Feldman brothers 1-2 at USATF Junior Championships in Indiana

6/16/2018
 

The 2018 USATF Junior (U20) Outdoor Championships held in Bloomington, Ind. concluded on Sunday (17-Jun).  Fifteen athletes from New York competed during the three days of competition on the campus of Indiana University.  The event served as the selection meet for the IAAF World U20 Championships to be held in Tampere, Finland, July 10-15.  The top two finishers in each event qualified for Team USA (assuming they had met the IAAF entry standard).
 
It was Michael Feldman and his twin brother Stephen Feldman of Staten Island that headlined the New York performances.  The two entered the competition with the top two entry marks of the 12 competitors and both had previously met the IAAF entry standard.  This meant that if they could finish in the top two they would be named to Team USA for the upcoming U20 World Championships.  And that is exactly what they did.  Michael took the lead in round 1 with a throw of 65.23m with Stephen in second at 63.49m.  For the rest of the competition they would remain in the top top positions with Stephen briefly taking the lead from Michael in round two.  Michael's winning mark came in the final of the six rounds when he uncorked a throw of 68.03m (223-2).  Stephen's best mark of 65.99m (216-6) came in round four.  He fouled on his last two throws and waited in anticipation as the officials measured the last throw of third place finisher Brent Fairbanks of Ohio.  Fairbanks who had held the third position throughout the competition unleashed his best effort in round six where he threw 65.93m; just .06 (3 inches) shy of Feldman's second place mark.
 
In Michael's words
For me, this year’s USATF Junior Nationals was the most important competition of the past few seasons. I had the chance of making my first US team and competing at the IAAF World U20 Championships. Entering Junior Nationals, my coach and I had a simple plan, “execute four turns,” nothing more and nothing less. The weather was a bit harsh and it gave me trouble at times with my grip on the hammer, but I kept true to the plan and we were pleased with the end result, especially since my twin brother came in second and made the team with me. Overall my experience with the competition was positive, the anticipation leading up to the meet made me a bit anxious, but as soon as I entered the ring I knew I was in control. It looks like it won’t be too difficult to find a roommate.
 
In Stephen's words:
When I saw Brent throw his last throw, I got a little bit nervous and peeked from under my umbrella to see where it landed. When the screen said 65.93, I took a huge sigh of relief. I felt so much less pressure and tried to go for the win on the last throw. I ended up fouling a big one, but I am working more and more on staying in the circle when I try to slam far throws. The experience that I had at this year's USATF Junior Championships was great. The weather was very hot, but I was able to pull myself together and hit a big throw. I felt that there was more in the tank, but there is still a lot of work to do before World Championships.
 
Alexandra Harris (Stony Point, NY), a freshman at Villanova who had finished second the past two years in this championship, ran to a third place finish in the women's 3000m steeplechase.  She ran 10:37.38 in a race won by Kristlin Gear of North Carolina.  Alice Hill of Michigan finished second in 10:31.07.  The three athletes ran together for the first six laps of the seven lap race.  They hit the bell lap together but Harris was not able to match the closing speed of Gear and Hill.  Kathryn Nohilly (Goldens Bridge, NY), a freshman at George Washington University in the District of Columbia, finished ninth running 11:29.44.
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