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Lagat proves age is nothing but a number on wild night at Olympic Trials

7/9/2016
 

EUGENE, OREGON -- The penultimate day of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field did not disappoint, as a record 22,847 track & field fans witnessed 60 of the wildest minutes in Hayward Field history.

 

Ageless Lagat kicks to fifth Olympic Games

Kicking Father Time to the curb, Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) used a speedy final 200 to win his second Olympic Trials 5000 meters title in 13:35.50. Lagat, who won his ninth national championship at the distance, covered the final lap in 52.82 to move from sixth to first, leaving Hassan Mead (13:35.70) to outlean Paul Chelimo (13:35.92) for the other two Rio berths. Eric Jenkins (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) rush to the finish line left him .06 behind Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya). Lagat (41) will be the oldest running event Olympian in American history when he toes the line in Rio.  The oldest track & field Olympian is John Deni, who was 49 years, 75 days when he competed in the 50km race walk in 1952.

 

Early in the race, Brian Shrader (Flagstaff, Arizona) threw in a 59.83 400 on the heels of a pedestrian 3:05 first kilometer. Shrader held the lead through 3400 meters before 10,000m/marathon winner Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon) moved to the front and made the pace until the bell lap. Rupp placed ninth (13:41.09) in his bid to add a third Olympic berth to the marathon and 10,000 meters he had already achieved.

 

Gatlin wins the sprint meeting in the middle

A match-up in the middle between the fastest 100 meter man in the world in 2016 and the fastest 400 meter man ended up with speed taking the crown as dash champ Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida) was never headed on the way to a 19.75 victory in the 200, just .04 ahead of one-lapper LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia). Merritt’s 19.79 was the fastest-ever runner-up time at the Trials.

 

Ameer Webb (Tustin, California) held on to take the third Olympic spot in 20.00 ahead of the American Junior and high school record 20.09 set by Virginia prep Noah Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia). Lyles’ time broke the previous record of 20.13 set by Roy Martin of Dallas (Texas) Roosevelt in 1985. Another prep, Californian Michael Norman (Murrietta, California), was fifth in 20.14, which is equal to the third fastest high school time ever.

 

Allen wins first NCAA-Trials double since 1956

Hometown favorite Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona) sprinted away from the field over the final barrier to smash his lifetime best and win the 110m hurdles in 13.03. The Oregon footballer ran even with Jarret Eaton (Abington, Pennsylvania) early, with Ronnie Ash (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Jeff Porter (Somerset, New Jersey) outside him also staying in contention. Ash placed second by the narrowest of margins, beating Porter by a thousandth of a second as both men clocked 13.21. World record holder and 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt (Phoenix, Arizona) just missed out on a storybook return to the Games with his 13.22 in fourth.

 

Allen became the first collegian to win the 110H at the Trials since Renaldo Nehemiah of Maryland in 1980, and is the first to win both NCAA and Trials titles since 1956 (Lee Calhoun, NC Central). He is the fifth-fastest Trials performer with the eighth-fastest performance. His .18 margin of victory is the largest ever at the Olympic Trials (.14, Allen Johnson - 2000). The difference between third and fourth place is the smallest in Trials history (.02 - 1992/2008).

 

In the semifinals, it was Porter, Ash and Allen who came out on top. Ash had the top qualifying time in semi two in 13.34, while Allen took the third semi in 13.40 hampered by a -2.1 wind.

 

Claye-Taylor set up showdown in Rio

2012 Olympic Trials runner-up Will Claye (Tucson, Arizona) won the triple jump title with an effort of 17.65m/57-11, the third best performance in Trials history behind Melvin Lister (17.78m in 2004) and Mike Conley (17.68m in 1992). 2012 Trials champion Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia), who held the lead after rounds three and four, placed second with a 17.39m/57-0.75. Chris Benard (Corona, California) withstood a challenge for the third place position with a 17.21m/56-5.75 as Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) finished fourth with a 17.16m/56-3.75.

