TAMPERE, Finland — The next-to-last day of the IAAF U20 World championships on Saturday was a productive one for track and field athletes with Louisiana ties.
The big day was topped by former Lafayette High star and LSU signee Mondo Duplantis, who easily won gold in the pole vault with a championships-record clearance of 19 feet, 1 inch.
Also, former Parkview Baptist standout Tzuriel Pedigo earned the silver medal in the javelin and LSU sophomore-to-be JuVaughn Blake claimed the bronze medal in the high jump at Ratina Stadium.
Duplantis, who broke his own world record in winning the Class 5A state title with a leap of 19-5½ on May 5, needed just two jumps to win the gold medal Saturday.
Representing his mother's home country of Sweden, Duplantis cleared bars at 18-0½, 18-4½ and 19-1 before missing three times at 6.01 meters, or 19-8½.
TAMPERE, Finland — Make it a double for the LSU track and field program.
The 18-year-old Duplantis, who won a Diamond League event on the pro circuit in Stockholm on June 10 with a jump of 19-2¾, has five of the top 12 performances on the world list this year — regardless of age.
The USA's Zachery Bradford was the silver medalist on Saturday at 18-2½.
Pedigo, who won javelin titles at the Texas Relays and Penn Relays this spring, took the silver medal Saturday with a personal-record throw of 242 feet.
Australia's Nash Lewis won the gold with a PR of 247-1.
Pedigo's 242-0 topped his old PR of 239-4 by nearly three feet and ranks as the 12th all-time performance on the U.S. junior list maintained by Track & Field News.
Blake, a Huntsville, Alabama native, capped a solid first season at LSU when he established a PR with a clearance of 7-3¾ in winning the bronze medal in the high jump.
Competing in his mother’s home country, LSU track and field signee Armand Duplantis won the pole vault Sunday in a Diamond League meet in Stoc…
He actually tied for third when he and South Africa's Breyton Poole both missed once at the winning height.
Mexico's Roberto Vilches and Greece's Antonios Merlus, who also cleared 7-3¾, tied for the gold medal because they did not miss at that height. Unlike high school and college, there is no jump-off at the worlds.
Blake is now tied for third on LSU's all-time list in the high jump with Larey Weaver at 7-3¾. Only Tom Lange (7-5¾) and J.J. Barton (7-4½) have jumped higher in program history.
Duplantis' win Saturday marked the third day in a row a current LSU athlete or signee claimed a gold medal at the U20 championships.
Sophomore-to-be Damion Thomas, who went to high school in Sunrise, Florida, but represents Jamaica, won the 110-meter hurdles Thursday and England's Jake Norris, another LSU athlete preparing for his second year with Dennis Shaver's program, won the hammer Friday.
The last LSU current athlete or signee to win an individual gold medal at the IAAF world juniors was Walter Henning, who took the hammer title in 2008 shortly after signing with the Tigers as a transfer from North Carolina.