Press Release by USA Track and Field
Indianpolis (April 22) - “We understand that Mr. Merritt’s case is still ongoing with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and USATF awaits USADA’s decision on the case. Any professional athlete in this sport knows that they are solely responsible for anything that goes into their bodies.
For Mr. Merritt to claim inadvertent use of a banned substance due to the ingestion of over-the-counter supplements brings shame to himself and his teammates. Thanks to his selfish actions, he has done damage to our efforts to fight the plague of performance-enhancing drugs in our sport.
“Mr. Merritt has been an integral part of Team USA and the sport in this country. He has now put his entire career under a cloud and in the process made himself the object of jokes. In this day and age, a professional athlete should know better. Personally, I am disgusted by this entire episode.”
Bernard Lagat (Tuscon, Ariz.), Men’s 1,500 meters bronze medalist
That was the hardest box ever. This is a box that was happening a little too close to the finish. Normally, when it happens, with 300 meters to go, you can make your way out of it. This one happened at the wrong place, with 150 meters to go. I couldn’t do anything.
Lopez Lomong (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 8th in Men’s 1,500 meters
It’s good, it’s hard and it’s nice. This was a good experience for me. It was fun here, running with the best of the best in the world. It was fantastic. I was right up there. I was caught up in a little situation. I got boxed in a little bit. I’m not going to beat myself up just because I lost today. I’m going to use this for my confidence and get ready to go. I hope for next time it will be a little bit different. I had a great time here in Berlin. I talked to Bernard. I congratulated him. He ran a fantastic race. He was able to bring home a bronze medal.
Leonel Manzano (Austin, Texas), 12th in Men’s 1,500 meters
These guys are the best in the world. I was glad to be in the mix. It was a great race for everybody. You work very hard. You can’t make any mistakes when you are competing at this level. The big goal was to make the world championship team. The next goal was to advance to the finals. Once in the finals, I was going to give it a good go. I tried to give a good go. I gave it my best. The first couple of laps, I tried to get in there. I gave it a good shot. It didn’t happen. I don’t think I’m disappointed. Finishing 12th in the world isn’t that bad. It was a great season and the season is still going on.
Ginnie Powell (Los Angeles, California), 6th in Women’s 100 meter hurdles
The race was very messy. I felt good, especially over the first four hurdles, and then I was trying to press so hard that I was clipping hurdles. I clipped one real bad and that threw me off.
It’s sad that two of America’s top hurdlers couldn’t medal, and especially under Bob Kersee. It’s the first time in a long time that he didn’t get a medal in a major meet.
Anyone on that starting line could have won that race. (One of the girls) was saying that if you make one little mechanical mistake, no matter how fit or strong you are, it’s over.
Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, California), 7th in Women’s 100 meter hurdles
I had a real good start. I hit hurdle 2, and there’s not really much you can do when you hit it. I hit it real hard and I almost fell. It’s hard to regroup when you’re chasing 12.51.
I feel like I let my coach down (Bob Kersee). Ginnie and I were both ready to go. We just didn’t execute our race.
You cannot count out anyone in that race. Everyone there was ready to go.
Casey Malone (Ft. Collins, Colorado), 5th in Men’s discus
This German crowd was really incredible. They were cheering for everybody, and especially for Robert (Harting) the loudest. These folks really know their discus out here.
I felt like my throws got better and better as the competition went on. It’s funny that I kept throwing better and better but I could never throw out of that fifth spot. Technically speaking, my throws got more relaxed towards the end. I wished I had more throws. Maybe I could have gotten fourth, but I wished I could’ve gotten that one big throw.
Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Oregon), Men’s decathlon
Coming into this meet, I knew that Trey (Hardee) and I were the fastest, so I wanted to set the tone early.
I felt good going into the long jump, and was excited about that PR. The shot was tough to manage. It’s going to be a while before I am competitive in that, so I have to manage it. The high jump is something I’m a bit inconsistent with.
The key to the decathlon is consistency. I just have to do my normal stuff.
Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), Men’s decathlon
I came out like a cannon in the first three events, Point wise, I have to be happy with where I’m at, and I’m looking forward to getting some rest.
I’m looking forward to an exciting second day. These guys are excellent competitors.
Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles), Men s 200 meters, semifinals
I was hoping that would be a sub-20 race. I have to change my race strategy. That strategy right there is for the birds. Trying to run hard from the blocks to the turn is not for me. I think the final is going to be fast. My goal is to run 19.51. I would be very happy with that.
Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Texas), Men s 200 meters, semifinals
It was pretty good. I’ve been trying to go out there and run a little bit harder in each round. But at the same time, I know Usain Bolt is an animal, and I am going to have the best race of my life to beat in the finals. I look forward to my chances and I look forward to tomorrow. I’m going to look for a PR tomorrow and try to get on that medal stand.
Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.), Men s 200 meters, semifinals
My goal was to go out there, run hard and make it to the finals. It’s an honor to be here to represent the USA. I take pride in that.
Allyson, Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), Women’s 200 meter, first round
I felt good. I wanted to come out and focus on the start and control the race from there. I want a personal best. I’d love to defend my title here in this stadium. That would definitely be special.
Muna Lee (College Station, Texas), Women’s 200 meter, first round
I ran more in control. I got some sleep. I’m just taking a day at a time. I want to be in control of my race. I don’t want to mess up.
Marshevet Hooker (Pflugerville, Texas), Women’s 200 meter, first round
I felt really good. I worked really hard. I didn’t know if I was going to see anybody. (Running in Lane It was the first time I have ever run in Lane 8. My main goal was not to see anybody. Now I know I can do it. It’s one more thing to add to the resume.
Charonda Williams (Richmond, Calif.), Women’s 200 meter, first round
I have been waiting for this. Now it’s finally here. I just have to run the rounds. My race went pretty well. I was racing just to make it to the next round, which I have accomplished. I ran relaxed and good. I like my start. I was very aggressive there.
Jarred Rome (Chula Vista, Calif.), Men’s Discus
I felt great yesterday. My legs felt great. My technique felt good. Everything felt good. Then today, nothing felt good. I couldn’t even hit one throw. I had high expectations and I don’t even know what happened.
Damu Cherry (Winter Garden, Fla.), Women’s 100 hurdles, semifinals
If I’m supposed to be in the final, I will be there. If not, I gave it my best effort.
Lionel Larry (Compton, California), Men’s 400 meters
It was a lot better than the last time I came to the world championships, when I didn’t finish. I can walk away with some dignity in my head so I can’t be too mad.
LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Virginia), Men’s 400 meters
I set it up real good. I had a great race. I wanted to come out today and set the bar. I wanted to set the tone today.
I moved a little bit harder than I did yesterday, and that’s what makes my times drop. I’m the type of person that thrives off adrenaline, considering the crowd is great and the track is great.
I didn’t run as hard as I could have, as I wanted to save a little bit for the final on Friday. People are ready to come and run hard–this is the biggest competition of this year.
I’m expecting a win–it’s not really a time. What it takes to win is what I’m gonna run.
Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas), Men’s 400 meters
It was real good.
**Beginning tomorrow, quotes will be posted LIVE to www.usatf.org in the evening sessions, updating periodically throughout the competition.
Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles), Men’s 200
I did what I was supposed to do. I came out in the preliminary and qualified for the next round. I tried to get as many cobwebs out as I could.
Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Texas), Men’s 200
I ran easily for the first round, and tried to save as much as possible for the next round.
Casey Malone (Ft. Collins, Colo.), Men’s Discus
It’s great to be one and done! The throw felt technically sound, so I’m happy with it!
I couldn’t ask for a better performance in the morning then getting it done quickly. There are 15 competitors in that preliminary. If you don’t do it for your first throw, you are sitting around for 15 minutes before you get another. It’s the same thing if you don’t get it on that one. You really want to get it done early so you are not out there for 45 minutes, mostly on your feet.
(On the throw) That was the type of throw I was looking to get our here. I really want that type of performance regardless of whether it was a qualifier for not. That is the farthest throw I have ever had at a championship event. I’d like to build off that going into the finals. I’m not complacent to end it there. I’m pretty much happy with practice and how everything is going for the finals. I wanted to get it done early, get out of here and go rest.
Jarred Rome( Chula Vista, Calif.), Men’s discus
This is the best I have ever felt for a major championship. In 2005, I got seventh. I was a few centimeters away from medaling. This year, I started the year slow. I was feeling OK in nationals. I made the team. I’ve been over here for two months, since nationals, just training. My warm-ups were good, all over the qualifier. My first one, I think, I got the nerves a little bit. The second one, I hit really hard, 65.50. I’m ready to medal.
