July 16, 2012
BARCELONA, Spain - Notre Dame track and field standout Kaila Barber earned a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships this past weekend in Barcelona, Spain.
The Middleburg Heights, Ohio native finished fourth in heat two of the prelims (1:00.02), first in heat two of the semis (57.29) and third in the finals (57.63) to earn her bronze medal.
For Barber to take home a medal might have seemed out of reach after falling on the seventh hurdle in the prelims. However, the BIG EAST outdoor champion in the 4x100m relay picked herself up and sprinted to the finish to secure one of the last qualifying spots.
"I don't know what happened, but I fell," Barber said after the prelims. "I've never fallen before, but I don't like losing, so I got up and gave it my all to the finish."
Performing on such a big stage was a little bit nerve racking for Barber at the beginning of the meet, but her friends helped her remain focused.
"I was really nervous last night," said Barber after her prelims race. "This morning I woke up and got a text message from my friends saying that everyone else is nervous too - that they are on the same page as us. That helped me get through this round."
Barber was the first American to cross the finish line in all three races she ran in.
Two other Irish performers had strong meets, as Jake Kildoo and Dani Aragon were also the first Americans to cross the finish line in their respective heats.
Kildoo took 11th in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31:09.94, while Aragon finished third in heat six in the prelims of the 800m run (2:07.84) and then took fifth in heat three in the semifinals (2:04.19).
Barber's medal helped the U.S. win the overall medals total. The U.S. racked up 20 medals, including nine golds, to top second place Kenya by seven medals. The U.S. also had the most bronze medals with seven, and tied for the most silvers with four.
Men's 10,000m Run (Out Of 32 Runners)
11. Jake Kildoo - 31:09.94 (First U.S. Runner To Finish)
Women's 800m Run
Heat Six - Prelims (Out Of 7 Runners)
3. Danielle Aragon - 2:07.84 (Qualified For Semis) (First U.S. Runner To Finish) - Photo Finish
Heat Three - Semis (Out Of 8 Runners)
5. Danielle Aragon - 2:04.19 (First U.S. Runner To Finish) - Photo Finish