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Claye leaps to milestone in horizontal jumps

DAEGU, South Korea - Twenty-year-old Will Claye became just the second American in history to qualify into the finals of the both the men’s horizontal jumps at the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday.

Claye, the third youngest member of Team USA, recorded the best qualifying in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 17.19m/56-4.75 on his second attempt Friday morning - eight hours before he will compete in the finals of men’s triple jump at 7:20 p.m. local time tonight.

Claye joins Mike Conley who accomplished the feat at both the 1983 and 1987 World Outdoor Championships.

Walter Dix, who earlier collected a silver medal in the men’s 100, was among eight Team USA performers who advanced through the qualifying rounds in the women’s hammer throw, men’s triple jump, women’s 100m hurdles and men’s 200m. Team USA also advanced its women’s 4x400m relay into Saturday night’s final

Men’s Triple Jump
The young duo of 20 -year-old Will Claye (Phoenix, Ariz.) and 21-year-old Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) excelled in the qualification for the men’s triple jump finals. Claye landed a hop, skip and jump even farther than defending world champion Phillips Idowu of Great Britain. Claye had the best mark of the first flight in 17.19m/56-4.75, to automatically qualify to the final by surpassing the standard of 17.10m/56-1.25. Claye also qualified for the long jump finals yesterday, making him the first American man since Mike Conley (‘87, ‘83) to qualify for both finals at the World Championships.

Taylor did not land the automatic mark, but with a best of 16.99m/55-9 on his second attempt, he took fifth in the first group and ninth overall to advance to the final. Walter Davis (Baton Rouge, La.) was unable to advance to the final. He finished 23rd overall with a best mark of 16.12m/52-10.75.

Women’s 100m Hurdles
All three Americans advanced through the first round of the 100m hurdles with ease. Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.) looked very smooth as she ran 12.73 to win the first heat. Danielle Carruthers (Kennesaw, Ga.) battled with Phylicia George of Canada, and bested her to win the heat in 12.79. Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.) completed the winning streak by taking the third heat in 12.89.

Men’s 200m
Walter Dix (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) had a smooth second half of his race, powering past Kim Collins of St. Kits and Nevis in the lane next to him to win the first heat in 20.42. Dix had the second fastest time of the day, only behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. In the third heat Darvis “Doc” Patton (Grand Prairie, Texas) was second in his heat in 20.80. Jeremy Dodson (Boulder, Colo.) finished fifth in his heat in 20.92 and did not advance to the final.

Women’s Hammer Throw
One throw is all Jessica Cosby (Mission Hills, Calif.) needed to advance to the finals of the hammer throw. Cosby, who was seventh at the 2009 World Championships, sent the hammer flying 71.06m/233-1 to surpass the automatic qualification standard of 71.00m/232-11.

Unfortunately, Amber Campbell (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and Jeneva McCall (Carbondale, Ill.) will not join Cosby in the final. Campbell threw 68.87m/225-11 on her second throw to place 14th overall. McCall was just behind with a best throw of 68.26m/223-11 to place 15th overall.

Women’s 4x400m Relay
Team USA ran to the lead in the first heat of the prelims and looked smooth building up as much as a 20-meter lead during portions of the race. Natasha Hastings (Locust Grove, Ga.) ran the lead leg in 50.9 and handed off to Jessica Beard (College Station, Texas) who ran the fastest split of the team in 49.8. Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) benefited from Beard’s quick leg and ran nearly 20 meters ahead of her nearest competitor as she split 51.2. Keshia Baker (Duluth, Ga.) brought the stick home and protected first place by splitting 51.7.

Team USA Medals

GOLD (7)
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.47AR, 9/1
Jenny Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), W1500, 4:05.40, 9/1
Jesse Williams (Eugene, Ore.), MHJ, 2.35m/7-8.5, 9/1
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.90, 8/29
Jason Richardson (Inglewood, Calif.), M110H, 13.16, 8/29
Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), Decathlon, 8607, 8/28
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 6.82m/22-4.5, 8/28

Lashawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), M400, 44.63, 8/30
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W400, 49.59PR, 8/29
Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.), Decathlon, 8505, 8/28
Walter Dix (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), M100, 10.08, 8/28

Jillian Camarena-Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), WSP, 20.02m/65-8.25, 8/29


Will Claye, men’s triple jump
"I had the feel of the runway already from the long jump yesterday. The first one I was a little over, so I stutter stepped and still fouled. I got my mark down right on the second jump and just put one out of there. Now I’ll get back to hotel and prepare for the long jump. My body feels good. I’ve been preparing for this all year. That’s how the NCAAs were, so I’m prepared for it.”

