Track & Field Pair Medals at Pan American Juniors

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Track & Field Pair Medals at Pan American Juniors

MIRAMAR, Fla. – There’s no question that Team USA dominated the competition last weekend at the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships held at the Ansin Sports Complex, and two Lady Tigers added to the team’s haul by winning bronze medals during the three-day competition.

While representing the United States in their first international competition, freshman Karen Henning and Class of 2011 recruit Samantha Levin each took home a bronze medal in their debut.

After wrapping up the 2011 collegiate season with a personal record of 184 feet, 5 inches and a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships, Henning captured the Pan Am Juniors bronze medal in the women’s hammer throw after throwing a series-best 177-9 on her sixth and final throw of the event. She was a third place behind only USA’s Shelby Ashe (194-5) and Jamaica’s Adaira Levy (183-0).

A St. Louis native, Levin has emerged as one of the nation’s top prep 800-meter runners during her senior season at Ladue Horton Watkins High School as she is currently the nation’s No. 2-ranked performer with the Class of 2011 as she boasts a personal record of 2 minutes, 6.74 seconds in the two-lap race.

Levin broke 2:08 for the third time in 2011 as she won the Pan Am Junior bronze medal in 2:07.68 to take third place behind USA’s Kenyetta Iyevbele (2:06.27) and Canada’s Annie LeBlanc (2:06.35).

Their performance comes just one month after Henning won the silver and Levin took home the bronze at the 2011 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships held June 23-26 in Eugene, Ore.

The United States wrapped up the 16th Pan American Junior Championships last Sunday with a total of 26 gold medals, 21 silver medals and 12 bronze medals for the second-highest medal haul in meet history at 59 medals in three days of competition. In fact, the United States won more gold medals than total medals by all other nation’s combined. Canada finished a distant second with 14 total medals for the event.