DES MOINES - Amy Begley and Erica McLain each set stadium records Thursday at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The championships will run through Sunday.
The USA Outdoor Championships are the third stop of the 2010 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, which concludes July 3 with the Nike Prefontaine Classic from historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Begley wins second national 10,000m title
2008 Olympian Amy Begley won her second consecutive U.S. 10,000m women’s title this evening over former Iowa State University standout and 2008 NCAA champion Lisa Koll in a highly competitive race.
The sixth-place finisher at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, Begley broke away from Koll in with one lap remaining before crossing the finish line first in 32:06.45, which shattered the previous Drake Stadium record of 32:44.95 set by Koll in 2008. Koll finished as the runner-up in 32:11.72, with Desiree Davila third in 32:22.32 and Blake Russell fourth in 32:46.73.
McLain sets stadium record on second best jump
2008 Olympian Erica McLain won her second USA Outdoor title and set a Drake Stadium record in dominating the women’s triple jump competition.
McLain ended the suspense in the first round with what would be the winning leap of 14.18 meters/46 feet 6.25 inches, which would have given her the stadium record. However, McLain soared to the pit with a 2.1 meters per second wind at her back, which is slightly over the allowable for record purposes. On her final attempt she sailed to 14.15m/46-5.25 (+0.4 mps), which bettered the previous stadium record of 13.79m/45-3 set by Shani Marks in 2003.
McLain has been knocking on the door of her second U.S. Outdoor title since her first triumph in 2005. She finished second at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, and placed third in 2007 and 2008.
Two-time Olympic Trials runner-up and 2009 national outdoor champion Shakeema Welsch was the runner-up and first competitor to break the stadium record this evening with a best of 14.07m/46-2. Former University of Oklahoma standout Toni Smith finished third for the second year in a row with her third round leap of 13.69m/44-11.
Rupp wins again in men’s 10,000m
Former University of Oregon great Galen Rupp won his second consecutive U.S. national men’s 10,000m title in a spirited battle with 2007 Pan Am Games 1,500m gold medalist Ed Moran.
Moran, who finished fourth in the 10,000m at the 2008 Olympic Trials and fifth last year at Nationals, held a slight lead over Rupp over the final three miles until Rupp turned on the afterburners with 600 meters to go before crossing the finish line first in 28:59.29 in adding to an expanding resume that includes an eighth-place finish at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in Berlin. Rupp posted the fourth-fastest time in the world this year with his 27:10.74 clocking in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 1.
Moran finished as the runner-up in 29:03.07, with Patrick Smyth third in 29:18.13 and Ryan Sheehan fourth in 29:18.55.
Speed to burn in 100m qualifying
2007 World Outdoor Championships 200m finalist LaShaunte’a Moore won the third heat of women’s 100m qualifying in 11.26 seconds, which was the fastest time of the day. Three-time World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix won Heat 2 in 11.32, and 2009 NCAA 100m champion and USA Outdoor Champs fourth-place finisher Alexandria Anderson won Heat 1 in 11.29.
In men’s 100m qualifying, three-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion and 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Travis Padgett had the fastest time of the three qualifying heats when he captured Heat 1 in 10.23 seconds. 2008 Olympic Games 100m and 200m bronze medalist Walter Dix won Heat 3 in 10.27, and Leroy Dixon, who has finished sixth in this event the last three years, won Heat 2, also in 10.27.
Dunn does it in 400m qualifying
2009 USA Outdoor Champs runner-up and World Outdoor Championships sixth-place finisher Debbie Dunn led the women’s 400m qualifiers in winning Heat 1 in 51.74. Last year’s fourth place finisher Natasha Hastings came up with the second-fastest time of the day from her win in Heat 3 in 51.91, and reigning World Outdoor champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who has been ranked #1 in the world at 400m over the last five years, won Heat 2 in the identical time posted by Hastings.
Jamaal Torrance, who ended last season ranked #9 in the U.S. by Track & Field News, posted the fastest time in men’s 400m qualifying of 45.49 in winning Heat 4. Other first round winners included 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Jeremy Wariner (Heat 3 - 45.80), LeJerald Betters (Heat 2 - 45.68) and Steven Willey (Heat 1 - 46.35)
Johnson, Williams lead 800m qualifiers
The fastest qualifier in the first round of the women’s 800m was 2007 USA Outdoor and NCAA champion Alysia Johnson, who won Heat 2 in 2:02.19, with the University of Tennessee’s Phoebe Wright winning the first heat in the second-fastest time of the day of 2:02.33. Wright won the NCAA Outdoor crown earlier this month in Eugene, and finished third at last year’s USA Outdoor Championships.
