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Price is right for another American record performance


DES MOINES, Iowa — DeAnna Price launched herself back to the top as she reclaimed her hammer throw American record on day three of the USATF Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium.

Fans can watch a replay on NBC Sports Gold and click here for complete results.

Price (Moscow Mills, Missouri) reclaimed her American record, tossing the hammer 78.12m/256-3 enroute to her first USATF Championship in the women’s hammer throw. She took the lead on her opening attempt and never looked back. The world leader shined in finals with all three throws over 76m. Defending champion Gwen Berry (St. Louis, Missouri) broke the then-American record earlier this month and finished second today with a toss of 72.99/239-5.

Sam Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi) added another USATF Championship to his list as he earned the gold in the men’s pole vault Saturday afternoon. Kendricks has won every indoor and outdoor USATF Championship since his first outdoor title in 2014. He made it five USATF Outdoor Championships in a row with his facility record vault of 5.85/19-2.25. Chris Nilsen (Kansas City, Missouri) secured a silver medal as he cleared 5.80m/19-0.25. The third place finisher Cole Walsh (Phoenix, Arizona) had three consecutive personal best clearances and ended with a 5.75m/18-10.25 vault.

Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada) took the lead on her third jump, clearing 1.89/6-2.25. Cunningham’s winning height of 1.95m/6-4.25 marks her second outdoor title and fourth overall and stands as the highest jump by an American this year. Inika McPherson (Port Arthur, Texas) had the second highest jump of the day as she lept 1.92m/6-3.5 for a silver medal.

World record holder Keni Harrison (Clayton, North Carolina) and Christina Manning (Waldorf, Maryland) were even through six hurdles, but Harrison showed why she’s the defending champion finishing strong in 12.46. Manning crossed the line in 12.65 just ahead of Sharika Nelvis (Memphis, Tennessee) in 12.68. Two-time USATF Champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson (East St. Louis, Illinois), who is retiring at the end of the outdoor season, finished fifth in 12.93.

In a highly competitive field, Darrell Hill (Darby, Pennsylvania) pulled together a win in the men’s shot put on his fifth attempt with a 21.57m/70-9.25 heave. Hill secured his first national championship as the only thrower over 21m in Saturday’s competition. 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser (Boring, Oregon) struggled to find his groove but managed to land a 20.99m/68-10.5 throw for a silver medal.

Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) claimed her fifth consecutive title en route to a Drake Stadium record time of 9:17.70 in the Garden of Life Women’s 3,000 Steeplechase final. Courtney Freirichs (Nixa, Missouri) who finished second in 9:18.69, looked strong at the bell, but on the backstretch Coburn held her pace. Freirichs made a charge at the last-barrier but Coburn held her off. Coburn and Frerichs rank first and second on the all-time U.S. list and went one-two at the world championships last year. Going into today’s final, Coburn already had more U.S. championships in the event than any other runner.

Shakima Wimbley’s (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) world lead in the Xfinity 400 meters marked her return to the championship ranks. Kendall Ellis (Pembroke Pines, Florida) got out well, as Jessica Beard (Euclid, Ohio) caught Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas) at 200 meters. Wimbley shifted into high gear on the final curve, breaking away from the field to cross in a new Drake Stadium record time of 49.52, holding off Beard to win. Beard ran a huge personal best of 50.08 and Ellis the NCAA 400m runner-up was third in 50.37.

In the Michelob Ultra Women’s 1500, the field went out in the first lap in 49.19 as Jenny Simpson (Oviedo, Florida) sat in the back of the pack with Shelby Houlihan through 800 meters. Simpson started moving up at the 1000 meter mark while Houlihan ducked in on the rail. Kate Grace (Santa Monica, California)  moved to the lead at the bell with Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, California) on her heels. Grace led through the backstretch when Martinez and Lauren Johnson (Huntington, Indiana) got tangled on turn three. Martinez went down and didn’t finish. Simpson and Houlihan were even on the curve but with 50 meters to go, Houlihan surged forward and charged to the line, winning in 4:05.48. Simpson was second at 4:06.21 and Grace finished third in 4:07.04.

