EUGENE – Texas A&M’s Shamier Little won her opening round heat of the 400 hurdles in 57.94 seconds during the IAAF World Junior Championships on Wednesday at Hayward Field to advance to Friday’s semifinal.
In winning her heat by over a full second, Little’s time was the second best of the preliminary round. It only trailed the 57.85 recorded by her United States teammate, Jade Miller of Harvard. The American pair became the only hurdlers to post times faster than 58 seconds amid the 36 entrants in the event.
“I’m excited to be going into the semifinals with one of the fastest times,” noted Little. “I’m feeling tired and I’m kind of wearing down a bit, but I hope I can get the adrenaline pumping in the next round. I need to improve on my alternate leg.”
The semifinal round of the 400 hurdles, contested Friday at 9:05 p.m. (CT), will include 24 hurdlers with eight moving onto Saturday’s final. The top two finishers in each race, plus the next two fastest times advance to the final. Coverage of the race will be on the NBC Universal Sports channel, which is also accessible at www.universalsports.com.
After running in the fifth heat of five in the opening round, Little will occupy lane four in the third heat of three for the semifinal race.
Also competing on Friday in the men’s javelin is Ioánnis Kiriazis of Greece, an incoming freshman at Texas A&M. Kiriazis will throw in group A among a field of 15 entrants while group B will have 16 throwers. The top 12 overall advance to the final while a mark of 236 feet, 3 inches (72.00) earns automatic qualification to Sunday’s final.
Texas A&M incoming freshman Shaina Burns (Lakeville South, Minnesota) scored 4,582 points in the heptathlon on Wednesday. She placed 21st among a field of 24 entrants after an infraction in the 200m on Tuesday eliminated 775 points from her tally.
Burns finished the first day of the heptathlon with a career best of 26.26 seconds in the 200 meters, where she ran in lane eight, to reach a day one total of 3,295 points that would have placed her 13th overall. However, a disqualification for running inside her lane nullified the points and dropped Burns to 23rd place heading into the second day of the multi-event.
“It was hard, when I first got the news I couldn’t stand up because I was crying so hard,” said Burns. “I got so many calls and texts from people back home and I had strangers coming up to me giving me hugs. I felt if I didn’t continue on the second day and keep fighting I would have been letting a lot of people down who were watching what I was doing.”
With the missing points, the total score for Burns would have been 5,357 to place her 16th. In addition it would have just missed her career best score of 5,363 she achieved as runner-up in the USATF Junior Championships to qualify for the World Juniors.