Stanley Kerr won the 100 meters in 10.10 seconds to surpass a five-year meet record held by Carl Lewis, and Eric Metcalf of Arlington won the long jump today to highlight the U.S. Junior Track and Field Championships at Towson State's Minnegan Stadium.
With their first-place finishes, Metcalf and Kerr qualify for the inaugural International Amateur Athletic Federation World Junior Track and Field Championships July 16-20 in Athens. The top two finishers in each event of this weekend's meet -- which concludes Sunday -- also qualify for the Pan American Track and Field Championships in Orlando, Fla., July 4-6 and the U.S.-Romania junior dual meet in Bucharest July 12-13.
Kerr, an upcoming sophomore at Texas A&M, first surpassed Lewis' 1980 record of 10.21 with a 10.18 in the semifinals. Derrick Florence of Ball, Tex., finished second to Kerr in the final as he set the national high school record with a 10.13, breaking the mark of 10.16 set by Houston McTear in 1976.
"I feel real confident with myself," said Kerr. "I came out and thought the track was going to be hard. But it was real fast."
Asked about Lewis' record, Kerr said, "I think I'm at a point of time where I can run with them."
Going into the final round of the long jump, Scott Sanders of Muncie, Ind., led with a wind-aided jump of 26 feet 5 1/2 inches. But Metcalf, a graduate of O'Connell High School who recently finished his freshman year at the University of Texas, promptly erased that lead in the first of his three final jumps. After a powerful sprint, he pulled his feet high and landed with a wind-aided 26-9. He walked out of the pit nodding his head in approval.
"I figured if I got in the finals, I would have a good shot," said Metcalf, who was the NCAA champion this spring. "I knew if I would prepare well between the semifinals and finals , with the adrenalin flowing, I would do all right."
In other events, Cathron Birge, a 1986 graduate of Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Va., who plans to attend the University of Virginia, finished fourth in her 400-meter semifinal heat and qualified for Sunday's final with a time of 56.85. Birge said she has trained but not raced in five weeks, recovering from mononucleosis. Tasha Downing of Dorchester, Mass., had the best time of 54.44.
Birge's schoolmate at Lake Braddock, junior Dana Boone, didn't fare as well in the women's long jump final, fouling on all three attempts. Carlette Guidry of Houston won with a jump of 21 feet 2 3/4 inches.
"I didn't run down like I was supposed to," said Boone. "I would overstride or chop my steps. Usually I can get one jump in."
In other field events, Tim McMichael of the University of Oklahoma won the pole vault in 17-3. Karen DiDonato of Keystone, Pa., an upcoming freshman at Virginia, went 5-8 3/4 to win the high jump.
A number of area athletes qualified for Sunday's finals. Kellie Roberts of District Heights had the best heat time (59.67) in the 400-meter hurdles semifinals; Bart Bailey of Forestville, Md., qualified for the 110-meter hurdles final with a 14.69, and Georgetown University's Robert Leonardo finished in 1:52.30 to gain the 800-meter final.
LaShawn Haythe of Gaithersburg (200 meters), Adae Lemone of Silver Spring (200 meters) and Erin Keogh of McLean (3,000 meters) also will compete Sunday.