Baird, Wilson Advance
Kadecia Baird — the speedy senior-to-be at Medgar Evers High in the City — has qualified for the semifinals in both the 100- and 400-meter dashes at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Representing Guyana, Baird ran 11.72 in the first round of the 100, got a night's sleep and ran 53.29 in the morning's 400m heats to finish second behind Jamaican Chrisann Gordon (52.99). U.S. entrants also moved forward in both events with Dezerea Bryant (11.56) and Jennifer Madu (11.64) in the 100 and Illinois freshman and NCAA Champion Ashley Spencer (52.58) and Erika Rucker (53.32) each winning a heat in the one lap. Spencer entered with the best seed time and posted the fastest time of the first round.
Those of local interest joining Baird at Worlds included Aisling Cuffe, now of Stanford, and Lindsey Crevoiserat, now of UConn. Those two were sixth and ninth, respectively, in the 3,000-meter run final on Tuesday night. Cuffe finished in 9:19.95, about two seconds ahead of her old rival. Mercy Chebwogen of Kenya was the winner in 9:08.88.
Ajee Wilson of New Jersey has advanced to the final of the 800-meter run, posting a career-best 2:02.43 in the semifinals. That final will be hotly contested as the eight finalists ran within 0.88 seconds of one another in the semis. The top two times came from Brits Emily Dudgeon (2:02.32) and Jessica Judd (2:02.30).
Cornell rising sophomore Stephen Mozia, a native of Plainfield, N.J., advanced to the final in the shot put with a top heave of 19.81 meters (65-0). He was second in his flight behind New Zealand legend-in-the-making Jacko Gill, who tossed the 13.2-pound ball 21.50 meters (70-6 1/2) in his only attempt.
Philadelphian Eric Futch advanced to the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles on Wednesday morning, winning his heat in 51.82. Texas A&M freshman Gregory Coleman had the fastest time of the first round, the only hurdler under 51 seconds (50.95).
The U.S. also showed dominance in the first round of the men's 400-meter dash as Arman Hall (46.13) and Aldrich Bailey (46.40) each won their heat with ease.