Before joining forces at the University of Florida this Fall, Arman Hall and Shayla Sanders will share the red, white and blue of the United States team at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Spain.
Hall, the reigning IAAF 400 meters champion, booked his return trip to the World championships by finishing second at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Sanders and her former Boyd Anderson High School teammate Kali Davis-White will make their U.S. debut running on the 400-meter relay team after finishing 3-4 in the 100 meters on Friday.
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“Being selected to the United States team is really big,’’ Sanders said. “We tried on our uniforms on Friday and I didn’t want to show my emotions but I was excited inside. When they showed me pictures of the uniform, I said, just give me what Sanya Richards has on. She is my role model.”
Sanders finished third in the 200 (23.47) on Sunday and will serve as an alternate in the 100 and 200. Davis-White finished sixth (23.71) in the 200.
The first showdown this season between Texas’ Aldrich Bailey, ranked No. 1 in the 400 (45.19) and No. 2 Hall (45.59), the catalyst behind St. Thomas Aquinas’ run to four of its record five consecutive big school state championships, finally materialized on Sunday at the University of Indiana Robert C. Haugh Track Complex with Bailey breaking the tape in 45.37 and Hall finishing second in 45.77.
Hall, who was also selected for the 1,600 meter relay team, will have another shot to unseat Bailey as the nation’s top junior 400-meter runner at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, which run July 10-15.
A year ago, Hall captured the IAAF title in Lile, France after lowering his then world-leading mark to 46.01.
Former Miami Jackson superstar Robin Reynolds, another highly touted Gators’ recruit, followed up her victory in the long jump (20-05.75) on Friday by finishing seventh in the 400 meters on Sunday. Reynolds, who won a state-record 14 individual state titles, finished in 53.87, well of her personal-best 52.19, which ranks No. 2 in the United States.