Two-time USA Junior champion Karjuan Williams led the men’s 800m qualifiers with his win in Heat 2 in 1:47.02. 2009 USA Outdoor Championships eighth-place finisher Tyler Mulder won the first heat in the second-fastest time of the day of 1:47.18, with two-time defending champion Nick Symmonds winning Heat 3 in the third-fastest time of 1:47.91.
Donohue, Pierce post fastest times in women’s 1,500m
2008 Olympian and 2009 USA Outdoor Champs fourth-place finisher Erin Donohue was the fastest of 18 competitors in women’s 1,500m qualifying. Donohue won the second of two heats in 4:11.72, with 2009 World Outdoor Championships 1,500m sixth-place finisher Anna Pierce finishing as the runner-up in that heat in 4:11.82, which was the second-fastest time of the day.
2009 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist and reigning national champion Shannon Rowbury won Heat 1 in 4:11.87, with 2008 Olympic Games 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan finishing as runner-up in 4:11.94.
Jackson leads the way in men’s 400m hurdles
2005 World Outdoor champion Bershawn “Batman” Jackson is the unquestioned favorite in the men’s 400m hurdles and his performance in the opening round confirmed his status as the man to beat.
The bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 World Outdoor Championships, Jackson won the third of three heats in 49.58 as he begins the quest to win his third consecutive USA Outdoor title. 2009 NCAA champion Jeshua Anderson won Heat 2 in 49.61, and last year’s USA runner-up and 2010 NCAA champion Johnny Dutch was the victor in Heat 1 in 49.64.
Franek in first in women’s steeple
A competitive first heat of women’s steeplechase qualifying was won by Penn State University’s 2010 NCAA champion Bridget Franek, who finished third at last year’s USA Championships and crossed the finish line first today in 9:58.91. 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Nicole Bush was the runner-up in 10:00.69
2006 national steeple champion Lisa Aguilera won Heat 2 in 10:02.75, with former Stanford standout Lindsay Allen, who finished seventh at last year’s championships, placing second in 10:03.81.
USA Outdoor Championships network television coverage begins Friday night!
The 2010 USA Outdoor Championships will be televised on the following dates (All times Eastern):
June 25 - 8:00 - 10 p.m. on ESPN
June 26 - 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
June 26 - 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. on NBC
June 27 - 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
June 27 - 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. on NBC
Saturday, February 27, 2010 (Albuquerque, N.M) — Quotes courtesy USA Track & Field.
Anna Pierce, women’s 800 meter heat winner
“I wanted a bank, I didn’t even have to do anything so that was pretty nice. I feel good. I think all the altitude training is paying off. I spent most of my time training in Mammoth, I feel like I can deal with the altitude and not get too bogged down.”
Nick Symmonds, men’s 800 meter heat winner
“We all wanted to work together a little bit. I was supposed to take over the lead with 150 to go but it was too fast. I just found a way to work with him. I said last night I don’t anyone is going to run under 1:48 on this track and I think we might have just done that.”
Erica McLain, women’s triple jump winner
“I was cramping on my first jump a little bit. I felt it and knew I had to push through. My first jump ended up being 1cm over what I needed, I watched everyone’s mark and tried to stay as together as I could and it all worked out. I didn’t have much in me afterwards. In the finals I jumped on my first one and cramped, passed on the second and cramped again. I feel pretty good about how the day went. I like the runway, my training is going really well. I haven’t had a US championship title since 2005 outdoor championships and that was my freshman year of college and actually then I was just 1 cm over the standard I needed. I wanted this so bad.”
Allyson Felix, women’s 400 meter heat winner
“I felt a little sluggish, so we will just have to see how it goes. (On feeling the altitude) I felt something. Because of the altitude I’m definitely a little sluggish out there. (On the finals) I think I am going to be in the slower heat. We’ll see I’m not feeling too great going into it, but lets see if my legs can get it together.”
Kerron Clement, men’s 400 meter heat winner
“It went well today. The altitude was a little bit of a factor. It was my first time running at this altitude. The track is a fast track, but it was good.”
