Sunday, July 6, 2008

World Juniors 110 Hurdles Preview

Booker Nunley of Garner High in North Carolina was the National Junior champion in 13.40 despite have to run as an unattached athlete when a mix-up of the number of units he was taking resulted in his ineligibility. Running over the 42 inch international height hurdles, where he had a personal best of 13.91 might have helped him work on his technique. Last year his personal best over the high school 39 inch hurdles was 13.88.

Joining Nunley on the U.S. team is Oscar Spurlock of Southern California, who just edged Ronald Brookins of Sacramento St., 13.801 to 13.807. Spurlock set a personal best of 14.01 over the 42-inch hurdles in finishing fourth in the USC-UCLA dual meet and later placed sixth in the Pacific 10 at 14.04. Spurlock set a seasonal best of 13.72 over the 39-inch hurdles in the semifinals of the Junior championships. Last year as a high schooler he had a best of 13.72 and win the Texas State 5A title with a 13.73.

Nunley’s time ranks behind just Yohany Portilla of Cuba at 13.30 and Konstantin Shabanov of Russia at 13.32 on the yearly world Junior list. Portilla has just two FAT times this year but has seven hand times between 13.1 and 13.3, all in Havana. It is good to keep in mind that money is very valued commodity in Cuba and the federation only sends athletes to Youth and Junior championship the feel have an excellent chance of winning a medal.

Shabanov, whose best of 13.40, set a national junior record and came in the Russian Junior championships, has a genetic advantage. His father, Georgiy, who was a 13.71 hurdler in the 1980s. Aleksey Dryomin, was second to Shabanov in the their trials, with a personal bet of 13.50. Jamaican Kieron Stewart set a national record of 13.49 over the 39-inch hurdles in finishing second in the 2007 Carifta Games and then won this years Island Games in New York City with a wind-aided 13.39.

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