OSTRAVA, Czech Republic -
O'Brien (Cumberland, Maine), who is better established as a shot putter, was the 11th qualifier from the morning preliminary round, and she hit her best throw of the evening final on her first attempt. Her 44.48 meters/145-11 effort put her eighth after the first three attempts, and she retained that position. Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio) did not qualify for the final with her 43.46m/142-7 in the morning session.
"When you wear the USA uniform, you know you have a job to do," O'Brien said. "It was a little tough to throw in the morning and then come back in the evening and compete again, but it is great preparation for the future. I am excited about the shot put and want to win a medal here."
Team USA athletes forge ahead
Jordan Hasay (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) made the most of her first international experience, winning her heat of the 1,500 over Kenya's Sheila Kiprotich. Her trademark flowing waist-length blonde hair presented a vivid contrast to the Kenyan's economical style as Hasay led the pack through 800 in 2:25.76 and 1200 in 3:34.84. She held off Kiprotich over the final 300 with a 51.22 to finish at 4:26.06 and advance to the final.
Both Team USA runners advanced in the girls' 100, with Ashton Purvis (Oakland, Calif.) and Erica Alexander (Friendswood, Texas) moving on to the semifinal. Purvis battled a 1.2 mps headwind to clock 12.09 and take second in her section, while Alexander overcame two false starts and a call-up to run 11.75 and place second in the final heat. Purvis and Alexander tied for the fourth-fastest time in the prelims at 11.74.
In the girls' 400, Meshawn Graham (Toledo, Ohio) and Brianna Frazier (Jacksonville, Fla.) won their first-round heats to advance to the semifinal. Graham had the fifth-fastest time at 55.12, and Frazier was eighth-fastest at 55.46.
For more information on Team USA at the World Youth Championships, including links to full results, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2007/IAAFWorldYouthChampionships/