Lionel Larry (Compton, Calif.), Men’s 400 meters
I thought I could have gone a little bit better. It was kind of windy. If I had gone a little bit faster, I won’t have to play the waiting game. I still have to figure out what I am going to do for the next day. I have to wait and see. The wind was in my face for 300 meters.
Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City), Men’s 400 meters
I just had a bad race. I just didn’t have it today. It was windy. But I am not making any excuses. I lost because I lost. It was just not my time.
LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), Men’s 400 meters
It was a good race. 45.2 I got out good. I ran pretty comfortable. I did what I had to do and that’s get ready for tomorrow. If there was a wind, there was a wind for everyone. Everybody felt the wind. But I didn’t feel it that much. I ran a comfortable race and finished up like I wanted to. Clocked in this morning, went to work and now I am going to clock out and get ready for tomorrow.
Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco), Women’s 1,500 meters
I was running. It was pretty packed up. I got tripped up by the same girl. I fell down at 200, got up, got back to the pack and the same girl cut me off again. It was a little bit frustrating. After falling, I tried to be smart catching up again, but I was a little timid by the time I got going again. I’m pretty disappointed. But that’s how it goes sometimes.
I’m hoping we will protest. I’m hoping to get another shot at it. That is definitely not what I am capable of. That’s how it goes when it’s a semi or a quarterfinal. You usually go slow and it’s usually packed up. I tried to stay on my feet. But unfortunately today, I was unable to. I was on the outside of lane 1, where everyone wants to be. It was kind of a messy race, with a lot of people moving around in there. I hope I get a chance at going again. I hope I have a chance of making the finals.
Anna Willard (Mammonth Lakes, Calif.), Women’s 1,500 meters
It was a physical race. There was a lot of shoving. But that’s fine. I expected that. You expect the physicality, especially in the first round. Everyone is super antsy, with all the waiting. It’s already been a couple of days of the championship and everyone is excited to go. When you are running slower than your PR pace, everyone wants the perfect position, so that’s going to happen.
Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Arkansas), Women’s 1500 meters
In the beginning, there was some jostling going on. I don’t like to feel that there are people on top of me, so I was telling myself, “‘This is butt-slow! We go faster than this at USAs, so let’s just go!’”
I felt comfortable during the race, and over the last 50 meters, I looked up at the monitor knowing where I was at, and basically shut it down. I was hoping that the pace would be faster, but hey, it’s the prelims, so you gotta go with it.
Amy Acuff (Isleton, Calif.), Women’s high jump
I’m really excited. I don’t take making the finals for granted. Everyone is a treasure. I’m really happy to be there, especially in Berlin. I felt like I got up at 6 a.m. I felt like it was early in the morning. I drank my little green tea, but it didn’t really kick me up. I think I will feel better in the final. I want to go back (to the hotel), take a nap and get rested and try to have a more fluid run. I’m just going to let myself go and not micromanage everything.
Chaunte Howard (Snellville, Ga.), Women’s high jump
(On getting excited after clearing at 1.89) I did get excited. I didn’t particularly feel great today. I’m usually a morning person. But this morning I felt kind of flat. To go ahead and clear 1.89 then clear 1.92 and 1.95 on first appearances let me know that it’s going to be a good result. (Clearing 1.95) That was a sigh of relief. I was up praying all night because I couldn’t sleep. I felt like everything was going to work out today.
For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit www.usatf.org.
Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at www.universalsports.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/mediaCoverage.asp.
For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org
The action continues on day three of the 2009 USA Track & Field Championships. Fans and athletes enjoyed the sunny weather and exciting races.
It was a good day for LaShawn Merritt, who celebrated his 23rd birthday with another national title in the 400m. He ran it in 44.50 seconds and is undefeated in the event this season.
“When you’re in the #1 spot, you just know you have to work that much harder,” Merritt said. “Every time I come out I bring my A game.”
Merritt said he is happy with the team going to World’s, including runner-up Gil Roberts of Texas Tech and 3rd place finisher Kerron Clement. Jeremy Wariner is also on the team, but did not compete today. Merritt said he believes Wariner earned the right not to be here and will get his chance to race him in Berlin.
