Talley Becomes National Junior Champion In 200m Dash
Talley became the first athlete in school history to take home gold at the Junior USA Championships with his first-place finish in the 200-meter dash Saturday afternoon at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
Watch Talley Win the 200m Dash
EUGENE, Oregon (6/27/09) All season long North Texas freshman sprinter Keyth Talley opened eyes with his record-breaking speed and personal achievements throughout his first collegiate season. Now the Tuscaloosa, Alabama native can add a National Junior Championship to his resume.
Talley became the first athlete in school history to take home gold at the Junior USA Championships with his first-place finish in the 200-meter dash Saturday afternoon at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. His time of 20.86 easily beat out second-place finisher Keith Ricks of Virginia Tech (21.18). Talley also had the best time in the prelims (20.85).
"My gameplan coming in was just to catch whoever was in front of me," Talley said. "When I hit that corner I just relaxed and everything else came easy.This is a great feeling and it will be the first time for me to leave the country. I'm excited about representing the USA."
Talley joins former North Texas long jumper Dionte Campbell as the only athletes in school history to make the Pan American team. Campbell did so in 1999 when she advanced in the triple jump.
“Keyth came to North Texas as not the most heralded recruit and he had only run the 400m dash in high school,” North Texas track & field head coach Rick Watkins said. “For him to compete like he has all season and to get better all the way till now shows how much hard work Coach Dabbs and he have put in. I’m so proud of him. It’s a great accomplishment for him and great for our program.”
Talley advances to the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletic Championships, which will be held at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad July 31-August 2. He will compete in the 200-meter dash and will almost surely be a part of at least one of the relay teams.
Dabbs, who is a former track star at North Texas and now an assistant coach, feels like Talley has earned everything coming his way. "Keyth has worked his tail off and I look at it like it's his just due," Dabbs said. "This was his chance to shine by himself with no pressure and he came through."
Freshman Sara Dietz also represented North Texas Saturday by finishing 17th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.15. The reigning 2008 Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year will take valuable experience heading into next season.
For more information regarding the Junior USA Championships click here.