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Craddock catches Hayward vibe.

Byline: Jeff Smith The Register-Guard

Unlike many out-of-state athletes in town this week, Kevin Craddock is no stranger to Hayward Field.

For as long as he can remember, Craddock has competed in the area's annual Track City International Classic in the summer. And his eyes are always glued to the television for the Prefontaine Classic, watching elite athletes thrive off the knowledgeable fans who embrace them.

Sunday was Craddock's turn to shine bright, and he fed off the crowd to set a meet record in the Young Men's (age 17-18) 110-meter hurdles on the final day of the USA National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.

"There's always somebody running good on this track," Craddock said. "Every time you step out there, it just gives you a big push to go at it. I go off on the adrenalin that they give me."

Craddock, a Union City, Calif., native competing for the Alex Van Dyke Track Club, clocked 13.57 seconds to undo the meet-record time of 13.63 set in 1998.

The win capped an unforgettable year for Craddock. His string of success began when he won the 110 hurdles at the California state high school championships in a meet-record 13.39, then added a win in the 300 hurdles.

Next was a victory in the 110 hurdles in the Junior Nationals meet, and he took third in the World Junior Championships in Italy, a moment he labeled the highlight of his summer.

"That was my main goal, going to Italy and getting a medal," Craddock said. "It was like none other that I've been to. It was big."

But so is the Junior Olympics, an event he began participating in as an 8-year-old in the Bantam Boys (10-and-under) age division.

"This is probably the biggest JO meet I've ever been at," Craddock said. "I've never seen this many people around."

Craddock will be a senior at James Logan High School this fall, and isn't sure yet which college he'll sign a letter of intent with come November.

Talia Stewart, a James Logan graduate headed to USC, also closed out her season with a win in the Young Women's 100 hurdles at 14.00.

Stewart wasn't all smiles afterward, though, as she had hoped to approach the meet record of 13.39.

"I'm not happy at all," Stewart said. "My race just didn't come together. I was jumping too high over the hurdles."

In the Young Men's 400 hurdles, Kai Kelly of Hyper Speed took first in 52.00.

Jake Hansen, who had the top seed time, didn't compete after injuring his hamstring in the preliminaries of the 110 hurdles.

Kishelle Paul of Quicksilver won the Young Women's 400 hurdles in 1:02.34 despite never having run longer than the 300 hurdles before this week.


Kevin Craddock (5967) set a meet record while winning the Young Men's 110-meter hurdles.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 2, 2004
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Next Article:Like father, like daughter.

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