Sanya Richards reclaimed her US title in the women’s 400m final in 50.05 seconds. Richards said she was not happy with the time, but the wind was a factor. Debbie Dunn was second, and Jessica Beard proved herself against the senior women by finishing 3rd to make the world team.
A new Hayward record and fastest time in the world this year was set by Lashinda Davis when she ran 53.78 in the women’s 400m hurdle finals. Sheena Tosta and Tiffany Ross-Williams will join her in Berlin.
David Payne out-inched Terrence Trammel in the thrilling 110m hurdle finals. The race was so close that Payne said he had to check the jumbotron before he celebrated the victory. His time was 13.12 seconds.
The women’s 1500m was led almost entirely by Christin Wurth-Thomas. She ran to the front and looked strong, running about 62 seconds for the first lap.
“I knew once I went for it, I needed to throw in a 62,” Wurth-Thomas said.
Erin Donahue, Shannon Rowbury and Anna Willard went with with her. Rowbury was ready for the quick change of pace, due to her focus on sharpening her speed in training. No one else could stay with them.
“I thought someone would follow her, but they didn’t. I knew someone had to go,” Rowbury said.
Wurth-Thomas’s stamina could not match Rowbury’s speed. On the homestretch, Rowbury pulled into first, followed by Wurth-Thomas and Willard.
“I like to be the hunter, not the hunted,” Wurth-Thomas said. “I didn’t know if anyone was with me. I panicked.”
The 3000m steeplechase got off to a conservative start with William Nelson in the lead. Daniel Huling stuck behind him until the last three laps when he and Josh McAdams made a dash for the lead. At the bell, it was McAdams, Huling and Kyle Alcorn. McAdams pushed to the finish to win the national title.
Press Release Courtesy of USA Track & Field.
EUGENE, Ore - 2008 Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt remained unbeaten this outdoor season, winning the Gatorade Men’s U.S. 400m title Saturday at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Outdoor Championships will conclude Sunday in Eugene.
The #1 ranked quarter-miler in the world, LaShawn Merritt was in control of the race from start to finish as he captured his second-consecutive national men’s 400m title in 44.50 seconds. Merritt’s performance matches his world-leading time originally set on May 1 at Baie Mahault, France
The 2007 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist, Merritt will be joined in Berlin by runner-up Gil Roberts of Texas Tech, who finished the race in 44.93, and 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist and 2007 World Outdoor 400m hurdles champion Kerron Clement, who was third in 45.14. They will be joined by reigning World Outdoor champion Jeremy Wariner at the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin.
Demus posts world leader in winning Hershey 400m Hurdles
2004 Olympian and 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Lashinda Demus took the lead for good over the final hurdle and beat 2008 Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta to the finish line in winning her third career U.S. Outdoor title in 53.78 seconds.
Demus’ time was the fastest in the world this year and a new Hayward Field record, bettering the 53.96 clocking by Sandra Farmer-Patrick set in 1993. Tosta, who qualified for her second World Outdoor Championships team, finished second in 54.45 seconds, with 2004 Olympic finalist Tiffany Ross-Williams finishing third in 55.18.
Richards wins Visa Women’s 400 Meters.
2008 Olympic 4×400m relay gold medalist and 400m bronze medalist Sanya Richards captured her fourth U.S. Outdoor title in winning the Visa Women’s 400 meters in 50.05 seconds, which is the third-fastest time in the world this year. Richards, who entered the 2009 season ranked #1 in the world at 400 meters, posted the fastest time in the world this season with her 49.57 win June 14 in Berlin.
Two-time Olympic Trials eighth-place finisher Debbie Dunn qualified for her first World Outdoor Championships roster with her runner-up finish in 50.79, and 2008 World Junior Championships silver medalist Jessica Beard finished third in 50.81. 2008 Olympic Games 4×400m relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings was fourth in 50.89.
Payne wins first U.S. outdoor crown in Visa Men’s 110m Hurdles
2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Payne captured his first U.S. national 110m hurdles title after a tremendous battle with two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell.
Payne and Trammell were inseparable as they crossed the finish line and both were clocked at 13.12 seconds, with Payne emerging as the victor by three-one thousandths of a second (13.115 to 13.118). 2006 NCAA champion and 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Aries Merritt punched his ticket to the World Championships in Berlin with his third-place finish in 13.15.