In stacked Nike Men’s 1500m, runners ran strategically, with the pack staying tight through three-and-a-half laps. Craig Engels (Pfafftown, North Carolina) was out in front early with Matthew Centrowitz (Annapolis, Maryland) who quickly moved to the lead. Centrowitz was patient as Drew Hunter (Purcellville, Virginia) went out front on the second lap with Sam Prakel (Versailles, Ohio) trailing close behind. The whole group stayed tight with two laps to go as Eric Jenkins (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) moved to lead, Centrowitz remained patient, staying in the top three at the bell. It appeared to be anyone’s race, but Centrowitz crossed first in 3:43.37 closing in 53.5. Izaic Yorks (Lakewood, Washington) came from the middle of the pack closing in 53.7 to take second place 3:43.64. This marked Centrowitz’s fifth 1500 meter national title becoming the first to reach that figure since Steve Scott, who won six championships between 1977 and 1986.

Curtis Thompson (Florence, New Jersey) landed a 74.55m/244-7 throw to secure the lead from his first attempt. His best throw of the day came with his fourth attempt toss of 75.99m/249-3. Capers Williamson (Greer, South Carolina) narrowly captured second place with a 75.71m/248-4 throw.   

In the women’s long jump, Sha’keela Saunders (Chesapeake, Virginia) claimed the USATF national title with her second round leap of 6.54m/21-5.50. Quanesha Burks (Hartselle, Alabama) finished second with a jump of 6.52m/21-4.75. Kendell Williams (Marietta, Georgia) took third with a jump of 6.48m/21-3.25.

T.J. Holmes (St. Petersburg, Florida) launched out of the blocks to lead the men’s 400m hurdles from the middle of the track for the majority of the race, but North Carolina’s Kenny Selmen (Mableton, Georgia) went into another gear after the final barrier to claim the national title finishing in 48.21.

The Progressive men’s 400 meters had an exciting finish. All competitors got out well, but coming off the final curve, there were five athletes fighting for the finish. With three meters to go, Houston’s Kahmari Montgomery (Plainfield, Illinois) edged out Paul Dedewo (Bronx, New York) at the line in a lifetime best of 44.58. Dedewo crossed in 44.64 and Michael Cherry (Chesapeake, Virginia) was third in 44.85.

Heptathlon favorite, Erica Bougard (Byhalia, Mississippi) claimed a comfortable 250 point lead on the first day of competition. The USATF indoor pentathlon champion, Bougard has the third best score in the world this year and won three of the four events, compiling 3,866 points. She won the 100 meter hurdles in 12.96, lept 1.84m/6-0.50 in the high jump and clocked 23.67 in the 200m to wrap up day one.

Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona), Aleec Harris (Atlanta, Georgia) and Aries Merritt (Atlanta, Georgia) have four U.S. championships in the men's 110 hurdles. They'll continue their competition Sunday after advancing to Sunday's semifinals. Allen, the national champion in 2014 and 2016, ran the fastest qualifying time at 13.45 out of the third heat. Harris, the defending champion, got third in his heat to make it to the next round. Merritt, who'll turn 33 next month, still holds the world record at 12.80 and won the 2012 Olympic Trials enroute to his Olympic gold in London, advanced with a third place finish in 13.62. Indoor 60m hurdles national champion Jarret Eaton (Abington, Pennsylvania), 13.56, finished second to Ryan Fontenot (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 13.51, in heat two to move on to the semifinal round.

Competition begins again Friday at 11:30 a.m. with more heptathlon action. Click here for a full competition schedule and here for live results.

Fans can watch live starting at 11:30 a.m. CT on NBC Sports Gold, followed by live coverage on NBC at 3:00 p.m. CT.

The USATF Outdoor Championships are part of the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series, presented by Xfinity. The champions series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the season, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.

Quotes from national champions can be found via video on USATF’s Instagram page. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation on social media with #USATFoutdoors on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.


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