Bydgoszcz, Poland - Qualifying rounds in the 400 hurdles highlighted the morning session of the second day during the 12th IAAF World Junior Championships where the U.S. squad advanced. In addition, both American vaulters qualified for the women's pole vault final.
Jeshua Anderson, the 2008 NCAA 400 hurdle champion from Washington State, claimed the first heat in a comfortable 51.13.
Current world junior leader in the women's 400 hurdles,
Kori Carter, of Claremont, California, had a goal of breaking 60 seconds, but she placed seventh in her heat with a 61.20. Jamaica's Nikita Tracey was the top qualifier at 57.58.
Vault qualifying reached the level of 4.00m/13-1.5, but the finals field also included vaulters who cleared 3.90m/12-9.5. That meant both Rachel Laurent (Houma, Louisiana) and Leslie Brost (Watertown, South Dakota) advanced to Friday's final.
Laurent reached the 4.00m/13-1.5 mark on her second attempt and also needed a pair of attempts at the opening height of 3.65m/11-11.75. Brost was appreciative of making the final after clearing three heights on her first attempt, but missing on three tries at 4.00m/13-1.5.
Jeshua Anderson, 400 hurdles
"I'm just a little tired running this early today. I just wanted to come out and get into a steady pace and run a good race. It wasn't my best, but I did what I had to do.
"This was like running at Washington State, there was a lot of wind and the temperature was pretty cool. It was a lot more wind than I expected.
"I'm looking to having a good meet, but I haven't had much rest since football season after competing during indoor and outdoor track. This is a big step for me and I feel blessed to have avoided any injuries.
Kori Carter, 400 hurdles
"It's amazing and I feel really blessed to be here. There are so many great athletes and I'm just taking it all in. I'm really excited about traveling over here and experiencing something like this.
"I was hoping I could make the semifinals. My goal today was to break the 60-second barrier. I wanted to go out there and give it my heart and my all and see what I could do."
Takecia Jameson, 400 hurdles
"I stuttered on a couple of my steps and my first race is always like a warmup for me. I should do much better tomorrow. I had a good start and was steady through the first half of the race, but got off task at the 300 mark. I know I have to run my race tomorrow and not have as many alternate hurdle legs.
"I definitely want to the gold medal, but I know I need the competition in the semifinal and final to run a faster time."
Rachel Laurent, Pole Vault
"I was extremely nervous on the first jumps I took, so I was thankful to have made it through to the final. Once I got my nerves under control I jumped a little bit better. I can still improve a lot in the finals, but the main goal today was to qualify.
"This is unbelievable and it's nothing like high school. I've never been this nervous in competition before. It's a whole different experience, people are talking different languages all around me and I don't really understand what they are saying. It's a really good challenge, and I'm really enjoying it.
"Things went pretty smoothly on the heights I had to clear. I had a couple of misses I didn't want to have, but it was a good day."
Leslie Brost, Pole Vault
"It's a whole other world and kind of a new league for us to compete in. So it's been a really fun experience to kind of see how other countries do things and compete against other athletes while making new friends. It's a bit nerve-racking since it's a bigger stage that we've ever competed on, but at the same time it's a lot of fun.
"The qualifying round was a bit shaky for me and I snuck into the final. It gives me a whole lot of room for improvement for Friday's final. A qualifying round is good and bad. While it's nerve-racking to know you have to compete just to reach the final, it's also nice when you are able to sneak into the finals you know you have another day to jump better."
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