DAEGU, South Korea - Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran her second fastest ever marathon to finish 17th in 2:32:04 in the first final of the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Team USA also advanced seven athletes from the qualifying rounds during the morning session at Daegu Stadium.
Nine Americans made their World Championships debut; however, none of the five who were competing in the qualifying rounds advanced into the finals.
Meanwhile, as expected, four Olympians led Team USA in the qualifying rounds:
Team USA moved a step closer toward securing its first ever medal in the women’s discus as 2008 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton (Oceano, Calif.) posted the sixth best overall qualifying mark at 61.89m/206-3.5.
Two-time Olympian Derrick Miles (Tea, S.D.) and Jeremy Scott (Brookland, Ark.) qualified for the finals in the men’s pole vault where they will be hoping to give Team USA its first medal in that event since 2007.
In the opening round of the men’s 800, Team USA Olympians Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.) and Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) qualified into the semifinal round. Symmonds was sixth in the 2009 World Outdoor Championships.
The marathon saw the field go out in a very large front pack, with 27 women running within seconds of each other through 25 kilometers. The women ran through a three-loop course through downtown Daegu, with temperatures in the high 70s at the start and the humidity at 72 percent. Tera Moody ran in the mix with the leaders, even spending time at the front of the pack. The group went through 5 km in 18:34; 10 km in 36:26; 15 km in 54:11; 20 km in 1:12:39 and 25 km in 1:30:35.
By 30 km the pack thinned to 19 runners, but Moody stayed with the pack as they split in 1:48:35. However, the leaders made a break for it over the next five kilometers and the pack disintegrated with only four women leading the race. By 35 km, Moody was 1:11 behind the leaders and split 2:06:30. By the 40 km mark, eventual winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya pulled away from the rest of the field and maintained her lead to win in 2:28:43. Moody finished in her second-best time ever in 2:32:04 to place 17th.
The rest of the U.S. squad finished within 10 places of one another. Kathy Newberry (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was 30th in 2:37:28. Alisa McKaig was 32nd in 2:38:23, Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.) was 38th in 2:44:35 and Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, Colo.) 40th in 2:46:44. This was a first World Championship appearance for Newberry, McKaig and Gomez. In the Marathon World Cup team scores, Team USA took sixth place.
Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colo.) ran her second fastest time ever to advance into the finals of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase. Coburn found herself just outside of the automatic qualifiers as she took the final water jump in fifth place; however, as Lyubov Kharlamova of Russia stumbled a bit in the water jump, Coburn powered through the final 150m to take fourth place in the second heat in 9:38.42.
Fellow Americans Bridget Franek (Eugene, Ore.) and Stephanie Garcia (South Riding, Va.) did not fare as well. Franek was seventh in the first heat in a time of 9:43.09. Garcia, who was a late addition to the Team USA roster, took seventh in the final heat in 9:53.47.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton had a best throw of 61.89m/206-3.5 to place sixth overall in qualifying and advance into the final. Three-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond (Opelika, Ala.) was 13th with 59.88m/196-5, and Gia Lewis-Smallwood (Champaign, Ill.), appearing in her first World Championships, was 15th overall with a best throw of 59.49m/195-2. Neither woman made the 12-person field for the final.
Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas) and Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) stood first and second, respectively, in the decathlon after three events that were held during the morning session. Hardee tallied 2,680 points after finishing second in the 100 (10.55), fifth in the long jump (7.45m/24-5.5) and ninth in the shot put (15.09m/49-6.25).
Eaton, the 2011 world leader, opened the grueling two-day event by running the fastest time in the 100 (10.46) and placing third in the long jump (7.46m/24-5.75) en route to 2,665 points. He had a mark of 14.44m/47-4.50) on his first throw in the shot put before fouling on his final two attempts. Ryan Harlan (Houston, Texas) won the men’s shot put with a mark of 16.49m/54-1 but stood in 23rd place overall with 2,418 points.
Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson both advanced to the semi-finals of the 800m. Symmonds moved from second to first in the final 20 meters of the first heat to cross the line in 1:46.54. Robinson finished third in his heat in 1:48.41 to advance automatically. While Charles Jock (San Diego, Calif.) did not advance to the finals, he took fifth in the fourth heat in 1:47.95 in not only his first senior national team, but also his first trip out of the United States.
Men’s Pole Vault
Jeremy Scott and Derek Miles advanced out of Group B with qualifying vaults of 5.60m/18-4.5 for the finals which will be held Monday night. Both passed at 5.65m/18-6.5.
The six-foot 9-inch Scott, appearing on his second World Outdoor team, was flawless clearing on his first attempts at 5.35m/17-6.75, 5.50m/18-0.50 and 5.60. Miles, who at 38 is the oldest member of Team USA men’s squad, found success on his first attempts at 5.35m and 5.60m. He cleared 5.50m on his second attempt. Mark Hollis (Elkhart, Ind.) didn’t make it out of Group A qualifying. After clearing 5.35m on his first attempt, he failed to clear 5.50 on three attempts.
Tera Moody, women’s marathon
“I just wanted to run my own race and block everybody else out to give myself the best shot of running a good race....I am very pleased, I think I executed very well...I am only a little disappointed because I got confused at the end because I thought it was 42k and it wasn’t...so two girls got me right at the end.
“I am pleased. I wanted to be top 15...but overall a good day...definitely room for improvement... I’m coming back from four months off with recent surgeries..but I think overall it went really well.”
Emma Coburn, women’s steeplechase
“The first [kilometer] was slow a enough to really, really be comfortable last 2k I was on the back of that pack and they put a few meters on me and parts of my gut were like ‘okay, maybe I’ll still get a time qualifier’ But we practice our water jumps a lot and our closing pace in races. I didn’t feel comfortable that I would qualify on place until I crossed the line. It was incredible, I was kind of on the bubble if I would make the final or not, it was a goal, but not an expectation, so it was incredible to finish and realize that I’ll get to compete again on this beautiful track and try to represent the USA well in the final.”
Bridget Franek, women’s 3000 steeplechase
“I didn’t take a big enough risk at the beginning, but I felt good coming home strong. Some of the girls took it out pretty fast..I wanted to be a little bit more in control and run my pace which I probably should have taken bigger risk in the beginning and just gone with them. By the end I gave it my all. I feel more prepared to run faster, but it just didn’t happen for whatever reason. I can’t really make excuses. Next year I’m looking to come back and be a serious contender, cleaning up some things to do some damage.
“I felt great physically. That is one of the things I keep telling myself, you don’t know when you’re going to come into a championship this healthy and strong again so you have to make the most of it here and now even though I have a tendency to look forward to say I’m going to be so much better next year.”
Stephanie Garcia, women’s steeplechase
“It was really exciting....it was awesome..It tried not to think of this as World Championships. I tried think of this as just another race...this is Europe...this is against girls I’ve run against before. and unfortunately I didn’t have pop at the very end but I tried to give it my best go. I was right up there with the front pack but it just didn’t click today.
“I wanted to be steady in the first couple laps. I haven’t run an outside water pit in a little while. That is different approach. I was trying to be calm the first few laps, but I think maybe I was a little far too out for my comfort. For what my experience was for this, getting a call a week and half ago, to get here I felt I handled it the best I could and gave my best effort.”
Stephanie Brown Trafton, women’s discus
“I made my qualifying mark on first attempt which is typical for me. I would like to keep progressing and doing better but if I can make it to the finals with my first attempt I won’t be upset with that. I’m still working on things.
“Tomorrow is going to be a great day. I would like to come out and get a medal that has been my goal the whole year. I kind of hope it rains. I like the rain. It presents a different element. It adds another complex level.
“Physically I feel good. I have more support staff here personally than I’ve had before. Team USA has more medical assistance than ever before and Team USA has a great staff. Logistically this is one of the best meets I’ve been to.”
