Houston’s rising prep hurdler Amere Lattin has drawn comparisons to IAAF World Champion David Oliver and placed himself in Oliver’s company by clocking a personal-best 13.73, world No. 11, in the 110 meter high hurdles at the U.S. Youth Olympic Selection Trials at the Ansin Sports Complex on Saturday.
No U.S. Youth star shone brighter than Lattin, 16, who should have cemented his spot in the Youth Olympic Games in China this August by exploding out the blocks and then gliding over the hurdles, a/la Oliver, the current world leader (13.38), to shatter the meet record.
“To run 13.73 shocked me but I am up for surprises,” Lattin said. “I was like , let’s win it, let’s get to China. I came down here for a purpose. I came down here for business and not get sidetracked.”
Naming Lattin to the Youth Olympic Team for the Americas seems all but a formality for the NACAC-Consudatle Selection committee which will review nominations from the USATF following three qualifying meets.
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Still only a sophomore, Virginia’s Brandee' Johnson, showed the mental toughness of a savvy veteran, by bouncing back from a fall at the finish line of the 400 hurdles and finishing sixth to win the 200 meters in 23.76.
“Once I laid down in the 400 hurdles, I realized I had to push it in the back and perform in the 200,’’ Johnson said. “I’m working on doing something new, not just winning state titles. Something I can look back on.”
Miami Columbus sophomore star sprinter Amir Rasul clocked a personal best 10.47 (Florida No. 5) in the 100 meters prelims and returned to win the 100 Finals in 10.63.
Westminster Academy star Andrew James made his case for the Team of the Americas by winning the 400 meters in 48.25 and finishing third in the 200 (21.50). Noah Lyles (20.89), Rasul (21.12) and James led a 1-2-3 finish for the United States in the 200.
“The 400 for me is a real confidence booster, I don’t get nervous before that race.” James said. “Today I was focused more on getting a new PR [personal record] which didn’t happen and floating a bit harder on that back stretch which I did.”
Meanwhile, in the girls 400, Boyd Anderson’s Chyna-Joi Staton finished seventh and James’ Westminster teammate Denise Spann, finished eighth, respectively.
Plantation American Heritage’s Phoebe Gustely placed second in the girls' discus with a personal-best 146-6.
Myles Marshall, a reigning 800-meters state champion in Texas, cruised to the title at that distance in 1:51.32. It came a year after Marshall, a recruiting target of Cornell, Brown, Princeton, North Carolina and Stanford, finished fourth in a U.S. Olympic qualifier.
“My goal was just to come in and win, so mission accomplished,’’ Marshall said. “This means a lot. I tried last June and I was out of shape so it was real disappointing. I’m just looking to do the best I can in China.”
U.S. Youth Olympic Trials winners: Men’s results - 10,000 Race Walk: Noel Ali, Mexico, 42:54.47; Javelin: Jose Munguia, Mexico, 205-10; Long jump: Brian Sanchez, Mexico, 23-1.75; High jump: Robert Dunning, U.S., 6-4.75; Shot put: Alejandro Castillo 59-3.50; 1,500: Grant Fisher, U.S., 3:51.92; 100: 100: Amir Rasul, U.S., 10.63; 110 Hurdles: Amere Lattin, U.S., 13.73; Pole vault: Tristan Slater, Canada, 14-9; 400: Andrew James, United States, 48.25; 800: Myles Marshall, U.S., 1:51.53; Triple jump: Fredy Lemus Guerra, Guatemala, 45-3.50; 400 Hurdles: Rai Benjamin, U.S., 53.32; 3,200: Jeremiah Ort, Canada, 8:39.25; Discus: Tyler Merkley, U.S., 178-10; 2,000 Steeplechase: Nickolas Colyn, Canada, 6:10.74; 200: Noah Lyles, U.S., 20.89. Women’s results – 5,000 Race Walk: Valeria Ortuno, Mexico, 22:55.35; Shot put: Maria Orozco (Mexico) 56-6.75; Long jump: Magali Roche, Canada, 19-9; Pole vault: Andrea Velasco, El Salvador, 11-5.75; Javelin: Emma Fitzgerald, U.S., 168-2; 1,500: Malia Ellington, U.S., 4:36.56; 100: Cecilia Tamayo, Mexico, 11.49; 100 Hurdles: Alexandra Aitken, Canada,13.65; 400: Kyra Constantine, Canada, 54.43; 800: Mikaela Smith, U.S., 2:12.96; Discus: Haley Showalter, U.S., 153-5; Triple jump: Chinne Okoronkwo, U.S., 41-6.50; High jump: Ximena Esquivel, Mexico, 5-11.50; 400 Hurdles: Alexandra Aitken, Canada, 1:00.92; 3,000: Clairee Smith, Canada, 9:50.98; 2,000 Steepechase: Negron Alondra, Puerto Rico, 7:00.98; 200: Brandee’ Johnson, U.S., 23.76.