Selmon will now try to establish himself on the international level.
The Pace rising senior track standout, the defending Class A boys’ private school champion in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles, was selected to the U.S. team for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine today through Sunday.
It will be the first international competition for Selmon, who looks forward to the challenge of competing against the world’s best among high-school-aged athletes.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Selmon said. “For all the spring breaks and vacations that I’ve missed because of training. It’s worth it now. It’s a good testament to all the hard work that I’ve put in.”
Selmon earned his spot with a second-place finish in the 400 hurdles with a time of 50.90 seconds at the USATF World Youth trials in Edwardsville, Ill. June 25 and 26.
Selmon’s runner-up placing didn’t automatically qualify him, however. He was among the athletes chosen for the American squad by USA Track and Field days after the trials, based on his performance and potential to win a medal.
“You never can be sure, but I knew I had the time to be chosen,” Selmon said.
Selmon’s journey to the World Youth meet began June 30, when he traveled to Chicago for a three-day training camp for the U.S. team. He and his American teammates arrived in Ukraine last Wednesday.
Selmon competes in the men’s 400 hurdles first-round heats today, with the semifinal round scheduled for Thursday and the finals set for Saturday.
“I feel I’m definitely in the best shape that I’ve been in this entire track season,” Selmon said.
It has been a successful summer on the track for Selmon, who won the 400 hurdles (52.30) at the Golden South Invitational in Orlando, Fla. May 18 and was the winner in the Emerging Elite men’s 110 hurdles (a personal-best 14.18) at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. June 14 through 16.
“Those were definitely pretty big meets,” Selmon said. “I planned not to be in many meets this summer, so I could focus on the World Youth meet. Usually, I would be in a lot of track meets, but we limited it down to three or four this year.”
As he looks forward to the World Youth meet, Selmon said winning a medal is in his sights.
“I feel like I have a good shot at winning a medal and I think I even have a shot at winning,” Selmon said.
Pace track coach Jolie Cunningham said she is excited to see Selmon earn his chance to compete on the international stage.
“This has been a long time coming,” Cunningham said. “Kenny puts in an incredible amount of training time and it is paying off for him. This is an amazing opportunity for him on and off the track. He is a talented athlete and has so much potential. It is so much fun watching all of his hard work pay off for him in such an exciting way.”