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Champions reign supreme on final day of USATF Outdoor Championships

6/24/2018
 

DES MOINES, Iowa — Thunderstorms didn’t dampen the final day’s competition at the USATF Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium, as more facility records were set amongst the impressive performances at Drake Stadium.


In total, athletes set one American record (women’s hammer throw), three world leads (men’s 100m, women’s 20k race walk and women’s hammer throw), two USATF Championship records (women’s triple jump, women’s 20,000m race walk) and 13 Drake Stadium records over the course of four days.


American record holder and Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager (Algonquin, Illinois) claimed his seventh USATF title after winning the Michelob ULTRA men’s 3,000 steeplechase. The lead was exchanged between Haron Lagat (Lubbock, Texas), Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Jager several times, but Jager charged to the lead with five laps to go. Bor was on the rail, Jager on his shoulder then Lagat came from third to take the lead. Jager was close behind. With three laps to go Jager and Lagat were two strides ahead of the pack. Bor and Andy Bayer (Leo, Indiana) were close behind and moved up with two laps to go when Jager extended his lead to two meters. He picked up the pace a bit ahead of Lagat and Bayer and led the pack of three through the bell. Jager sprinted to the finish 8:20.10 to break the stadium record. Bor was second 8:22.58 and Bayer was third in 8:24.66.


Jeron Robinson (Houston, Texas) won the men’s high jump, claiming his first national outdoor title.  Robinson cleared 2.31/7-7 and took the lead over defending champion Erik Kynard (Toledo, Ohio). Kynard missed two attempts at 2:31 then passed and went under the bar at 2.34 with an obvious injury.  


A fifth matchup between Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina), Katie Nageotte (Olmstead Falls, Ohio) and Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, New York) set up an exciting competition as Morris took home her second USATF Outdoor title. Morris cleared 4.80m/15-9 enroute to her second consecutive win. Morris and Suhr each have two wins to Nageotte’s one victory.


On her first attempt of competition, women’s shot putter Jessica Ramsey (Boynton Beach, Florida) threw a personal best of 19.23m/63-1.25. Ramsey led until the fifth round when NCAA shot put record holder Maggie Ewen (St. Francis, Minnesota) released a 19.29m/63-3.5 to edge her out. Ewen, a three-time NCAA champion, was able to pick up her first USATF national championship title. Ramsey’s second place performance was her highest finish at a national championship.


The top three men’s discus throwers broke the facility record. Reggie Jagers (Cleveland, Ohio) entered the meet as the Drake Stadium record holder, lost it, regained it, lost it again and then -- finally -- emerged as the U.S. champion with the record back in his possession. Sam Mattis (East Brunswick, New Jersey) first broke the record with a throw of 66.32m/217-7. Jagers then threw 66.92m/219-7 to get it back. Thats was in the third round of throws. Then, in the fifth round, Mason Finley (Chaffee County, Colorado) threw 67.06m/220-0 to claim the record for himself. But he didn't hold it for long. On Jagers' throw in that round, he threw 68.61m/225-1, which turned out to be the winning mark and the eventual record. Finley's throw earned him a second-place finish and Mattis was third with his 217-7.


A near-three-hour weather delay didn’t keep Olympic champion Jeff Henderson (McAlmont, Arkansas) from winning the men’s long jump. Going into the final round, Henderson’s 8.10m/26-7 mark led all competitors. He passed on all three jumps after the weather passed and waited out the competition. The top three before the delay remained intact with former USATF intern Zack Bazile (Montvale, New Jersey) from Ohio State finishing second, 8.08m/26-6.25 and Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Delaware) was third in 8.04m/26-4.5


Erica Bougard (Byhalia, Mississippi) led from start to finish in the women’s heptathlon. Bougard came into the second day with a 250-point lead and won four of seven events in total.  After a dominating performance on day one, Bougard had a solid second day of competition to extend her lead and finish first in the 800m to solidify her win.