Christian Taylor, men’s triple jump
“I got the job done. I came in just trying to qualify and scare some people. I didn’t have a good first jump so I erased that. I came back strong but I’m brushing that off. It only takes one jump in the finals and I’m here to win and nothing less.”

Kellie Wells, women's 100m hurdles
“I just wanted to work on things technically, get my legs back underneath and get a feel for the surface. I won my heat and I'm just going to keep moving forward. Everything is fine.. no pains, no aches.

"I'm completely over 2008 (Olympic Trials). We're in 2011 and I'm gunning for a medal. It is a tough field. It's going to take mental toughness. The final is about who is the toughest not about time. If you chase a time you’ll be in the back. So I just want to run well and do what I have to do.”

On teammates: "I'm in great company. My teammates are very, very talented. I'm probably the rookie. They are awesome women. We hang out with each other."

Dawn Harper, women’s 100m hurdles
“The beginning of the race my coach said he wanted me to get out pretty good and settled in. And I feel that’s what I did. Even in the race I was thinking if I don’t have to press anymore I’ll enjoy it. I was real comfortable through the race. I’m feeling good. I’m ready to go and I will not be the reason why I don’t do well..It’s a matter of going out there and just executing the race.”

Danielle Carruthers, women’s 100 hurdles
"I felt good. That is typically how I've run all year. The first five (hurdles) were okay..the second five were really, really good. So I'm really happy with that. I wanted to be clean in the first round..

"I've had some Achilles issue. But the way I see it is that every athlete runs with some type of pain."

Darvis Patton, men’s 200m
“I’m a little rusty. It’s been a while since I had run a 200. I got the cobwebs out and I’m looking forward to tonight. My objective was to go through and come off on curve first or second and kind of stay there...don’t press, don’t slow down, just maintain. It looked better than what it felt.”

Jeremy Dodson, men’s 200m
“I don’t know what happened. I tried to relaxed too much and it ended up killing me at the end. The track is fast and I didn’t trust myself. I’m hoping to finish off the season right.”

Jessica Cosby, women's hammer throw
"I'm trying to get back into the rhythm that I had going into the USA Championship. I was feeling great in my last two workouts.. I warmed up decent this morning in the back and then I really, really found my rhythm. I was glad to get it on my first throw. It was pretty humid out there so ideally you want to do what you have to do and then rest and get ready for the finals.

“I've been well rested. I haven't competed since USA’s. I was excited to get on plane to make it here. I was feeling amped from the plane ride and I'm riding that wave into the finals.

On reaching finals: “I'm excited. It's another opportunity. I’m looking forward for a big effort. I feel I have another big one in there and I'm hoping it will find its way out come Sunday.”

Amber Campbell, women’s hammer throw
"I was actually feeling pretty good. I was surprised it didn't fly farther, but I guess that is how it went on the day. My last throw felt really, really good. They measured it…it is under protest it was 69.94. I'm not sure if that will get me through but we'll see what happens."

Jeneva McCall, women’s hammer throw
“When I was out there, I couldn’t decide on what to do on my entry. I felt really good, I felt better than I ever had before. We kind of did a super peak for this meet because I needed to PR by three or four meters in order to make the finals. As the meet went on, when you have 15 people in a flight you have to keep yourself jacked up to get in there and do it again. As the meet went I felt more and more normal. Apparently my winds needed more help and I’ll do better next time.”

Natasha Hastings, 1st leg women’s 4x400m relay
“I thought it was a great effort. I felt pretty comfortable. It was kind of hard to run out in front with no one in front of me. I tried to kind of glance at the camera, but that didn’t help much. I just wanted to give my teammates enough of a lead that they were comfortable and they no one had to work extra hard to get us into tomorrow’s final.

Jessica Beard, 2nd leg women’s 4x400m relay
“I just got out there and ran for the team. I just wanted to make sure that we got the stick in the lead so we maintained our lead and that way everyone else could have a great lead and not have to work so hard at the finish. And I think we did that.”

Francena McCorory, 3rd leg women’s 4x400m relay
“Natasha and Jessica made it extremely easy for me. I just kept the lead, that was my only job. I thank them, they helped me out today.”

Keshia Baker, 4th leg women’s 4x400m relay
“It was great, I was able to go out there stress free. Just go out there and run my heart out and make sure I kept that lead and nothing happened. It was wonderful. It was a blessing.”

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