Phillips back on top in men’s long jump
2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips won his fifth U.S. men’s long jump title with his second round leap of 8.57m/28-1.50 (+2.2 mps).
Phillips leaped back on the world stage with a monster effort at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic here in Eugene, when he easily won the event at 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches. That effort tied him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history. The trio are also tied as the #5 performers all time. It was also the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991.
Joining Phillips at the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin will be 2008 Olympian Brian Johnson, who finished second with a best leap of 8.26m/27-1.25. A two-time ACC Outdoor champion while at Clemson, George Kitchens placed third with a best of 8.23m/27-0. Kitchens has neither the A nor B qualifying standard for the World Championships in Berlin. 2008 Olympian Miguel Pate finished fourth with a leap of 8.20m/26-11.
Texas high schooler Marquise Goodwin, who earlier today won the Junior title, finished fifth with a national prep record leap of 8.18m/26-10, topping the 20-year-old standard of 8.16m/26-9.25 set by Dion Bentley.
Rowbury wins Nike Women’s 1,500 meters
2008 Olympic Trials champion and Olympic Games finalist Shannon Rowbury trailed Christin Wurth-Thomas until the final stretch before overtaking her and reaching the finish first in 4:05.07.
Wurth-Thomas made a mad dash in an attempt to steal the race, at one point leading by 30 meters, but ran out of gas over the final 200 meters and finishing as the runner-up in 4:06.00.
2008 Olympic Trials 3,000m steeplechase champion and former national record holder in that event Anna Willard secured her place in Berlin by finishing third in 4:07.70.
Patterson wins women’s javelin with monster throw
Former Purdue University standout and 2008 Olympic Trials champion Kara Patterson successfully defended her U.S. women’s javelin title on her fifth attempt with a personal best throw of 63.95 meters/209-10. Patterson’s winning throw was the second best ever by a U.S. woman.
University of Oregon senior and 2009 NCAA champion Rachel Yurkovich was the runner-up with a toss of 59.31m/194-7, and four-time USA champion and American record holder Kim Kreiner finished third with a throw of 58.00m/190-3.
Walker wins men’s pole vault
Reigning World Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympian Brad Walker won his third U.S. Outdoor men’s pole vault title with his clearance of 5.75m/18-10.25.
He will be joined at this summer’s World Outdoor Championships by 2003 World Champs team member and runner-up today Jeremy Scott, 2008 Olympic Trials winner and fourth-place finisher at the Beijing Olympics Derek Miles (3rd) and 2004 Olympic Games silver medalist Toby Stevenson (4th). All of the top four finishers cleared the winning height of 5.75m/18-10.25, with the order of finish determined by the number of misses by each competitor.
Seaman wins 20 km race walk title
Two-time Olympian Tim Seaman captured his sixth career USA 20 km race walk title this morning with his time of 1 hour 26 minutes 14 seconds. Seaman has now qualified for his fifth World Outdoor Championship team, and has increased his USA national titles won total to 37.
2008 Olympic Trials third-place finisher Patrick Stroupe was the runner-up in 1:26:41, with three-time Olympic Trials participant Ben Shorey third in 1:27:17. 2004 Olympian John Nunn was fourth in 1:27:42 and Stephen Quirke finished fifth in 1:29:40.
Kruger hammers the competition again
Two-time Olympian A.G. Kruger won his fourth consecutive U.S. men’s hammer throw title with a best throw of 75.31 meters/247 feet 1 inch.
2004 NCAA champion and 2007 NACAC champion Jake Freeman finished second with a toss of 74.64m/244-10, and Michael Mai of the U.S. Army finished third with his final attempt throw of 73.80m/242-1.
McAdams wins steeple national title
2008 Olympian Josh McAdams won his second career national title in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with his time of 8 minutes 29.91 seconds. 2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Dan Huling was the runner-up in 8:32.86 and 2008 Pac 10 champion Kyle Alcorn finished third in 8:34.65. Brigham Young University standout Kyle Perry finished fourth in 8:36.65.
Fountain leads heptathlon
2008 Olympic Games heptathlon silver medalist and reigning national champion Hyleas Fountain has the lead after the first day of the women’s heptathlon.
