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Sunday December 11th, 2016 4:50AM

Rucker storms through semifinals at Junior Worlds, headed to finals

By staff
  Contact Editor
BARCELONA, Spain -- Erika Rucker is seizing the moment.

One day after qualifying for the semifinals of the women's 400 meters at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, the former Flowery Branch High standout showed that her best may be yet to come on Thursday by running the fastest semifinal time of the day.

Rucker blistered the field with a time of 52.05 seconds -- a personal best over her previous record of 52.27 -- to qualify for Friday's 400 championship.

A rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina, Rucker cruised through her preliminary heat on Wednesday, winning the race in 53.32 to reach the semifinals.

Rucker is pitted against the fastest junior 400 runners in the world for Friday's championship, including fellow American Ashley Spencer -- who holds the fastest time of the year in the event at 50.95.

Check back Friday for an update from the championship race.
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