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Shamier Little headlines Aggie trio in World Junior Championships

July 21, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

EUGENE – Texas A&M’s Shamier Little, the World Junior leader in the 400 hurdles, headlines a group of three Aggies who will compete in the 16th IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field this week. Competition begins Tuesday, July 22, and runs through Sunday, July 27.

In addition to Little, who won the NCAA and US Junior titles at 400 hurdles during her freshman season with the Aggies, there are also two incoming A&M freshmen competing in the World Junior meet. Shaina Burns of Minnesota will compete in the heptathlon for the United States and Ioánnis Kiriazis throws the javelin for Greece.

Coverage of the World Junior Championships, which includes 117 member federations and 1,758 athletes, will be available on Universal Sports and universalsports.com. There will also be coverage of the meet available through USATF.tv for the early sessions starting at noon (CT) during the first four days of the meet. Live results from the World Juniors are available online through iaaf.org.

This will be Little’s third competition at Hayward Field this summer after making her debut at the venue during the NCAA Championships in June. She returned to claim the US Junior title in early July.

With a career best time of 55.07 seconds, which won the NCAA title and set the Aggie school record, Little is the top 400 hurdle entry amid a field of 40 athletes from 28 countries. The next fastest entry is 56.79. The 55.07 by Little ranks No. 2 on the US all-time junior list and is No. 5 on the world all-time junior list.

Little has produced seven of the eight fastest performances this season among juniors and has run her three fastest times – 55.07, 55.43, 55.58 – on the Hayward Field track. She also currently ranks 13th in the world and sixth among Americans on the senior level.

This is the second time Little has represented the United States in the World Juniors. She competed in the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and advanced to the final of the 400 hurdles. As she challenged for a medal in the late stages of the race, Little clipped the final hurdle with her trail leg, fell to the track and was unable to finish.

“I’ve waited two years for this meet ever since I qualified last time,” Little noted after claiming her second US Junior title. “I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish at the very end of my season.”

Only two Americans have claimed a World Junior title in the women’s 400 hurdles, Lashinda Demus in 2002 and Takecia Jameson in 2008. There have been three silver medalists for USA, in 1986, 2006 and 2010, as well as a bronze medalist in 2012.

Little runs the opening round of the 400 hurdles on Thursday at 2:45 p.m. (CT), with the semifinal set for Friday at 9:05 p.m. (CT). The final of the 400 hurdles will be contested Saturday at 6:10 p.m. (CT).

Burns set a personal best score of 5,363 points in the heptathlon as runner-up during the US Junior meet to qualify for the World Junior Championships. She will compete in a field of 27 athletes from 19 countries, where the top score among entries is 6,231 points with two other scores over 6,000.

The heptathlon begins at noon (CT) on the first day of the meet with Burns competing in four of the seven events on Tuesday and then completes the three remaining events on Wednesday.

Kiriazis is one of the top five javelin throwers entered in the meet. The field includes 31 athletes from 27 countries. Kiriazis produced a career best mark of 241-8 (73.66) on July 6 to win the Balkan Junior Championships. The leading mark among the javelin entries is 247-3 (75.38).

IAAF World Junior Championships

Eugene, Oregon – Hayward Field

Tuesday, July 22

Noon       Heptathlon     100H                 Shaina Burns

1:05         Heptathlon     High Jump         Shaina Burns

8:05         Heptathlon     Shot Put            Shaina Burns

9:25         Heptathlon     200m                 Shaina Burns

Wednesday, July 23

1:40         Heptathlon     Long jump         Shaina Burns

3:20         Heptathlon     Javelin               Shaina Burns

9:10         Heptathlon     800m                 Shaina Burns

Thursday, July 24

2:45         W prelims      400 Hurdles       Shamier Little

Friday, July 25

2:45         M qualifying   Javelin               Ioánnis Kiriazis

9:05         W semifinal    400 Hurdles       Shamier Little

Saturday, July 26

6:10         W FINAL       400 Hurdles       Shamier Little

Sunday, July 27

5:25         M FINAL        Javelin               Ioánnis Kiriazis

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