Three former North Carolina high school stars have qualified to represent Team USA in Doha, Qatar at the World Championships this September.
Keni Harrison (Clayton '11) was the first to make a team in the 100m Hurdles. The current World Record Holder advanced easily into the finals after running 12.54 (-0.9) in the Semi-Finals. Harrison was the fastest prelim qualifier Saturday afternoon.
She'd bounce back for the finals later that day to run 12.44 winning the finals over now Team USA teammate's Nia Ali and Brianna McNeal.
This was Harrison's third straight US 100m Hurdle National Title.
Craig Engels (Reagan '12) won the 1500m last night in exciting fashion. Engels won his prelim heat, where top 3 advanced to the finals, on Friday in 3:43.22
Engels would take on the final as one of the pre-race favorites to make the US Team and potentially win.
The pace would go out slow, 2:09 through the 800m. Engels' race plan was to kick the final 200m, but had to make an audible and take over just 700m into the race with the slow pace.
Engels would get out front and would not let anyone past him holding strong on the rail. Despite a few challenges, Engels held on for the win in 3:44.93. 2016 Olympic Champion Matthew Centrowitz would take 2nd in 3:44.97. Engels closed his final 400m in 51.92.
Rodney Rowe (Clayton '15) earned a spot on Team USA by finishing as the third fastest runner in the finals with the World Standard in the 200m Dash.
Rowe ran 20.12 (0.4) at the MEAC Championships on his home North Carolina A&T track to earn the World Standard. He placed 7th in the finals yesterday clocking 20.75 (-0.7), but only winner Noah Lyles and runner-up Christian Coleman had the World Standard ahead of him.
To make Team USA you must have the World Qualifying Standard and also be top three amongst athletes with the World Qualifying Standard.
Rowe only ran for a year and a half at Clayton starting in the outdoor season of his junior year back in 2014. He was never a North Carolina State Champion, but six years later he is heading to the World Championships!
Clayton High School will send two athletes to the World Championships in Doha this fall. Certainly impressive to have two athletes from the same town and high school make the world team in a given year, much less ever.