jump
Jah-Nhai Perinchief, Iowa Central
For most of the outdoor season, Iowa Central’s Jah-Nhai Perinchief was tied for the collegiate lead in the high jump. He, along with East Carolina’s Avion Jones, Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Jeron Robinson and Texas Tech’s Trey Culver all cleared the bar at 2.26m (7-5). Then Jones cleared 2.31m (7-7) to leave the rest in a tie for second.
When it comes to the IAAF world rankings, Perinchief is tied once again — but this time with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Barannikov for the world lead.
Perinchief and Barannikov will duke it out for the gold medal with third-ranked Cuba’s Luis E. Zayas close behind (2.25m). For Perinchief to come out on top, though, he must retrace his steps to the well he began to tap in mid-April. He hasn’t cleared 2.18m since a runner-up effort at the Drake Relays.
Women’s 200 Meters
Taylor Bennett, Baylor
Though she didn’t make it out of the NCAA West Prelims in the event, Baylor’s Taylor Bennett enters this meet as the second-ranked woman at 200 meters. Bennett’s seed time of 22.71 came at the Baylor Invitational.
Barbados’ Sada Williams owns the world’s best time for a junior athlete at 22.61.
If all goes according to plan, Bennett could come back to America with a silver or even a gold medal.
Men’s 110 Hurdles
Amere Lattin, Houston
Houston’s Amere Lattin had himself quite the freshman season.
Lattin placed fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in this event, yet it was what he did three weeks later at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships that turned some heads.
The rising sophomore placed second with a time of 13.32 and moved up to second on the IAAF chart. U.S. junior champ Marcus Krah is the current world leader at 13.25.
Both should fare well in Poland, with Lattin in strong position to medal.
Women’s Triple Jump
Bria Matthews, Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech’s Bria Matthews uncoiled a massive jump at the ACC Championships in May. Matthews soared 13.73m (45-½) to win the conference title and qualify for worlds.
Then after failing to qualify for NCAAs, Matthews won the USATF Junior Outdoor Championship crown and placed 12th at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Now Matthews turns her attention to the world stage where she is currently ranked second.
Men’s 400 Meters
Kahmari Montgomery, Missouri
Anybody who swept the SEC indoor and outdoor 400-meter titles could be a force on the international stage.
That’s what Missouri’s Kahmari Montgomery hopes to happen in Poland after struggling down the home stretch of the NCAA season.
Montgomery enters this week’s meet as the third ranked performer (45.13) behind Botswana’s Baboloki Thebe (44.22) and Qatar’s Abdalelah Haroun (44.81). Baylor’s Wil London isn’t too far behind either (45.28).
Men’s 400 Hurdles
Taylor McLaughlin, Michigan
Michigan’s Taylor McLaughlin gained confidence from a strong outdoor season where he won the Big 10 title in this event and then placed fifth at NCAAs. McLaughlin also cruised to a win at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships.
Now McLaughlin enters the IAAF U20 Championships as the third ranked performer (49.73), close enough to second place (49.62) to be a serious contender for the silver medal.
We’ll see how it correlates on the track come Thursday.
Women’s Long Jump
Bria Matthews, Georgia Tech
Remember her name?
If you don’t, just look up a few sections.
Bria Matthews has a chance at bringing home two medals from Poland.
Right now Matthews is the third ranked athlete in the long jump, one centimeter behind Sweden’s Tilde Johansson.
The rising sophomore won the USATF Junior Outdoor crown in California in late June.