By Lev Rourke
Photos by Kim Spir
Gresham’s Sam Crouser, who recently broke the national high school record, finished 3rd in the U.S. Juniors championships javelin competition on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, thus missing a spot on the national team that will compete in the World Juniors later this summer in Canada.
Crouser, who threw 255-4 two weeks ago, finished 3rd at 228-3. He was passed in the final round of throwing by Derek Eager, a high school student from Maple Valley, Wash., near Tacoma. Eager threw a lifetime-best 230-5. (Photo courtesy of King 5, Seattle.) The winner of the competition was another Washingtonian, Joe Zimmerman, a freshman at UW, who also threw a PR, 238-4. Only the top two finishers in each event qualify for the national team.
Eager, a recent graduate of Tahoma H.S., is enrolling at UCLA in the fall. Crouser has signed with Oregon.
In the women’s discus, also held on Friday afternoon, on the Drake University campus, Alyssa Hasslen, from McMinnville, threw 166-3 on her final throw to get 2nd place and make the U.S. team. Hasslen is a freshman at the University of Arizona.
Laura Roesler, an Oregon recruit from North Dakota, made the Juniors team in the 800, finishing 2nd to Ajee Wilson, a high school sophomore from Neptune, N.J. Wilson won 2:05.75-2:05.80. Becca Friday, the Oregon freshman, was 5th at 2:09.53.
In the men’s 800, Robby Andrews, the Virginia freshman who upset Oregon’s Andrew Wheating in the indoor NCAA meet, was upset here, by a fellow freshman, Cas Loxsom of Penn State, 1:47.45-1:47.75. Both made the U.S. team.
In morning preliminary competition, Julia Fonk of Franklin H.S. qualified for the women’s 1,500 final, as did the Oregon freshman Jordan Hasay. Fonk got the final qualifying spot, edging out a fellow Portlander, Paige Rice, 4:40.03-4:41.43. Hasay, who already finished 2nd in the 3,000 at these championships, qualified comfortably.
In the men’s 1,500 prelims, Nathan Mathabane, a Portland resident attending Princeton University, failed to advance, as did high school senior Cole Watson. Mathabane finished well back in Heat I, in 4:05. Watson was 4th in 3:59.01, just missing the final auto position.
Arthur Delaney, of Barlow H.S., did not advance in the Junior men’s 200, running 22.07 with a 3.0 headwind in Heat III. Andrea Hopkins of Lake Oswego and Duke University finished 8th in the girls’ javelin, throwing 145-7. In that competition, Christina Kirkwood of Othello, Wash., was bumped from the team in the final round when Allison Updike, of Tamaqua, Pa., threw a lifetime best of 167-1 to bump Kirkwood to 3rd place.
In the Junior men’s hammer, Matt Lloyd of Vancouver finished 9th, throwing the 6k implement 193-7. Conor McCullough, a Princeton freshman (pictured left) won the event with an American Junior record, 256-10.
Late Thursday, Portlanders swept the three distance runs that were contested – Trevor Dunbar of the University of Portland won the Junior men’s 5,000, Amy Yoder Begley the women’s 10,000 and Galen Rupp the men’s 10.
Earlier on Thursday, the Oregon TC advanced four runners to the men’s 800 semifinals – the defending champion, Nick Symmonds, along with Tyler Mulder, Mark Wieczorek and Matt Scherer – where they will be joined by the Oregon freshman Elijah Greer.
Taylor Schmidt of Concordia wound up 5th in the Juniors decathlon, scoring 6,844. In the senior women’s 100 preliminaries, Oregon’s Amber Purvis was a no-show, while her teammate, Mandy White, failed to advance, running 11.79.