Eugene, Ore. - Incredibly deep fields were the theme of the day as 14 Olympians punched their tickets to London and Allyson Felix shattered the 200m Olympic Trials record in front of a crowd of 20,791 on a drizzly day at Hayward Field.
Running away from one of the best fields of American 200-meter women ever assembled, Felix stunned the Hayward Field crowd with a 21.69 victory that took down the 24-year-old meet record of 21.77 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner and became the fourth-fastest woman in history. In her wake, 2011 World silver medalist Carmelita Jeter finished second with a lifetime-best 22.11, and 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross claimed her second spot on the London squad with a 22.22. NCAA winner Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU placed fourth at 22.34. Felix had a margin of victory of .42 seconds, the largest in the electronic-timing era at the Trials.
World Indoor 60m hurdles champion Aries Merritt stepped up in a big way on the outdoor stage in the men’s 110m hurdles, moving to equal fifth on the all-time U.S. list and equal eighth on the all-time world list with a 12.93 that saw him beat 2011 World champion Jason Richardson. Richardson matched his PR from the semifinal with a 12.98 in second, and the biggest surprise of the day came from Jeff Porter, who took third with a lifetime-best 13.08 while diving at the finish line. Porter’s best coming into the final was 13.19, set in the semifinal earlier in the day. In one of the deepest U.S. races in history, American Record holder David Oliver was fifth at 13.17, and Ryan Wilson seventh at 13.24.
Chaunte Lowe, the American record holder, and Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett waged one of the best head-to-head U.S. women’s high jump competition ever, and it was Lowe who came out on top at a meet-record 2.01m/6-7 with no misses through that height. Barrett also cleared 2.01, the highest ever by a collegian, but had one miss at 1.95m/6-4.75 and placed second. Ageless Amy Acuff, who will turn 37 in a couple weeks, made her fifth Olympic team in placing third with a best of 1.95/6-4.75. She is only the fifth American woman ever to make five Olympic teams. 15-year-old Nevada high schooler Gabrielle Williams was a surprise fifth at 1.89m/6-2.25.
World Outdoor champion Christian Taylor and World Indoor champion Will Claye took advantage of still winds early in the men’s triple jump to take the top two spots and earn the only two berths on the London-bound team. Taylor bounded a world-leading 17.63m/57-10.25 in the opening round, while Claye popped a 17.55m/57-7 effort. Walter Davis, a two-time Olympian in the triple jump, placed third at 16.69m/54-9.25 but does not have the A standard of 17.20.
2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain didn’t have an A standard entering the heptathlon here, but her two days of solid work yielded a 6,419-point score that not only earned her the win, but also a trip to London. Sharon Day, the only woman coming into the meet with the A, had a lifetime-best score of 6,343 to place second, and Chantae McMillan used a PR throw of 50.24m/164-10 in the javelin to help her score 6,188 and push her past the 6,150 necessary to go to London.
Battling negative winds in the semifinals of the men’s 200, NCAA champ Maurice Mitchell had the fastest time overall at 20.43. 2004 Olympic gold medalist and ‘08 silver medalist Shawn Crawford turned in a season-best 20.48 to also move on, and Wallace Spearmon was an easy winner in his section at 20.59.
Trevor Barron replaced his coach Tim Seaman on a pair of American record en route to qualifying for his first Olympic team. Barron’s winning time of 1:23:00.10 in the men’s 20,000m race walk established the American record along with his 15,000m time of 1:02:06.57. Seaman, who earned four masters 40-45 American records in the process, placed second in a time of 1:27:29.48. Christie placed third in 1:29:47.30. A veteran of two Olympic Games, Seaman is the coach for both Barron and Nick Christie.
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