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Ballengee Ends Up 3rd in USATF Jr. Decathlon
Liberty freshman Markus Ballengee's strong second day moved him up to third place in the final decathlon standings, Friday at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium.
Ballengee finished with a score of 6,779 points, leaving him just one spot away from qualifying for the 2017 Pan American Junior Championships. Texas freshman George Patrick (7,547) and Germantown Academy (Pa.) junior Kyle Garland (7,035) placed first and second, respectively, earning the right to represent Team USA at the meet in Peru next month.
Ballengee entered Friday's competition in fifth place before climbing up the leaderboard on another steamy day in Sacramento.
The Commonwealth native recorded the day's third-fastest 110 hurdles time (15.02) despite battling a strong (2.1 m/s) headwind. He then placed fifth among the decathletes with a 120-7 heave in the discus.
Ballengee pole vaulted 14-1.25, equaling his best-ever clearance within a decathlon. Only one competitor was able to go higher in the event, enabling Ballengee to move into third place overall with two events remaining.
A personal-best 159-2 mark in the javelin pulled Ballengee to within 191 points of second-place Garland.
With the thermometer reading exactly 100 degrees at race time, Ballengee gutted out a 4:57.65 for the 1,500. However, he was not able to make up the necessary ground on Garland and ended up third in the final decathlon standings.
Ballengee will be the first alternate for the Pan American Junior Championships should either Patrick or Garland be unable to compete. The meet is scheduled for July 21-23 in Trujillo, Peru.