Day 2 Wrap Up - 2009 Nationals
June 27, 2009 by Stephanie Lowe
Day 2 of the 2009 USA Track and Field Championships was full of surprises.
Can you run 10.78 and lose a race? Muna Lee did, by a fraction of a second. In the 100m finals, Carmelita Jeter beat her by a hair. The clock read 10.78 for both women, but Jeter’s was .001 faster. Lauryn Williams was right behind in 10.96. Jeter was ecstatic to defeat the defending champion and make her first world championship team.
“It’s a new year for me in 2009 and I’m really doing well,” Jeter said.
There was no Tyson Gay in the men’s race, but that did not take much away from the competition. Michael Rogers flew through in 9.91 with Darvis Patton and Manzavous Edwards.
“I came here with a lot of confidence. And when I get to Berlin, I think I can medal. I just have to train hard and stay humble,” Rogers said after his win.
Believe it or not, the most exciting race of the day was a distance race - the men’s 5000m.
“It was a hell of a race,” according to German Fernandez. Fernandez finished 5th and ran a new American Junior record, 13:25.56.
Anthony Famiglietti certainly made the race interesting. He bolted to the lead and did not let go, but Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky were close on his heels with Bolota Asmerom and Evan Jager. With one mile left, Asmerom moved to first and Famiglietti fell to the fifth position.
“Fam is notoriously a front-runner,” Tegenkamp explained, which helped him mentally through the race.
As the pack slipped away from Famiglietti, he made a bold sprint back to the front with 3 laps to go. However, he expelled too much energy with that move, Asmerom reacted in the last 800m, and Solinsky, Tegenkamp, Jager and Fernandez all went with him.
“I lost today, but the fans won,” Famiglietti said with a smile.
At 4800m, Tegenkamp, Solinsky and Jager took over and let the energy of the Oregon crowd carry them through the finish line for a 13:20.57 win for Tegenkamp.
All three men are members of the Oregon Track Club, but according to Tegenkamp, there is no team strategy for a championship race.
Another Oregon Track Club member, Kara Goucher, is one of the most versatile athletes in women’s track and field. This year she will run the world championship marathon, but the 5000m today despite her focus on the marathon.
“This has been the hardest season I’ve ever tried to put together,” Goucher described.
The endurance paid off as she hung on for a blistering final 3 laps with Jen Rhines. Goucher and Rhines cruised with the pack consisting of Erin Donahue, and gradually made their way to the front. Then with 3 laps to go, Rhines pushed to the lead and threw down a 69.4 lap. Goucher went with her as they left the field in the dust. Then Goucher unleashed her kick at the bell to finish in 15:20.94.
There are two more days of competition at the US Track & Field Championships, and more amazing races to come.
The much-anticipated Barringer vs. Willard match is Sunday, but today both women ran conservatively in their preliminary heats.
“Today I was going out and trying to be as easy as possible. I wanted to stay in my rhythm,” Willard said.
Geena Gall makes a smooth transition to the professional level so far, and says she believes she can make the world team. Not only did she run a fast time in her semifinal heat (2:01.99), but she showed that she can remain focused in a tactical race. Phoebe Wright tried to make a move on the home stretch, but Gall was able to hold her off.
Khadevis Robinson is in good form this year as he won the first heat of the 800m semifinals, followed by Ryan Brown and Christian Smith. Tevan Everett led most of the race, but could not stay there for long.
“We had a guy that took it out and made an honest race of it. That’s what we need, that’s what we want,” Robinson said.
Oregon favorite Nick Symmonds won heat 2 with a slightly faster time. Symmonds will duel Robinson on his home turf in the finals on Sunday. It will likely be a close finish between the two, but if the 5000m is any indication, OTC green is a lucky color.
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