In the Progressive Women’s 800m, Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, New Jersey) and Charlene Lipsey (Hempstead, New York) passed 200 meters in 27.93 as Wilson held onto the rail with next to her. Wilson stayed patient at the bell and saw Ce’Aira Brown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) make a move on the first curve, but Wilson and Lipsey held. Wilson’s took off with 200 meters to go, Brown moved up on Lipsey with Brown closing. Raevyn Rogers (Houston, Texas) ran up on the group with 100 meters to go, but Wilson held to win in a facility record 1:58.18. Rogers closed strong to finish second in 1:58.57 with Brown third in 1:58.65.


Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy (New Paris, Ohio) moved to the front half way through the Garden of Life Men’s 800m but the pack was tight at the bell. Murphy and Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) stayed shoulder-to-shoulder until 200 meters and the sprint was on for the tape. Murphy turned on the burners and crossed in 1:46.50, closing the final 400 meters in 51.97. Harris was second 1:47.11 and Sowinski was third in 1:47.76.


In the Michelob ULTRA women’s 5,000m, recent University of Missouri grad Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) took the lead and stayed on pace until yesterday’s 1,500m champion Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) moved up to second with two laps to go. Houlihan stayed a stride behind Schweizer with Rachel Schneider (Sanford, New Hampshire) on her heels with 800 to go. Houlihan moved to her shoulder and kept a half step behind. Houlihan moved to the front on the backstretch and Schneider went with her. But Houlihan pulled away at 100 meters to sprint to the finish crossing in 15:31.03 to become the second American woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m USATF Championships since 2003. Schneider finished second in 15:32.71 and Schweizer third, 15:34.31.


Shamier Little (Chicago, Illinois), 2017 runner-up and 2015 champion, led from the start of the Garden of Life women’s 400m hurdles and sped across the finish in 53.61, which broke the Drake Stadium record and is the second-fastest time in the world this year. It appeared to be Little and Georganne Moline’s (Phoenix, Arizona) race with Moline a stride ahead coming off the curve. Little and Mioline were even at the last hurdle. Moline cleared the hurdle then stumbled. Moline was second in 54.12 and Cassandra Tate (Hammond, Louisiana)was third in 55.00. With that, Americans now own the three fastest times -- Sydney McLaughlin (52.75), Little and Dalilah Muhammad (53.65).


Due to thunderstorms in the area, competition was suspended at 4:06 p.m. for nearly three hours and resumed at approximately 7:00 p.m. local time.


Defending 200m champion Ameer Webb (Tustin, California) retained his title, winning the Xfinity men’s 200m in 20.47, a feat that had been accomplished by only four other men in the 200m since 1969. Terrell Smith (Vicksburg, Mississippi) crossed the line in second clocking 20.74. The only other repeaters in the last 50 years were Justin Gatlin (2015 and '16), Darvis Patton (2002 and '03), Don Quarrie (1974 and '75) and Michael Johnson, who repeated twice. Johnson won three in a row from 1990-92 and two more in 1995 and '96.


In the Nike Women’s 200m, Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California) cruised to a 22.62 victory after finishing third in Friday’s Michelob ULTRA women’s 100m. 2017 400m World Champion Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York) finished second in 22.83 and Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Michigan) ran 22.89 for third.


Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo (Beaverton, Oregon) claimed his second USATF Outdoor 5,000m title in a row, crossing in 13:29.47 to hold off a closing Ryan Hill (Hickory, North Carolina). Hill ran a smooth race, patiently biding his time mid-pack then moving up to second from eighth with 800 meters to go. Hill and Chelimo ran stride-for-stride until the last 25 meters when Chelimo pulled away for the win.


The final race of USATF Outdoor Championships saw Xfinity men’s 110m hurdles winner Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona) surge to the line after the 10th hurdle to edge Florida’s Grant Holloway (Chesapeake, Virginia) 13.452 to 13.454. Jarret Eaton (Abington, Pennsylvania) crossed the line third in 13.51.


Full results from 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships can be found here. Visit USATF’s Instagram for video interviews with national champions.


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