Millville native Bryanna Craig fell an agonizing 14 points short of making the U.S. National team for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships but recorded the 11th-highest heptathlon score in U.S. high school track history.
Competing in the USATF Under-20 Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Craig scored 5,388 points and placed 3rd at the USATF Under-20 Championships Thursday and Friday.
She finished 13 points behind JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, a freshman at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Wash., who broke Craig’s U.S. freshman record earlier this year and improved it this weekend to 5,401 points. That’s No. 10 in U.S. high school history.
USATF has a rule that doesn’t allow athletes to attend World Under 20 Championships if they’re 15 or under, but according to her bio on the IAAF web site Gero-Holt is 16.
NCAA Division 2 All-America Blakelee Winn, who recently finished her freshman year at Pittsburg (Kans.) State University, won the event with 5,473 points in her final year of Under-20 eligibility.
Winn and Gero-Holt will represent the U.S. at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, in August.
Craig doesn’t turn 19 until Feb. 12, so she has another year of eligibility in the Under-20 Championships.
Craig’s previous heptathlon PR was 5,117 points last year in Myrtle Beach, S.C., although she also had a 5,138 with incomplete wind information, which makes the performance wind-aided and not eligible for list purposes.
Going into the final event Friday, the 800 meters, Gero-Holt held a 192-point lead over Craig (4,749-4,557). But Craig ran a personal-best 2:19.42 and finished five seconds ahead of the field and nearly 14 seconds ahead of Gero-Holt, making up all but 13 points of the deficit.
Craig, a two-time national high school champion, set personal bests in the 800 (2:19.42), 200 (25.11), shot put (34-7) and javelin (118-0) as well as the heptathlon overall. That’s five PRs in a weekend, and no matter what anybody else did, that’s an incredible weekend.
She also ran 14.55 in the high hurdles, high jumped 5-7 ¾ and long jumped 18-6 ¼ in the two-day, seven-event challenge.
Craig, who recently graduated from Ruston (La.) High School, will be a freshman this fall at Louisiana Tech, where her father – former Millville legend Raffael Craig – is a coach. Craig’s former Millville teammate, long jumper and hurdler Leah Ellis, will also be at Louisiana Tech.