Hefferon Wins 5000 At USA Junior Nationals

June 25, 2005

LOS ANGELES – University of Kansas freshman Paul Hefferon took first place in the junior division of the men’s 5000 meter run Friday night at the 2005 USA Junior Track & Field Championships in a time of 14:15.18. The Overland Park, Kan., native topped the field by over two seconds as second-place finisher Daniel Nunn of Georgetown crossed the line in 14:17.67. Diego Mercado, unattached, finest third in 14:25.89.

“I didn’t even plan to do juniors. They told me I was young enough to run Junior Nationals, and I thought, ‘Cool, free trip to California!’. This was a PR by 5 seconds, and I knew I could do it because the 14:20 was a tactical 5k. Tonight, Diego Mercado set up a great pace. He made the race for us. On the last lap, I could feel and hear everyone stomping behind me, and I knew it was time to go.”

Elsewhere on the track, KU freshman Julius Jiles took fifth place in the junior division of the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 52.29. Reuben McCoy of Auburn won the race in a time of 50.69, while unattached Greg Offerman was second in a clip of 51.33.

Senior Jeremy Mims continued to fare well in the 800 meter run by posting a time of 1:48.95 in the semifinals. Mim’s took second place in his semifinal heat. Khadevis Robinson of Nike ran the fastest semifinal time of 1:47.53. Mims will look to finish among the top three in the finals on Sunday to make the USA National Team which will compete in Helskinki, Finland on August 6-14.

Also competing this weekend are Sheldon Battle (shot put), Brooklyn Hann (triple jump), Crystal Manning (triple jump), Amy Linnen (pole vault), Lisa Morrisey (1500 meter) and former Jayhawk and Olympian Charlie Gruber (1500 meter). Live results of the USA Track & Field Championships can be found at www.usatf.org.