Fountain tallied an outstanding first day total of 4,038 points, and will carry a 270-point lead over her nearest competitor and 2008 Olympic teammate Diana Pickler, into tomorrow’s final three events. Other top scorers after today’s four events include 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day (3rd-3,739) and University of Southern California standout Nia Ali (4th-3,621), who finished fourth at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Favorites move on in qualifying
Highlights of the Nike Women’s 100m hurdles first round of competition included 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper posting the fastest time by an American this season with her clocking of 12.68 seconds in winning the first of three heats.
The winner in the second semifinal was 2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry, who ran the fastest time in the world this year under any conditions of 12.49 (+2.6 mps).
Heat winners in the first round of the men’s 200 meters were 2004 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford, who won the fifth heat in 20.19w seconds, 2006 NCAA 100 and 400m winner Xavier Carter won the sixth heat in 20.51w and 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Wallace Spearmon won the third heat in 20.53. The Heat 1 winner was Bernard Williams (20.72) and Heat 2 was won by Charles Clark (20.54). Chris Lawson won the fourth heat in 20.39w.
Winners in the women’s first round of 200m qualifying were LaShauntea Moore, crossing the line ahead of the field in the first heat in 22.60, 2009 NCAA champion Porscha Lucas won the second heat in 22.77, and in Heat 3, Arizona State star and 2009 NCAA runner-up Charonda Williams was the victor in 22.65w. Two-time Olympic Games silver medalist Allyson Felix won the fourth heat in 22.58w.
University of South Carolina standout Johnny Dutch was the winner of the first men’s 400m hurdles semifinal in 49.24 seconds. 2008 Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor will move on to Sunday’s final after finishing second in 49.28. Other finalists will include Justin Gaymon (3rd-49.39) and 2005 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist James Carter was fourth in 49.55.
Top finishers in the second semi moving on to Sunday’s final include 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson (1st-48.80), 2009 NCAA champion Jeshua Anderson of Washington State (2nd-48.89), Michael Tinsley (3rd-49.43) and Brandon Johnson (4th-50.40).
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.
About the meet
PreRaceJitters will provide Live coverage from the 2009 National Championships hosted at the University of Oregon in Eugne. The final two days will be aired on television. Check out the meet’s official website.
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- ESPN, June 27, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. ET
- NBC, June 28, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET
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It’s not too much to say that the Road to Berlin starts this week in Eugene, Oregon. Jay Hicks and John W. Davis discuss athletes to watch at the 2009 National Championships and much more.
PreRaceJitters Track & Field Radio Show…Where the Real Playas Come to Hangout!
Press Release by USA Track & Field.
EUGENE, Ore. - Two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips and U.S. women’s 3,000m steeplechase record holder Jennifer Barringer posted landmark performances Sunday at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The Nike Prefontaine Classic is the fifth event of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Visa Championship Series, which will conclude at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, June 25-28.
Dwight is right!
2004 Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips leaped back on the world stage in posting the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991.
Phillips easily won the event when he sailed to 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches, which ties him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history, and the trio are also tied as the #5 performers all time. For his effort, Phillips was named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet presented by Visa.
“Last week I knew I was jumping far and I was looking at the world record,” said Phillips. “I knew I was capable of jumping this far. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m hungry. I’m excited about the sport again.”
With his performance, Phillips takes over the lead from Tyson Gay in the men’s Visa Championship Series race with his total of 1,290 points. Gay’s sits in second place with 1,285 points.
Barringer joins America’s best at 1,500 meters
Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka was in command throughout the Nike women’s 1,500m until the final straightaway when U.S. women’s steeplechase record holder Jenny Barringer put on a furious kick and the two were even at the finish line. Burka just barely defended her Pre Classic title from last year with her time of 3 minutes 59.89 seconds, as Barringer joined Mary Slaney and Suzy Favor as the third American in history to better the four-minute barrier with her time of 3:59.90.
Barringer’s performance is the best by an American in seven years, the third-fastest women’s 1,500m in the world this year and it betters the previous collegiate record of 4:05.75 by Lindsay Gallo set in 2005.
Merritt sets sea level world’s best in 300m
2008 Olympic 400m and 4×400m relay gold medalist LaShawn Merritt was dominant in the men’s 300 meters posting the #2 all-time mark and a sea level world best with his winning time of 31.30 seconds. 2006 NCAA 400m champion Xavier Carter was the runner-up in 31.93, with 2004 Olympian Wallace Spearmon finishing third in 32.14.