Gia Lewis-Smallwood, women’s discus
“My goal was to make the finals and I didn’t do that. But this was amazing. I walked into that stadium and I thought ‘holy molly I was born for this’. This was the most amazing experience of my life. I thought I would walk in and feel a little intimidated, but I walked in there and said ‘bring it on’...how cool was it...this was amazing...I love it...give it two thumbs...highly recommended. I had the best time. I don’t even feel sad about not making the final. it was such a great experience and I’m really pleased with everything.”
Aretha Hill Thurmond, women’s discus
“If you try to attack it too much with the upper body, it's never gonna be as good as you want it to be. If you come up early, you're never gonna come up with as good of a throw. The power was there, but it went left sector.
“If you mistime it a little bit, it could go right, or it could go left. It's not anything that you lose faith in. I felt good, and I knew I had it in me. I just know that if I had just gotten through this qualifying round, it would have been a different ball game. Can I throw that on any given day? Yes, but I didn't do it today.
“I've had a great season this year, I've been consistent and I know I can throw far. I'm gonna go home and regroup and get ready for the Diamond League finals.”
Nick Symmonds, men’s 800m
“I felt really good...You know I like to feel a little flat in the first round, it means I’ve tapered adequately. This should blow some of that out and tomorrow I should feel really really pumpy and fresh. I ran the race I wanted to and made it through without spending too much energy. The only concern now is who I draw in the semis, you know the 800 is kind of a crap-shoot, you could have what appears to be the easiest heat, and then that could be the heat with the most wild-cards. I just have to be ready to race anybody.”
Khadevis Robinson, men’s 800m
“It was a tough one. The pace was a bit slow but I made it through which is all you want to do. It takes me a while to get revved up but I’m 35 years old. I ran like I wanted to run it but I didn’t anticipate it being that slow. But it is what it is and at the end of the day I made it through which is the main thing.
“Coming to 400, I felt I needed to go to get a position but it was going to be hard to do that because when I did move another guy moved. So that made it feel tough. In the last 100 I thought I would pass the leaders but I didn’t take into account that we came through 55 seconds in the first lap. Because I ran the the whole second lap in lane two, I probably ran the whole 800 in 12 13 meters longer.
“You have to come in here fresh, sharp and ready and you got to get in the right heats. A heat like this was actually good for me if I can get in position. I wasn’t aggressive enough today but it worked out.”
Charles Jock, men’s 800m
“I was in third for about the first 450 meters, and I felt good through 500 meters... in the last 200m I was trying to make a move and my body just wouldn’t respond...I tried to pick it up and with about 150 meters left, my body was just out of it...I know my weaknesses now, from this whole season and I know what I need to work on. I’m going to go home, take my break and come back four times harder.”
Derek Miles, men’s pole vault
“You know, the prelims are always a lose-lose deal, you kind of expect yourself to make it through the final and you have to go out and do it. But even when you make the final, your just like ‘well, that’s what I should have done’...but making the final is always important...this is my eighth team and this is my eighth final and I’m excited about that....but you still have to go back and regroup and figure out how to make it better...the old man is still kicking.”
Mark Hollis, men’s pole vault
“I felt great in warmups...made the first bar easily...I went up to the next height and I think it was such a fast track, that I was just too close and I came down on the bar three times in a row. It was frustrating especially the way I was feeling. I was disappointed but it was a great experience being here.”
Jeremy Scott, men’s pole vault
“It went just as we had it plan -- three bars and three makes and no misses. We really had a great look at the box and I think were set up good for the finals. I feel great. I feel like I’m as ready for the World Championships as I’ve ever been. I’ve jumping as consistently good as I’ve ever been. I’ll do a little shakeout for tomorrow, otherwise I’ll kick the feet up and just rest getting ready for the finals.”
For full results of the IAAF World Championships, visit www.iaaf.org