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Hill shatters 3,000m meet record on first day of USATF Indoors

3/11/2016
 

PORTLAND, Oregon -- The first day of the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships was just a precursor to what fans can expect next week at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on the same track next weekend. World leads and meet records highlighted Friday’s action at the Oregon Convention Center, as nine champions were crowned on the emerald green track.


Action continues Saturday at 2:30 p.m. PT with the semi-finals of the women’s and men’s 60-meter hurdles. Fans can watch all the action live on USATF.TV until NBCSN picks up live coverage from 5-8 p.m. PT. During the TV window, field events will be live on USATF.TV.


In one of the most exciting races of Friday’s action, Bowerman Track Club’s Ryan Hill (Hickory, North Carolina) used team tactics to solidify his victory in the men’s 3,000m. Hill, who won the USATF indoor 2-mile title in 2015, relied on his strong kick once again but had the support of his Bowerman teammates to carry him through. Hill, along with Evan Jager (Algonquin, Illinois), Andy Bayer (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Lopez Lomong (Portland, Oregon), took the top four spots early, with cross country king Garrett Heath (Winona, Minnesota) on their heels.


Lomong put forth a brutal pace as he took the quartet through much of the first 2 km before stepping off the track and letting his trio of teammates finish the work. Hill stayed in position for the rest of the race, but Heath made a move on the bell lap that forced Hill to turn to his signature kick. Hill crossed in 7:38.59 for a new meet record, besting Moses Kiptanui’s time of 7:42.81 from the 1994 championships. The biggest surprise of the race came as Paul Chelimo (Portland, Oregon) passed the field in the final 50 meters to take the second national team spot in 7:39.00.


2015 Bowerman Trophy winner Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Delaware) picked up where he left off in the 2015 outdoor season, as he easily took the W in the men’s long jump. Dendy launched himself to a world-leading 8.41m/27-7.50, with Beijing teammate Jeffery Henderson (North Little Rock, Arkansas) taking the runner-up spot with his leap of 8.05m/26-5. Henderson’s best matched Pan Am Games medalist Marquise Goodwin (Lubbock, Texas), but Henderson took the silver due to countbacks.


2015 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) continued her record ways, recording the best shot put mark in the world in 2016. On her first throw of the day, Carter had her 10th USATF title locked up, launching the shot 19.49m/63-11.50. Olympian Jillian Camarena-Williams (Woodland, California) took silver with her mark of 18.64m/61-2 on both her fourth and sixth throws.


Shannon Rowbury earned yet another USATF Indoor crown after taking two in 2015. Rowbury continued her winning ways, biding her time in the women’s 3,000 meters while letting others push the pace. Rowbury made her move with two laps remaining and


Colin Dunbar (Santa Barbara, California) was the day’s first champion, upsetting Olympian and multi-time USATF Champion A.G. Kruger in the men’s weight throw. Dunbar took the lead on his second throw of the day, but solidified the victory with his fifth throw of 23.96m/78-7.50 to edge Kruger.


The heats of the women’s 60-meter hurdles saw seven women go sub-8, including heat winners Janay DeLoach (Panama City, Florida) in 7.88, Keni Harrison (Clayton, North Carolina) in 7.89 and Sharika Nelvis (Memphis, Tennessee) in 7.90.


In the women’s and men’s 60m prelims, it was Barbara Pierre (Orlando, Florida) and IAAF World Indoor Tour champion Mike Rodgers (St. Louis, Missouri) who torched the track with the fastest times out of the opening rounds, finishing in 7.13 and 6.56, respectively. The semi-finals for both events are set for 3 p.m. PT and 3:15 p.m. PT with the finals closing out the action on day two.


2015 USATF Indoor 300m champion Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York) looks to be in fast form for 2016, as she came out of the preliminary round of the women’s 400m with the fastest time of 51.79. On the men’s side, it was former LSU standout Vernon Norwood (Morgan City, Louisiana) who bested the first round field, finishing in 45.81 for the fastest time by more than a second.


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Amanda Brooks
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USA Track & Field
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