Sunday, June 20, 1999

H A W A I I _ P R E P _ S P O R T S

Two Hawaii
athletes headed for
Pan Am Junior

Bryan Clay and Victoria Chang
win spots on the U.S. team

By Pat Bigold


Two Hawaii track athletes today earned the right to represent the United States at next month's Pan American Junior Championships.

Former Castle High athlete Bryan Clay, now an Azusa Pacific College freshman, won the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships decathlon at Denton, Texas to secure his Pan Am team berth.

Meanwhile, Punahou junior Victoria Chang ran a steady pace to finish second in the Junior National 3,000 meters final to earn her place on the U.S. team.

Only the top two finishers in each event at the USATF Junior Natioanls go to the multi-nation Pan Am event July 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.

The only other Hawaii athlete to win honors in the Junior Nationals was Joey Bunch, who won the 800-meter title in 1984 when the USATF was called The Athletics Congress (TAC). Bunch went on to win the Pan Am 800 championship.

He also won the 1983 U.S. Junior Olympics title at 800 meters.

Clay rallied from a 66-point deficit through the first five events on Saturday to win the decathlon with 7,312 points. He overcame Southern California's Marcell Almond, Saturday's leader, by 215 points.

Enroute to the win, Clay won the 100 meters in a meet record 10.58 seconds, the long jump and the discus with a throw of 133 feet, 8 inches.

In the 3,000, Chang suffered her only defeat in 1999.

She said she didn't anticipate the fast start by the field. The 5-foot-3 Chang finished 11.42 seconds behind winner Sara Gorton, a senior from Mountain Pointe, Arizona, who had about five inches height on her nearest rival.

Gorton, who was projected Friday by a Track and Field News editor as Chang's main obstacle to winning, had pushed the pace in both the mile and two-mile finals at the Foot Locker Outdoor Junior Nationals last week in Raleigh, N.C. Gorton finished a strong third in both.

Chang, who had the fastest prep times for the 3,000 coming into the meet, said she found herself having to move up quickly from fifth place when Gorton suddenly broke from the pack at about 1,600 meters.

"But she kept her calm and handled having a bunch of people running with her," said Duncan Macdonald, a Punahou coach who made the trip to Denton.

Chang won the 3,200 meters at the prestigous Golden West Invitational last week in Sacramento, Calif.

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