Brennan 7th, Knight 8th; Preisner, Abdul-Rashid and Ayers advance to finals

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July 26,2014(ISN) – Eugene, Oregon, USA – Christian Brennan of Hamilton, Ont., finished seventh in the women’s 400-metres final in a time of 54.15 on day four of the World Junior Championships. In the men’s 5000-metres final, Justyn Knight of Vaughan, Ont., placed eighth in a personal best of 14:08.93. Knight put in an impressive performance going with the leaders for most of the race, crossing the finish line as the top non-African.

Ben Preisner of Milton, Ont., Mariam Abdul-Rashid of Oshawa, Ont., and Katelyn Ayers of Orillia, Ont., also qualified for finals, and the day saw five more personal bests by Canadian athletes.

Preisner ran a personal best of 8:53.14 to qualify for the men’s 3000-metres steeplechase final. Abdul-Rashid ran a personal best of 57.89 to advance to the final of the women’s 400-metre hurdles and Ayers ran a personal best of 4:18.87 to advance to the women’s 1500-metres final.

Marek Adamowicz of St-Bruno, Que., placed 22nd in the men’s 10-kilometres race walk with a time of 43:25.84.

Other Canadian highlights included Agnes Esser of Victoria, B.C., placing 12th in the women’s discus throw final and Nicole Setterington of London, Ont., and Tia Thevenin of Ajax, Ont., advancing to the 100-metre hurdles semi-finals. Thevenin earned her place in the semi-finals with a personal best performance.

Day 4 overview (Friday July 25)

Marek Adamowicz, St-Bruno, QC
22nd in 10km race walk final, 43:25.84 Personal Best

Marek Adamowicz “My strategy was to take it slow at the beginning, and speed up as the race went along. My race was nicely paced, I’m happy with how it went. I could have shaved a few more seconds at the end. Overall great race, good time.”

Nicole Setterington, London, ON
3rd in heat 4 of the 100mH, 13.64 +1.5
Advances to semi-finals

Nicole Setterington “We had a nice tailwind, I was in lane 8, my coach and I talked about focusing on my own race. Execute, qualify and advance. I’m happy, the time isn’t great but it got me through.”

Tia Thevenin, Ajax, ON
3rd in heat 5 of the 100mH, 13.63 +1.7 Personal Best
Advances to semi-finals

Tia Thevenin “I kept banging with the girl in lane 8 (opposite lead legs and arms), I’m glad the race is over, I don’t remember a thing. Happy to be on to the next round, fix some things and aim for the final.”

Ben Preisner, Milton, ON
9th in heat 1 of 3000m steeplechase, 8:53.14 Personal Best
Advances to final on time

Ben Preisner “It went how I wanted, maybe a little faster than I wanted, but it was reasonable, tried to hold on as long as possible. I was a little worried the first couple of laps, it was nice to be able to move up and pass some people. It’s racing.”

Brandon Allen, Amherstburg, ON
6th in heat 2 of 3000m steeplechase, 8:59.84
Does not advance to final

Brandon Allen “I knew I had to go out hard based on times from the first heat, with four laps to go I knew it was take it now or I’m not going to make it. Made my move, unfortunately lost the last qualifier spot with 40m to go. I gave it my all.”

Alexandra Lucki, Toronto, ON
14th in heat 1 of 1500m, 4:36.90
Does not advance to final
Alexandra Lucki “Clearly wasn’t a good time, did my best on the day. I haven’t been able to do much this week, I have been sick.”

Katelyn Ayers, Orillia, ON
7th in heat 2 of 1500m, 4:18.87 Personal Best
Advances to final

Katelyn Ayers “After having already ran three races here this week I thought I would just go out there and go for it, go for a PB. Put it all out there, I was not expecting to make this final, I’m in!”

Robert Heppenstall, Hamilton, ON
5th in heat 2 of 800m, 1:51.66
Does not advance to semis

Robert Heppenstall “With 250m to go I wanted to make a move but I got boxed in, it went out like I expected. Picked up with 300m to go. My mistake was going out a little early, I was a little jittery. That comes with experience, I’ll learn from it.”

Elijah Silva, Toronto, ON
5th in heat 3 of 800m, 1:51.26
Does not advance to semis

Elijah Silva “The plan was to get through 600m comfortable, it was too bunched up to make my move. I was out in lane 3 and they just had me. Hopefully I get through and can show what I can do, what kind of shape I’m in.”

Women’s 4x100m relay
Leya Buchanan, Mississauga, ON > Sade McCreath, Pickering, ON > Natasha Brown, Edmonton, AB > Raquel Tjernagel, New Westminster, BC
Did not finish, heat 2, did not complete second baton exchange
Do not advance to final

Men’s 4x100m relay
Stevens Dorcelus, Montreal, QC > Andre Azonwanna, Toronto, ON > Bolade Ajomale, Richmond Hill, ON > Deion Barker, Mississauga, ON
Disqualified in heat 2 for an exchange outside the exchange zone
Do not advance to final

Ashley Taylor, Burlington, ON
6th in semi-final 1 of 400mH, 1:00.12
Does not advance to final

Ashley Taylor “A little bit of a tight hamstring, it’s been a long season. The experience was awesome, the crowd is wild, it’s surreal.”

Mariam Abdul-Rashid, Oshawa, ON
3rd in semi-final 2 of 400mH, 57.89 Personal Best
Advances to final

Mariam Abdul-Rashid “It was hard, but I got into the final, that’s all I wanted. I attacked the first hurdle hard and stayed relaxed, finished stronger than in the heats. I still made a mistake, which is good, means I can get better.”

Agnes Esser, Victoria, BC
12th in discus throw FINAL, 49.05m

Christian Brennan, Hamilton, ON
7th in 400m FINAL, 54.15

Christian Brennan “I was hoping to be on the podium, but I am happy to finish on a high note. The World Youth Championships were a lot of nerves for me, here I felt excited to represent Canada and Oregon in front of such a great crowd.”

Justyn Knight, Vaughan, ON
8th in 5000m FINAL, 14:08.93 Personal Best

Justyn Knight “It’s a PB but I can’t be satisfied until I bring my team to the top, the first 2-3K with the leaders felt good, I noticed they were doing these little surges, so as soon as I caught on to that I took it really easy on the easy parts. They really picked it up after that. My plan was to go with the guys in the 14 minute range, but if I felt good to go with the Africans, so I did that.

Day 5 preview (Saturday July 26)

5:35pm – 100m hurdle semis
Nicole Setterington, London, ON
Tia Thevenin, Ajax, ON

6:05pm – 4x400m relay (Women)

6:35pm – 4x400m relay (Men)

7:10pm – 400m hurdles FINAL
Mariam Abdul-Rashid, Oshawa, ON

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