Jared Kerr becomes the first Hawk to qualify for the World Junior Championships

April 14, 2014

BALTIMORE, Md. and FAIRFAX, Va. — With a time of 52.69 seconds in the 400 meter hurdles at the George Mason Spring Invitational, University of Maryland Eastern Shore freshman Jared Kerr (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) qualified for the World Junior Championships this coming July in Eugene, Oregon. Running in heat two, Kerr earned a third place finish, beating his previous season high by nearly a full second. Kerr’s accomplishment was just the key highlight in a series of top marks and times for the Hawks track teams this past weekend in two separate meets.

At the Don Webster Invitational hosted by Coppin State on Friday, the Hawks came away with several wins, including Kerr, who in this meet earned the top place in the long jump with a height of 7.44 meters. Fellow freshmen Khalil Rmidi Kinnini (Malaga, Spain) won the 1500 meter race with a time of 3:57.59, a personal best for him in the outdoor season, and Taj Showalter (Anchorage, Ak.) qualified for the 110 meter hurdles final, finishing fourth with a time of 14.97 seconds. The relay team of seniors Rico Taylor (Silver Spring, Md.), Javon Spencer (Montego Bay, Jamaica), Ramone Waite (Kingston, Jamaica) and Aaron Chatmon (Waldorf, Md.) earned a top place in the 4x100 relay with a time of 40.28 seconds. Finally, junior Dillon Simon (Pottersville, Dominica) won his third shot put event during the outdoor season, with a throw of 17.67 meters.



On the women’s side, a team of four reliable relay runners, sophomores Shantol Hemley (St. Catherine’s, Jamaica) and Jheniel Kelly (Edgewood, Md.), junior Annis Mars (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior Gayon Evans (Clarendon, Jamaica) won the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 4:05.28, just beating a second team of Hawk runners. Additionally, senior Shawnata Young (Temple Hills, Md.) won the women’s shot put event with a toss of 12.78 meters, earning UMES a shot put sweep for both genders.

Facing a greater challenge at George Mason on Saturday, many Hawks came away with many top ten finishes. Evans continued her strong season with a second place finish in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.87 seconds. Young carried her strong performance from Friday into Saturday, with a 12.52 meter, sixth place shot put finish and a 36.46 meter, ninth place finish in the discus throw.

For the men, Waite qualified for the 100 meter dash finals, ultimately finishing sixth with a time of 10.71 seconds. He followed that with a fourth place finish in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.33 seconds, while his fellow seniors Chatmon and Spencer finished seventh and tenth, respectively, in the same race at 21.61and 21.70 seconds. Chatmon followed the 200 meter dash finish with a fourth place finish in the 400 meter run with a time of 47.71 seconds.

Along with Kerr, freshman Orwell Maylor (St. Catherine’s, Jamaica) finished in the top ten in the 400 meter hurdles, ending in ninth with a time of 54.03 seconds. Rmidi Kinnini finished seventh in the 3000 meter steeplechase at 9:33.46.

Three Hawks earned top ten finishes in the field events. Taylor earned a fifth place finish with a height of 2.04 meters in the high jump, and junior Devin Wynn (Baltimore, Md.) finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 14.44 meters. Fresh off his win in the shot put at Coppin State, Simon finished third in the discus at 49.99 meters.

There was no team scoring for the meet at Coppin State, but at George Mason, the women finished 16th with fourteen total points, while the men finished sixth with a total of 59 points.

Kerr’s performance in the 400m hurdles earns him the chance to run in the World Junior Championships which will take place on July 22nd in Oregon. But for now, he and the rest of the Hawks track team will now travel back to Baltimore for an Easter weekend meet at Morgan State University this coming Friday and Saturday. 

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