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.
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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.
The duo run down the races to watch at the 2009 Prefontaine Classic, share their picks and talk with Kenia Sinclair about the great season that she is having. That and much, more on PreRaceJitters’ Track & Field Radio Show.
Special thanks to Kenia Sinclair.
“PreRaceJitters Track & Field Radio Show, where the real playas come to hang out.”
About the meet
Icahn Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility on Randall’s Island featuring a 400-meter Mondo track and covered seating for spectators, is the premier outdoor track-and-field venue in New York City. The 2009 Reebok Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. EST. Check out the meet’s official website.
|PreRaceJItters’ Track and Field Radio Show, Reebok Grand Prix with Lionel Larry Lionel Larry has run 20.37 so far this season and is set to compete this weekend at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix.||6 Things You Oughta Know About Lionel Larry
Meet Review and Results:
Tyson Gay delivers top meet’s top performance and Carmelita Jeter’s 100m streak remains in tact.
|Results Check out the complete results from the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix.|
|Interviews Coming soon!||Coming Soon!|
|Twitter Follow our live updates from the Adidas Track Classic on Twitter.||PreRaceJitters’ Fan Page on Facebook Get exclusive information on PreRaceJitters’ Fan Page on Facebook.|
Jay Hicks and John W. Davis preview the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix, revealing their picks for the upcoming meet in New York. Former NCAA All-American Lionel Larry stops by to talk about first trip to the Reebok Grand Prix, his first season on the professional circuit, and thoughts on track and field.
- Reebok Grand Prix Official Website
- adidas Track Classic Results
- IAAF World Rankings
- Asafa Powell Ready for New York
PreRaceJitters’ Track and Field Radio Show, where the real playas comes to hang out!
Special thanks to Lionel Larry and the Global Athletics.
You don’t want to miss this one.
Jay Hicks is live and direct from Carson, California home of the Adidas Track Classic. John W. Davis is back in the studio as the duo reveal their picks in the hottest races that include: Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor and many more names.
PreRaceJitters’ Track & Field Radio Show where the real playas come to hang!
On the latest episode of PreRaceJitter’s Track and Field Radio Show, John W. Davis and I count down our 2009 track and field resolutions.
LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner will waste no time getting back to their rivalry. Last season ended with Merritt winning Olympic gold, while Wariner drew some major wins against Merritt at Grand Prix meets. Can Wariner take back the mantle this year?
The most pressing matter for Usain Bolt in 2009 is will the 100-meter world record get lowered. Biomechanics favor Bolt, while the fleet-footed Tyson Gay is seeking to return to top form after not fully recovering from a hamstring injury hampered his Olympic performance in Beijing.
Sanya Richards and Christine Ohuruogu
Will Sanya Richards get in the way of Christine Ohuruogu’s plans of taking another world championship in ’09? There could be sparks if Richards displays translates the success of the Grand Prix circuit at the World Championships in Berlin.
Tyson is preparing to mount a challenge to Usain Bolt in ’09. The 2007 world champion at 100 and 200 meters is seeking to return to top form. Attaining top speed is certainly needed as the winning in Berlin may certainly require a new world record at 100 meters.
How fast can she go this year? The Kenyan Olympic champion is still relatively inexperienced at 800 meters, with a major upside.
Liu Xiang’s Comeback
After a disappointing withdraw from the Beijing Games, Xiang subsequently underwent surgery successful surgery in December to repair the injured Achilles injury.
Jesse Owens made history at the legendary Berlin stadium. The World Championships return to Berlin from August 15 – 23, as today’s athletes hope to make their historical impact on the sport.
Hurdles and heartbreak go together like peanut and jelly. This season Lolo Jones will be seeking to stand at the top of the medal stand, thus elevating the 100 meter hurdles status in the sport.
Having hosted one of the most memorable U.S. Trials in recent history, it seems that Eugene, Oregon will be seeking to fight off a sophomore slump
August 20, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
The finish line was in sight. She had run past her doubts, run past her health issues, and had out run past previous disappointments.
Richards is the fastest American to run the one lap race and had the fastest time in the world. But she didn’t have a major championship gold.
Then with 75 meters to go Sanya Richards hamstring tightened up on her. She struggled to cross the line in third place behind the winner Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and Shericka Williams of Jamaica.
“My right hamstring grabbed on me, Richards said. ” I just couldn’t move it anymore. I tried to hold them off, and I just couldn’t. I’m so disappointed because I’ve never had anything like that happen. I was totally out of control on the straightaway. I was all over the lane.”
It has been a tough run for Richards. Last year she was diagnosed with Behcet’s disease, a rare chronic inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body. The illness hijacked her training, sapped her energy, and caused her to miss qualifying for the World Championships.
Richards blasted out of the blocks, shot down the backstretch, and was held a commanding lead coming off the turn. Then the unthinkable occurred down the final stretch.
“I knew that gold was mine. I knew I was going to run 48 seconds. I felt so good. I was already getting elated coming off the turn because I knew how my races had been going. My hamstring just really let me down. I just feel like I’ve worked so hard in vain.”
“Once again, just major disappointment. Every major championship I’ve been to I’ve come up short. It’s not for a want of trying. I mean, I go out there with every intention of trying to run my best race and I always come into the race very prepared. So once again to lose a championship and not just any major championship – the Olympic Games. And thinking of waiting for four more years is just way too much.”
The time 49.62 was her fastest time of the season but it’s probably of little solace to Richards.
August 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
-Beijing-The Texas resident cracked 50 seconds for the first time this season in winning her semi-final heat. Her time of 49.90 is the fastest qualifying time going into the finals.
Sanya Richards looked strong, controlled, and fast coming down the homestretch as she won in the third-fastest time of the year. The heats are grueling and the only question is whether she has enough left in the tank for the finals.
“I feel like I can win it from a slow start or a fast start,” Richards said. “I feel like I can just taste it now.”
Her teammates, Dee Trotter and Mary Wineberg, are out of the competition after struggling in their semi-final heats. Americans Mary Wineberg, who finished fifth in her heat in 51.13, and Dee Dee Trotter, who was seventh in her heat in 51.87, did not advance.
Trotter is nursing a chipped tibia caused by a freak accident in which a car door flew open slamming into her knee. She has been running with pain and swelling in Beijing.
In the finals, Sanya will face some stiff competition for. Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogo (50.14) and Jamaica’s Shericka Williams (50.28) posted the second- and third-best times.