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In his first international track and field competition, Minnesota sophomore Wally Ellenson captured gold on Sunday in the high jump at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Colombia.
The Rice Lake, Wis., All-American cleared 2.16 meters (7-1 ft.) on his first attempt of the day and never looked back as torrential downpours rained down on Alfonso Galvis Duque Stadium.
"It's surreal," Ellenson said. "(Winning a gold medal) was the goal throughout the whole competition, and I'm just thankful I was able to do it."
Ellenson contributed one of 16 gold medals for the U.S. team, which led all competing nations with a total of 39 medals at the 17th Pan American Junior Championships.
"They are two completely different sports, but I'm more confident in this one," said Ellenson, a freshman from Rice Lake, Wis.