Richards posts world leader
It was no contest in the women’s 400 meters as 2008 Olympic 400m bronze medalist and 4×400m relay gold medalist Sanya Richards showed no mercy to her competitors. Richards left the blocks in a hurry and was never challenged in winning the Nutrilite women’s 400m in the fastest time in the world this year of 49.86 seconds.
Richards, who has been ranked #1 in the world at 400m the last four years, finished ahead of Olympic silver medalist Shericka Williams of Jamaica, who crossed the line as the runner-up in 50.72 seconds.
Symmonds pleases the home fans
2008 Olympian and Eugene area resident Nick Symmonds, who won one of the most memorable races in Hayward Field history with his unforgettable victory at last year’s Olympic Trials, was victorious again today in the Nike men’s 800m. Symmonds grabbed the lead off the final curve and held on for the win in 1:45.86. The runner-up was Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Alfred Yego of Kenya, who crossed the line in 1:46.36, and Oregon Track Club member Christian Smith, who joined Symmonds on the U.S. Beijing Olympic Team, finished third in 1:46.36.
Reigning men’s 1,500m and 5,000m world champion Bernard Lagat passed Qatar’s Saif Shaheen with 60 meters to go and won going away in the men’s 3,000m in 7:35.92. Shaheen was the runner-up in 7:36.87, with Americans Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp finishing third and fourth respectively, with times of 7:37.05 and 7:37.32.
Perry & Cherry at the finish
Two-time World Outdoor champion Michelle Perry and 2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry sailed across the finish line together in the women’s 100m hurdles. Although both were clocked in 12.74, it was Perry who was named the victor with Cherry claiming the runner-up spot. Canada’s Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep was third, just one hundredth of a second behind the Americans.
“Batman” beats the world’s best
The three Americans who swept the medals in the men’s 400m hurdles at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing met again this morning in Eugene. Bershawn ‘Batman’ Jackson, who won the bronze medal in Beijing, got off to a quick start before clipping the second hurdle. Jackson, who also won last week at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, recovered quickly and held the lead with 80 meters to go along with Beijing gold medalist Angelo Taylor, silver medalist Kerron Clement and
Jamaica’s Isa Phillips. Jackson won the race to the finish line in posting the second-fastest time in the world this year of 43.38 seconds, which he shares with Clement. Phillips was second in 48.55, with Clement third in 48.73 and Taylor placing fourth in 48.79.
Rodgers sets world best in 100m
2008 USA Indoor 60m champion Michael Rodgers, who won last weekend at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, was victorious again today in the men’s 100m posting a new career best and the fastest time in the world this year of 9.94 seconds. Rodgers defeated former world record holder and Olympic relay gold medalist Asafa Powell of Jamaica, who finished second in 10.07 seconds. Two-time Olympic sprint medalist Walter Dix also ran 10.07 in finishing in third place, with
2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Travis Padgett placing fourth in 10.08.
After winning last week at the Reebok Grand Prix, Carmelita Jeter continued her winning ways with her victory in the Visa women’s 100m. With a +3.2 mps wind at her back, Jeter sailed across the finish line first in 10.85 seconds and remains undefeated this outdoor season. Jamaican Kerron Stewart, who captured the 100m silver medal and 200m bronze medal in Beijing, was the runner-up in 10.90 in suffering her first loss this outdoor season and Olympic Trials champion Muna Lee finished third in 11.02. Jeter holds on to the lead in the women’s Visa Championship Series chase with 1,207 points, which is one point better than Sanya Richards.
13 competitors break 4-minutes in Bowerman Mile
2008 Olympic silver medalist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya won the classic Bowerman Mile in 3:48.50, which is the fastest time in the world this year, bettering the previous fastest time this season by nearly six seconds. Kiprop’s countryman, Haron Keitany, who ended the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world, was the runner-up in 3:48.78. 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong led the American contingent with his sixth-place finish in 3:53.47. 13 runners bettered the 4-minute barrier, which equals the Hayward Field record for a single race.
Hoffa leads throwers with world best
2007 World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa won the Visa men’s shot put in posting the farthest throw in the world this year on his final attempt that sailed 21.89 meters/71 feet 10 inches. 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Dan Taylor finished second with a toss of 21.29m/69-10.25 and reigning Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland finished third with a best of 21.26m/69-9.
