Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, July 9, 1999

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

Clay, Chang ready
to run at Pan Am
track and field

The two Hawaii athletes are
among the top seeds in their events
and hope to be the isles' first
winner since 1984

By Pat Bigold


Former Castle High School star Bryan Clay is top-seeded going into today's start of the decathlon in the Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships in Tampa. Fla.

Clay, an Azusa Pacific College freshman who won the USA Track and Field Junior National title in Denton, Texas, on June 20, began competing in a seven-man field this morning at the University of South Florida.

On Sunday night, Punahou junior Victoria Chang enters the women's 3,000-meter final as the event's second seed in a field of nine.

Chang finished second in the USATF Junior National championship race to Sara Gorton, a senior from Mountain Pointe, Arizona.

The only Hawaii athlete to win at the Pan American Junior championships was Joey Bunch, who captured the 800 meters title (1:48.55) in 1984.

Clay won his USATF title with 7,312 points. He resumes the rivalry he began in Texas with USC freshman Marcell Almond, who is seeded second.

Almond scored 7,097 points at the USATF event and led Clay by 66 points after the first day of competition.

Jamaica's Maurice Smith, who qualified with 6,858 points, is seeded third, while Canada's Scott Nelson (6,631) is seeded fourth.

Today's events in the decathlon are the 100- and 400-meter sprints, the long jump, shot put and high jump.

The Pan Am Junior decathlon record is 7,913 points, scored by Cuba's Raul Duany in 1994.

The world junior mark is 8,397 points, set in 1982 by Torsten Voss of the German Democratic Republic.

Americans Tom Pappas (7,198) and Rashad Stafford (6,762) have won the last two Pan American Junior decathlons.

Clay's mother said he will return to Hawaii for the first time since his USATF triumph on Tuesday.

A week later, he will depart for San Diego to train at a U.S. Olympic Committee camp.

Chang, meanwhile, earned the second seed in the 3,000 by virtue of her season- best time of 9:38.03, set at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association trials in May.

Gorton stands ahead of her with her USATF winning time of 9:36.29.

Two Canadians, Tara Struyk (9:43.38) and Megan Metcalfe (9:45.00), are the only other runners with season bests under 10 minutes.

The meet record is 9:16.05, set by Canada's Lisa Harvey in 1989. The U.S. Junior record is 8:57.27, set by Ceci Hopp in 1982.

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