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Mixed morning of qualifying for Team USA

LONDON - It was a mixed day in qualifying action as all of the women in the 100m hurdles and 1500m advanced to the next round, but Michelle Carter was the only woman to advance to the shot put final and none of the men in the discus throw were able to advance to the final during the Monday morning session at the Olympic Stadium.

In the first round of the women’s 100m hurdles, all three Americans advanced with ease. Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.) was the fastest out of heat 1 in 12.69, while Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.) was second in heat 2 in 12.75. Lolo Jones (Baton Rouge, La.) ran a season best of 12.68 to win the final heat. 2009 World Champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica clipped the fifth hurdle and did not advance.

The three American women in the 1500m advanced to the semifinal, albeit in very different ways. Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) ran in heat 1 where the fastest field of the day where Abeba Aregawi ran through the line in 4:04.55 and Rowbury held on for seventh place in 4:06.03. Rowbury’s time was the fastest non-automatic qualifier of the day and puts her into the semifinals. Reigning World Champion Jenny Simpson (Monument, Colo.) ran in the slowest heat of the day and was in the 10th position with half a lap remaining, but steadily kicked her way up through the crowd to claim the final automatic qualifying spot by five hundredths of a second in 4:13.81. Morgan Uceny (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) ran in heat 3 and steadily navigated her way through the crowd over the final lap to finish second in 4:06.87.

In the men’s 800m, Nick Symmonds (Eugene, Ore.) and Duane Solomon (Los Angeles, Calif.) won their heats to advance to the next round. Symmonds took first in heat 4 in 1:45.91, while Solomon won heat 7 in 1:46.05. In the first heat, Khadevis Robinson (Las Vegas, Nev.) found himself battling down the straightaway in a pack of four men fighting for third place and an automatic spot in the next round; however, Robinson was unable to advance as he finished fourth in 1:47.17. 

Off the track, Team USA had a harder time in qualifying action. None of the U.S. men advanced to the final of the discus throw. In group A, Jason Young (Lubbock, Texas) landed a first throw of 62.18m/204-0. He was not able to record a farther mark on his two remaining throws he stepped out of the front of the ring. In group B, Lance Brooks (Denver, Colo.) was 12th best in his group with his first attempt of 61.17m/200-8. Jarred Rome (Chula Vista, Calif.) fouled his first two throws, but came back to throw 59.57m/195-5.

Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) will be the only American woman returning in tonight’s shot put final. Carter threw a best mark of 18.63m/61-1.50 on her second attempt. American record holder and World Championship bronze medalist Jillian Camarena-Williams (Tucson, Ariz.) was unable to advance to the final. Camarena-Williams has been battling a back injury for a few weeks and was only able to throw 18.22m/59-9.5. First-time Olympian Tia Brooks (Grand Rapids, Mich.) recorded a throw of 17.72m/58-1.75 on her second attempt.  

Athlete Quotes:
Jason Young, Discus: “I can’t really complain about anything besides my first throw, that was my best one. With the situation in the stadium with the best discus field that’s ever been comprised in the Olympics. Obviously it is a great crowd. It is a lot of pressure. Almost everybody had a hard time making the qualification.”

Jarred Rome, Discus: “That was the worst feeling day I’ve had in couple of years. My practice two days ago was probably the best practice I’ve had in a couple of years. I really don’t know what happened. My first throw hit the cage, and I think that rattled me a bit. I backed off a bit on my next throw and it didn’t go anywhere. On the last throw I tried to hit it and missed. It’s over before you know it.”

Lance Brooks, Discus: “It’s never good enough, and any athlete understands that, but I felt good and I felt ready to throw far. A couple of things were mistimed, but I was ready to throw. It was fine.”

Kellie Wells, 100m Hurdles:  “I’m so happy.  Round one is out of the way!  The first round went really good, we’ll go back at it tomorrow and do it again.  I feel great, life is good. The crowd is amazing.  It sounds like they’re cheering just for me and I love it.”

Dawn Harper, 100m Hurdles: “It felt really good.  I was weird.  I couldn’t believe I was in the zone.  I felt like I was in practice  I kind of shocked myself with my start.  I’m really good, I felt comfortable with that. “

Lolo Jones, 100m Hurdles:  “It was a comfortable race.  My heart just breaks for Bridget (Foster Hylton.)  I felt really good.  I’m ready to go onto the next round.  I’m ready to make everyone proud.”

Jillian Camarena-Williams: Shot Put: “I hurt myself this last week, and I haven’t been able to practice pretty much the whole time I’ve been in England. It’s been a rough go, but I just wanted to go out and try my hardest, and that is what I did.”

Michelle Carter: Shot Put: “I started off a little slow, but I was able to pick it up a little bit. My third throw was a foul out of the sector, but it definitely would have been over the qualifying mark. Now I’ll just rest and get ready for tonight.”

Tia Brooks, Shot Put: “They weren’t my best throws, but I’m happy to have this opportunity, and it ended the way it is supposed to. I can say that I just competed with the best shot putters in the world. I can say I competed on the national stage, the international stage and the whole world was watching me; I can’t even put into words how that feels.”

Khadevis Robinson, 800m: “I tried to run a different kind of race, and I tried to get myself in a better position than I had all season. I tried to get in that fourth or fifth position as opposed to being in the back, and I didn’t get that position, so I just faltered. I never could grab it so I just ran in lane two the whole race. You just can’t do that here.”

Nick Symmonds, 800m: “I’m just glad it was an honest race so it strung out a bit. No pushing and shoving, it was a relatively smooth race...I felt pretty good, a little flat, but historically that means I should feel really good tomorrow.”

Duane Solomon, 800m:  “It was always the plan to dictate the pace and get out in front so I can shut it down when I want.  I felt like I timed my season just right.  Now is the perfect time for me to go out there and win.”

Shannon Rowbury, 1500m:  “ We ended up going out really quick.  I tried my best to tuck in and conserve energy.  The time was relatively quick so I hope I get in on time, I hope it’s meant to be.  I didn’t quite close soon enough.  I’ll hopefully learn from that and change it in the semifinal, God willing.  I’m really been working on closing.  I didn’t really time it right, but hopefully this isn’t the end.”

Jenny Simpson, 1500m: “If people want to see my miracle kick that was definitely a miracle today.  I ran the slowest race to make it in.  At this point, what’s done is done, I have to move on.  It was really physical up front.  With about 200 meters to go I realized I needed to do something so I put my head down and didn’t look up until 5 meters to the line.  I think it’s the first time in my life I’ve leaned at the line.” 

Morgan Uceny, 1500m: “My goal is always to be in the top three in the rounds to make it to the final.  I felt good.  I was a little anxious because I haven’t raced a lot.  There’s nothing better to prepare you than to do three rounds. I didn’t it once, I can do it again.”

Competition resumes this evening in the Olympic Stadium with Team USA competing in the finals of the women’s pole vault, shot put and steeplechase and the men’s 400m hurdles. For more information on the 2012 Olympic Games, visit

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