EUGENE, Ore. – On a night that one incoming Florida State freshman was presented his gold medal at the 15th IAAF World Junior Championships, another future Seminole star set the table for a medal of his own.
Trentavis Friday posted the fastest semifinal round time in the 200-meter dash Thursday, pulling away to victory in the third heat in 20.35; just .02 off his lifetime best. The mark was just a shade quicker than previous heat winners – Thomas Somers of Great Britain (20.37) and Anguilla’s Zharnel Hughes (20.38) – who are expected to be Friday’s strongest challengers in Friday night’s final at Historic Hayward Field.
“Trentavis was really impressive,” FSU track & field coach Bob Braman said. “That was a completely controlled effort and he nearly ran a lifetime best. It’ll be really exciting to see what he can do in the final.”
Friday spent the first two days of the six-day meet watching as teammate and FSU classmate Kendal Williams raced to victory in Wednesday night’s 100-meter final. Williams, who stunned heavily favored USA teammate Trayvon Bromell for the title, was presented his gold medal by IAAF president Lamine Diack Thursday night.
The medal ceremony came shortly after Williams came up short on his bid to join Friday in the 200-meter final, placing sixth in his heat in 21.10 out of lane 1. Fourteen athletes cracked the 21-second barrier in the semifinal round, with the eighth-place finals qualifier finishing in a blistering 20.71.
“Kendall ran well, but it’s nearly impossible to run at the level he did yesterday in two explosive 100-meter races and then have to come back for two more today (in the 200),” Braman said. “He will be a huge factor in the USA’s 4×1 relay.”
Friday and Williams took different paths to Thursday night’s semifinal round of the 200. Earlier in the day, Friday blitzed the field in heat 3, winning in a time of 20.60, which tied Somers for the fastest mark of the preliminary round. Williams placed third in the eighth of nine heats, closing in 21.16, which was the fastest mark among all third-place heat finishers.
In what has already been an outstanding meet for Williams, Friday’s schedule will likely provide him with another competitive opportunity as the USA 4×100 relay team toes the starting line in the second of three qualifying heats. That race is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. (ET).
Friday will chase his dream of Junior World Championship gold in the 200 final, set for 11:10 p.m. on Friday.
Florida State rising sophomore Nicole Setterington, representing Canada, will make her World Junior debut in the preliminary round of the 100-meter hurdles Friday at 1 p.m. (ET). She has drawn lane 8 in the fourth of five heats, with the top four finishers and next four fastest times advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round.
Live streaming of the competition can be found at www.USATF.tv and/or www.UniversalSports.com.
Live results will be posted at http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-junior-championships/iaaf-world-junior-championships-2014-4954/timetable/byday and you can also monitor the progress of the Seminoles throughout the meet via Twitter @FSU_Track.