Stephanie Brown Trafton, who won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in the women’s discus on her first throw, did it again with a first attempt winning toss of 63.98m/209-11. 2008 Olympic Trials sixth-place finisher Summer Pierson was second with a toss of 60.53m/198-7.
2008 Olympian Funmi Jimoh, who finished at the Olympic Games in Beijing, won the women’s long jump with a best of 6.69m/21-11.50.
In other events, Kenya’s Paul Koech won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase in 8:13.44, Germany’s Betty Heidler won the women’s hammer (72.81m/238-10), Ivan Ukhov of Russia won the men’s high jump (2.34m/7-8) and Sweden’s Alhaji Jeng won the men’s pole vault with a best clearance of 5.51m/18-1.
For more information on the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.
Press release by USA Track & Field.
EUGENE, Ore. - 2008 Olympic women’s 400m bronze medalist and 4×400m relay gold medalist Sanya Richards, two-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt, Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist Dawn Harper and 2008 Olympian Anna Willard on Saturday appeared at a press conference held in conjunction with Sunday’s 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The fifth event of the 2009 USA Track & Field Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the Nike Prefontaine Classic will be televised live Sunday on NBC from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Excerpts from this afternoon’s press conference follow:
On her success this year in the 800m and 1,500m: I’ve always been more of an 800 and 1,500-meter runner. It’s different than the steeplechase, which is not usually very tactical. It’s more of a flat run with not much thinking going on, where in the 1500 and the 800, a lot can happen in a short amount of time. So they’re different events but I think I’m probably more genetically made for those types of events, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s fun.
What are your goals this summer at the World Championships? Really we’re looking for medals. Why go to this level, why do this if you’re not willing to go all the way? That’s why I joined our group at Mammoth Track Club. I’m doing this to be the best. I get really fired up about competition and right now that’s the major goal. Whether it happens this year or not we’re trying to get there, and that’s what it’s going to be every year.
Could you talk about what your coach Terrence Mahon means to you? Well he’s had such great success, particularly in the longer distances and it’s really exciting for us to see what he’s doing now with the middle distances. I feel like we help each other and he’s done tremendous things for me as a person as well. He really gets me and we click really well. I like him a lot.
What does working with Bobby Kersee mean to you? He means the world to me, especially in track and field terms because he started to notice me when I was in high school. Then he kind of pointed me out to Jeanette Bolden (UCLA head coach) and got me to UCLA, and then he helped me get ready for the professional world. When I got to the professional world we knew that staying healthy for me was going to be the key because at UCLA I was dealing with hamstring issues, knee issues and once again, last year, another knee issue, but that’s okay because we now know, pretty much, the key to keeping me healthy. He sees something special in me and I appreciate that, and we both have a good relationship.
You’re in the blocks in Beijing, the gun goes off, and then what? You run for your life! (laughter). You execute your race and you put it all out there. You don’t want to walk away from the Olympic final saying ‘I didn’t do this, or I didn’t execute that.’ That’s why I leaned across the line the way I did because I didn’t know where I was and I just wanted to get there. I didn’t know when I first crossed the finish line, and I thought maybe I got second, or maybe I got third, and then Damu came over and said, ‘no Dawn, you won,’ and that’s when I saw it.
What was it like for you last year to take over as the best 400m runner in the world? It let me know that in this sport that you have to be patient and hard work will pay off. I’ve been working hard to get where I am, and I’m working even harder now to stay where I am. My coach and I set plans, set goals and everything’s falling in place. I just have to stay hungry, stay motivated and healthy, and keep doing the things that I want to do.
We’ve all been hearing rumblings of Usain Bolt moving up to the 400 meters. Is that a challenge you welcome? Yes. There’s a thought that he’s going to come on up and run the 400, and we’re inviting him. If he wants to come up, come on and get a lane and let’s go at it.
What goals do you have for this season? I look forward to coming back here in a couple weeks and defending my national title, and then going on to Berlin and winning gold in the 400 and also the 4×400.
You’ve been ranked #1 in the world four years in a row. What does that mean to you? I can’t believe that it’s been four years since I took over as the best in the world in 2005, and I’m not going to rest on those laurels at all. I’m going to keep working hard and try to get better and better and run faster, and hopefully lower my American record because I haven’t PR’ed in a while, so to me that’s what I enjoy about running is getting better.
For more information on the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.