COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Lashawn Merritt gave himself a great present for his birthday with two national titles at the USATF Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships held June 25-27 in College Station, Texas. Merritt took the 400 meter crown in 46.99 and then the next day came back to win the 200 meter dash also with a time of 20.99. Merritt currently has the World's #1 fastest junior time in the 400 meter dash at 45.38.
Quote from USATF.org: LaShawn Merritt, (17, Norfolk, Virginia, Woodrow Wilson H.S., East Carolina Signee) Men's 400m Dash Winner:"It is a big accomplishment because you have a lot of college freshmen competing against you and people from all over the U.S. You really get to see where you are. Last weekend I won the High School Nationals, so I was coming here knowing I was competing against some of the best in the country. I have never been out of the country so that is something that I am really looking forward to. It was big winning the 200 and the 400.Today is my birthday, and I wanted to do something for myself for my birthday. Yesterday I won the 400 and today I wanted to win the 200. I went out and did what I had to do and won."
Merritt was not the only athlete with Virginia high school affiliation to walk away with a win or World Junior Olympics berth...
Fauquier junior Sarah Bowman earned a trip to worlds with a second place finish in the 1500 meter run with her 4:23.36 clocking.
Current Wake Forest University star and 2003 graduate of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Selinka Sekulic won the 3000 meter steeplechase with a stellar time of 10:34.72.
The men's 1000 meter run saw a 1-2 finish from former Virginia high school preps in Georgetown University sophomore Fleet Hower (Marion HS) and William & Mary freshmen Keith Bechtol (Thomas Jefferson S&T HS) with times of 31:21.13 and 31:24.33 respectively as both earned tickets to Worlds.
Yvette Lewis, a 2003 graduate from Menchville High School in Newport News, finished third in the triple jump with a remarkable leap of 43-0.50 and will be competing for Team USA as event winner Brittany Daniels has opted not to compete at Worlds.
The World Junior Championships will be held July 12-18 in Grosseto, Italy.