 

Florida freshman KeAndre Bates (El Paso, Texas) finished 10th in the triple jump after placing sixth in the long jump. He becomes just the third collegiate jumper since 1972 to place among the top 10 in both jumping events at the Olympic Trials, joining Mike Conley (Arkansas, 1984) and Walter Davis (Barton County, 2000).

 

Malone throws her way into javelin record books

Texas A&M’s Maggie Malone (Geneva, Nebraska) followed her NCAA victory in the same venue with an Olympic Trials win, topping the field by eight-plus feet with her winning throw of 60.84m/199-7. It’s the second best throw in Trials history, just behind the meet record of 61.51m/201-9 set in 2012 by Brittany Borman (Festus, Missouri). Malone, who set the collegiate record in winning the NCAA title, becomes the first javelin thrower to accomplish the double NCAA and OT victory and just the third female thrower to achieve the feat. The other two throwers included UCLA’s Seilala Sua in the discus (2000) and Cal State Hayward’s Maren Seidler in the shot put (1972).

 

Texas Tech’s Hannah Carson (Chandler, Arizona) threw 58.19m/190-11 to finish second, but lacks the Olympic standard of 62.00m/203-5. Kara Winger (Seattle, Washington) finished third with a 57.90m/189-11 and makes her third Olympic team while 2012 Trials winner Borman placed fourth with a 56.60m/185-8 and will make her second U.S. team.

 

Felix one race away from 200-400 double

The only semifinal with a tailwind produced the fastest time in the form of a 22.27 from Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) to take the third section. Allyson Felix (Los Angeles) had a slow start but continued to make up ground and easily took the second automatic qualifying spot in 22.57. Last year’s USATF champion, Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California), was the first semi winner into a stiff 1.7 wind, clocking 22.68, and current Oregon Duck Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York) took the second semi in 22.45, the second-fastest time overall. Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, California), the 2014 champ and sixth at last year’s World Championships, nabbed the final time qualifying berth in 22.98.

 

Nwaba leads through 4 events courtesy of high jump PB

Barbara Nwaba (Los Angeles) used a strong personal best in the women’s high jump to help her to the first day points lead in the heptathlon with 3,903, recording the top clearance of the day with a mark of 1.90m/6-2.75. NCAA winner Kendell Williams (Marietta, Georgia) of Georgia trailed by only 11 points after running the fastest times in the 100m hurdles (12.99) and 200m (23.67).

 

Lifetime heptathlon bests in the high jump and shot put gave Heather Miller-Koch (Columbus, Wisconsin) 3,822 points in third, while 2013 USATF champion Sharon Day-Monroe (Costa Mesa, California) was the best in the shot put with a throw of 15.19m/49-10 and sat fourth overall with 3,813.

 

Top 3 leaders in heptathlon after each event

100m Hurdles: Kendell Williams, 1126; Erica Bougard, 1108; Chantae McMillan, 1075

High Jump: Kendell Williams, 2155; Erica Bougard, 2137; Barbara Nwaba, 2134

Shot Put: Barbara Nwaba, 2939; Sharon Day-Monroe, 2901; Kendell Williams, 2879

200 meters: Barbara Nwaba, 3903; Kendell Williams, 3892; Heather Miller-Koch, 3822

 

Track & field events conclude July 10 at Hayward Field in Eugene. The NBC family of networks will be broadcasting action from the Olympic Trials live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. USATF.TV will then air The Cool Down live from Hayward Field each day after the end of the NBC broadcasts. Fans can follow along with the U.S Olympic Trials - Track & Field on social media by using #TrackTown16 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

#TrackTown16 TV/Webcast Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Network

Key Events

Sun, July 10

4-6 p.m.

Live Extra

Women’s pole vault | STREAM

 

7-8:30 p.m.

NBC

1500m, Women’s 200m | STREAM

 


Amanda Brooks
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USA Track & Field
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