MEDELLIN, Colombia – Texas A&M’s Jennifer Madu raced to a silver medal finish in the final of the 100 meters during Friday’s first day action at the 17th Pan American Junior Championships.
Running a wind-aided time of 11.37 seconds (2.8 wind), Madu claimed second place amid cool temperatures behind a winning time of 11.32 by a Cuban sprinter. Under any conditions, the time by Madu was her fifth-fastest time during her freshman campaign with the Aggies.
“I was very focused and I executed my drive phase very well,” noted Madu. “My last 15-20 meters was just not there tonight. It's been a long year and that has made it tough to maintain fitness.”
After finishing second at the U.S. Junior Championships in June, running 11.67 into a -4.4 head wind, Madu bettered the U.S. Junior champion, Morolake Akinosun, who placed fourth in the Pan Am Junior finals with an 11.47.
“I was trying to fight it at the end, and I didn't feel the other girl at my side, all I could see was Morolake (Akinosun),” said Madu. “This is a lot younger team than ones I have been on, and I am looking forward to the 4x100."
In the semifinals, held Friday morning, Madu won her heat in 11.65 (-1.8 wind) to earn an automatic position in the final.
"It was really hard to stay warm with the long delay,” Madu said of the morning semifinal. “I had to stay mentally tough. I didn't hold my finish as long as I wanted to, but I felt fine. My race was just not as patterned as I wanted it to be."
In her initial season with the Aggies, Madu set a personal best of 11.31 to place fifth at the NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors, and also had a wind-aided 11.18 during the NCAA semifinal.