EUGENE, Ore. – Florida State sprinters Cejhae Greene and Kendal Williams were nothing short of sensational in 100-meter dash preliminary round action on the opening day of the IAAF World Junior Championships at Historic Hayward Field.
With lifetime best performances, Williams and Greene posted the second and third-fastest times from a field of 52 on Tuesday, easily advancing to Wednesday’s semifinal round action.
“What an absolutely fantastic start for our guys,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “Coach [Ken] Harnden has them ready to run their best. I look forward to seeing what they’ll do tomorrow in the semifinals and finals.”
Greene, who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman this past spring, left no doubt that he would be moving on. Beating the field from the starting blocks out of lane 7 in the first of seven heats, the Antigua & Barbuda native ran away to victory in 10.27, easily eclipsing his previous personal best (10.32).
“It was pretty good,” said Greene. “We’ve been working on being patient and not rushing through my phases for quite some time. … I was really worrying about executing my race and not focusing on the competition.”
Of the six Seminoles competing in the World Juniors, Greene is the most experienced internationally, having represented his country on three previous occasions.
“I am more comfortable because I’ve been doing it so much, internationally and this year collegiately, because it’s against some of the best competition in the world,” said Greene, whose first heat winning time stood as the third-fastest at the end of the day.
Unlike Greene, Williams was making his first foray into international competition, representing the United States.
“It feels amazing to be out here representing the United States of America,” Williams said. “After a few years of trying, I finally made it.”
The incoming freshman from Jacksonville, Fla. performed like a veteran, smoothly cruising to victory out of lane 4 in heat 5.
“I went back and worked on some stuff after the 100 at the Trials,” said Williams, who was the silver medalist on the same track at the U.S. Junior Nationals just two weeks ago. “I was working on staying patient….The start was pretty good and I think the race overall was pretty good.”
Williams was quite happy with his lifetime legal best of 10.23, which was second-fastest overall to US teammate Trayvon Bromell’s 10.13.
“It felt smooth and I was able to slow down at the end,” Williams said. “I know I’ve got a lot more left.”
Greene and Williams will move on to Wednesday’s semifinal round, set for 9:20 p.m. (ET), where the top two finishers in each of the three heats will advance to the final along with the next two fastest times. The final is set for 11:55 p.m. Wednesday.
Incoming freshman Jogaile Petrokaite closed out the first day of competition among Seminoles by advancing to the finals in the women’s long jump. After registering fouls on her first two attempts, the Lithuanian athlete nailed her final attempt, soaring 6.30 meters (20-8) – just .03 off her lifetime best - meeting the automatic standard for a trip to Wednesday’s final, which is set for 10:05 p.m. (ET). Petrokaite’s mark ranked third overall from a field of 34 and first in her flight.
Live streaming of the competition can be found at www.USATF.tv and 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.