Jesse Williams, men’s high jump winner
“It got off to a shaky start with a couple of the lower heights and I was in fourth place when the bar changed to 7′7″. I knew I had to at least make that height to get on the team. I went ahead and made 7′8″. A couple of other guys made it and I knew if I didn’t make 7′8″ I still may have not made the team because I had a couple other early misses. I knew I had to make 7′8″, I made it on the first attempt and I feel really good about it. It was a great competition. I think it was the best competition ever for the USA championships. It was an honor to be a part of and especially to win. I am excited and I really feel that I can get a medal. The Russians have won a lot of things for a long time. Hopefully we can take it to the Russians. I’ve been training very hard. I had an injury (strained tendon on my jumping foot, just below the ankle) and this is only my second meet of the year. I hope I didn’t re-hurt my foot, it’s kind of tender right now and it isn’t feeling too goo d.”
Tim Seaman, men’s 5000 meter race-walk winner
“Today went different. Out of all the 12 championships this is definitely the most topsy turvy race I have ever done. With the altitude you can’t just push, you have push and then rest. Once I’ve taken the lead I have never let it up. This is the first time that I let the lead up. I was frustrated that I took it out so slow. I told myself ‘Ok, I’m going to take it,’ and I pushed too hard and I had to slow down. It felt like my lungs were burning and I spent three weeks at altitude so I can only imagine how these other guys how bad they felt. This is my 43rd win overall, so it moves me into No. 2 all-time track and field national championship wins. This was my 12th win in indoor, which is the most by any athlete in any event in track and field history.”
Amber Campbell, women’s weight throw winner
“This hands down was one of the best series ever. It felt great, the crowd was amazing, the ball was just flying. It felt amazing. (how it felt to open with the her best throw) Fantastic. You can never complain about opening up with your best throw ever. I was trying to focus on the things we have been working on in practice. It was mechanical. I was trying to hit the things that I have been working on, it was very step one, step two, step three. I guess I should do it like that all the time. (on her homecoming) My god parents are here and my uncle, I haven’t seen them in years. It really is like coming home.”
Tim Mack, men’s pole vault winner
“It means a lot. I am still fired up. This is the highest I have jumped in indoors in six years. I felt really good coming into the meet. (competition with the other gold medaler) We are actually really good friends, we helped each other out a lot. But a lot of time during competition I have too much to worry about than to think about other people. I was competing against the event really.”
Chaunte Howard Lowe, women’s high jump winner
“This hit my outdoor personal record (PR) but indoor yes that is the closest I have ever come to it. I knew I was over it, I felt it. Maybe I got lazy at the end but I didn’t feel like I touched the bar or anything so when it came down it shocked me. But I was happy to be able to get that much height over it. This is the best I have ever jumped this early in the season. My indoor PR last year was 195, this is by far the best. It’s really exciting because I haven’t PRed since I had my daughter, and she is two and a half now. This is huge for me. When I saw the bar fall, I was excited because I got that high, but it felt like everything had slipped through my fingers. That would have been a good mark for the Visa Series.”
Bernard Lagat, men’s 3000 meter winner
“I didn’t know how I was going to feel with the altitude. I actually didn’t feel anything after about five laps. I just wanted to have fun. I was running on the inside. I wanted to be able to keep an eye on who was going to make a move. I just wanted to win and make the team. I wanted to maintain the lead. I wanted to make sure I was going to be number one. I wanted to win and make the team. That is what I came here for.”
Renee Metivier Baillie, Women’s 3000 meter winner
“Coach might be mad at me I was supposed to wait five laps and then take off. I could just tell that everyone was putting on the breaks and I thought screw it I’m going to go. I had a really good workout on Tuesday so I had the confidence to continue. In a race situation you don’t always know what to do so I just went with my gut. I never quite knew how far the gap was, I was just focused on myself. I had to stay in the moment each lap by lap. I know I have a good kick and as soon as I hit the last lap I knew I was going to give it a run. I didn’t know what was going to happen but you have to be confident in yourself whether you win or lose.”
A.G. Kruger, men’s weight throw winner
“I had a lot of fun this year. I trained to throw far. I knew I was capable so I just came out here and threw. The tenth best throw ever. It was great.”
Lawrence Willis, men’s triple jump winner
“The competition was great. Jumping against the regining champion, I knew I had to put up a good mark. It’s…I don’t even know what to say. After taking a year off, with all the support from my family and friends, this just feels great.”