Knight captures U.S. Junior National Championship 200m title
INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas women's track and field signee Bianca Knight used her third trip to the U.S. Junior National Championships to her advantage.
The 2007 Ridgeland (Miss.) High School graduate won the 200-meter dash in a career-best 22.93 on Friday, June 22, at the 2007 Finish Line U.S. Junior Track and Field Championships. The four-day American junior meet showcases the top Americans under the age of 20 and is being held at the Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium on the campus of Indiana University.
In winning her first junior championship title, the 2005-06 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year and three-time Mississippi Gatorade winner beat three-time All-American and Texas A&M freshman Porsha Lucas, and 2007 U.S. Junior National 100 Champion and Tennessee freshman Lynne Lane for her first junior title. With the win, Knight, the Mississippi state record holder in the 100 and 200, earned a spot on the U.S. junior national team headed to the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"During the race I started to feel my quad pulling," said Knight in a statement by the USATF. "Every time I would start accelerating, my quad started pulling. But I wasn't going to give up on the race because of my leg. The race could have actually been faster, but I wanted to stay healthy for Brazil. I'm satisfied with the win and my time, but it should have been much faster than that."
Knight, who ran 23.35 in the preliminary race earlier in the day, boasts a standout record in this race as she has advance to the finals in 2005 and 2006.
In 2006, the 23-time Mississippi High School Athletics Association State Champion was the U.S. Junior Champion runner-up with a personal best 22.94 time (0.9 wind reading) that equaled the then-meet record mark five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones set in 1992. Fellow youth sprinter Gabby Mayo won the 2006 race in a new meet record of 22.88.
As a sophomore in 2005, Knight placed seventh in the 200 finals.
The Longhorns have had sprinting success at the junior national championships the past two seasons. Current UT sprinter Alexandria Anderson, who will race in the 100 senior semifinal later on today, won the 2006 U.S. Junior 100 Championship.
Held in conjunction with the AT&T U.S. Senior Outdoor Track and Field Championships, action from the senior meet will be broadcast live on NBC on Saturday, June 23 from 1-2 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 four two hours starting at noon. ESPN2 will broadcast one hour of tape-delayed coverage on Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 23 at 6 p.m. All times are Central.