July 12, 2008
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – Three South Carolina freshman earned gold medals Saturday at the IAAF World Junior Championships as members of the U.S. men’s and women’s 4×100-meter relay teams. Gabrielle Glenn, Shayla Mahan and Antonio Sales each ran legs of the relay teams that ran the fastest times in the world this year by a men’s and women’s Junior team.
The gold medals are the first earned by Gamecocks at the World Junior Championships since Brandi Cross took home gold as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team in 2006.
“I’m proud of them,” South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye said. “We have three gold medals coming back to South Carolina from the World Junior Games. Winning on the world stage will help us on the SEC level. We’re proud of Gabby, Shayla and Antonio for helping USA bring home the best times in the world this year.”
Mahan and Glenn ran the second and third legs in the 4×100-meter relay for America as they ran a 43.66 to win the event. Jamaica came in second at 43.98 and Brazil earned bronze at 44.61. Mahan and Glenn become the first Gamecocks to earn gold in the event since Shalonda Solomon won the event with Team USA in 2004. She also medaled in the event in 2002 by earning silver that season.
For the second consecutive day the Americans ran the fastest time in the World in the 4×100-meter relay as Sales ran the second leg to help the team earn gold. The team ran a 38.98, besting the 39.37 they took in the preliminary round. Jamaica came in second Saturday at 39.25 while Russia earned bronze at 39.70. Sales becomes the first Gamecock ever to medal in the event.
Freshman Porche Byrd continued Team USA’s success in the relays Saturday, running the anchor leg in the preliminary round of the 4×400-meter relay. Byrd, the anchor for South Carolina’s All-American relay team this season, helped the team run a 3:29.54 for the fastest time of the day. The time is also the fastest time run by a junior team this year as the team prepares for the final Sunday at 11:15 a.m. EST (5:15 p.m. local time).
Incoming freshman Booker Nunley won his heat and had the second-fastest time of the day in the 110-meter semifinal round, running a 13.55 to improve on his preliminary round mark by one-tenth of a second. Russian Konstantin Shabanov won the semifinal at 13.41. The final is scheduled for Sunday at 12:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. local time).
“We’re glad to see our signee is doing well, having the second best time in the hurdles,” Frye said. “It will be good to follow him tomorrow to see if he ends up challenging the Russian for first place. Shabanov came in with the number one time in the world this year and Booker came in with the number two time this year so it looks like it will be a hot race.”