Eugene, Ore. – The U.S. women put on a show in the field events with the long jumpers having the best ever U.S. performance, and Brittany Borman improving her personal best by more than two feet to win the women’s javelin competition on her 23rd birthday. Today was the final full day of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field as 22,497 fans gathered at Hayward Field. The eight-day total attendance was recorded at 167,123.
The greatest and deepest women’s long jump in U.S. history had all three women on the podium jumping more than 23 feet. World Indoor and Outdoor champion Brittney Reese had a dramatic finish as she had to sweat out a protest after her final attempt was ruled a foul. Upon review of the Eagle Eye video system, her jump was ruled legal and at 7.15m/23-5.5 was enough to capture her fifth straight national title.
Prior to Reese’s winner, the drama came from Louisiana Tech’s Chelsea Hayes, who hit a massive lifetime-best 7.10m/23-3.5 on her sixth attempt after four straight fouls. That leap made her the fourth best performer in U.S. history and the equal-second-best collegiate performer ever. Janay DeLoach jumped a wind-legal PR of 7.03m/23-0.75 in the third round, then improved with a windy 7.08m/23-2.75 in round five and ended up third. NCAA champion Whitney Gipson of TCU was fourth with a PR 6.97m/22-10.5.
NCAA champion Brittany Borman waited until her final attempt in the women’s javelin, but it was worth the wait when she uncorked a lifetime best 61.51m/201-9 throw that made her the No. 3 U.S. competitor of all-time and captured her first U.S. title. American Record holder Kara Patterson had the early lead but tweaked knee on her fourth-round throw and elected to pass her final two tries and placed second at 59.79/196-2. Kim Hamilton finished third at 58.04m/190-5 but does not have an Olympic A standard, so Rachel Yurkovich, who was fourth, will make the trip to London based on having the A standard.
In the men’s 1500m, Jordan McNamara and Will Leer led early, but the racing became earnest with 600m remaining. With a lap left it was Matthew Centrowitz, the 2011 World bronze medalist, ahead of the field and he maintained that edge until the final 30m. Leo Manzano, an Olympian in 2008 and a member of three World teams, eyed the finish line as he completed the final circuit in 53.08 to a 53.55 for Centrowitz. Manzano captured the Trials title in a time of 3:35.75 as a raucous crowd cheered for runner-up Centrowitz, who ran 3:35.84, as well as Andrew Wheating took third at 3:36.68. NCAA champion Andy Bayer of Indiana placed fourth in 3:37.24, but didn’t have enough to catch Wheating, who was an 800m Olympian in 2008.
In the women’s 1500m, Morgan Uceny, a member of the 2011 World team and No. 1 in Track and Field News world rankings, was among the leaders throughout the race and cruised a final lap of 60.14 to win with a 4:04.59 over Shannon Rowbury, who finished with a 60.46 to get second in 4:05.11. Rowbury placed 8th in the 2008 Olympic final and was a bronze medalist at the 2009 Worlds. Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World champion, had a firm grasp on the third London position as she ran 4:05.17. Giving chase in fourth with a 4:07.38 was Gabriele Anderson, followed by Anna Pierce (4:07.78) and Sarah Bowman (4:08.25). Earlier leaders Trenier Moser and Brenda Martinez ended up in 11th and 12th.
Reaffirming her position as a gold medal threat in London, American Record holder and reigning World champion Lashinda Demus raced to the fastest time by an American this year in the women’s 400m hurdles, taking her fourth national title in 53.98. Rapidly-improving Georganne Moline of Arizona dropped her PR to 54.32 to finish second, with former Miami star T’erea Brown claiming the third Olympic berth with a 54.81 in third. 2008 Trials winner Tiffany Williams was fourth, one spot ahead of NCAA champ Cassandra Tate of LSU.
Two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor appeared to have another men’s 400m hurdles national title wrapped up but he had trouble at hurdle nine and bobbled on the way to the final barrier, where his stuttering opened the door for 2006 NCAA champion Michael Tinsley to sprint to his first U.S. victory in 48.33. Taylor managed to hang on for second in 48.57, and two-time World champion Kerron Clement benefited from an ill-timed fall by Bershawn Jackson to take third in 48.89, .05 ahead of the sprawling Batman.
In the women's 20 km race walk, it appeared to be a two woman race as Maria Michta and Erin Gray, who was born and raised in Eugene, swapped the lead throughout the majority of the race. As Michta and Gray walked seemingly stride-for-stride, the duo pulled away from the rest of the field; however, with approximetly two miles remaining, Miranda Mellville began her charge on the leaders.Mellville closed the gap quickly and made it a three-woman race for the one Olympic spot. Eventually, Gray was unable to hold the pace, and faded back from Michta and Gray, who fought until the final straightaway. Michta came away with the win in 1:34:53.33, to Melville's 1:34:56.92.
The final event of the Trials displayed the dominance of Wallace Spearmon in the men’s 200, as he overcame his typical medium curve and rolled to the front off the bend on the way to a windy 19.82 that gave him a margin of victory of more than three-tenths of a second. NCAA champion Maurice Mitchell was second in 20.14, and Isiah Young of Ole Miss grabbed the third London berth at 20.16.
Prior to Sunday’s competition, USATF announced that the third position for the women’s 100 meters on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be determined by a run-off between Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, July 2. The race will be held at Hayward Field and broadcast live on NBC.
The tie-breaking decision came Sunday afternoon after a meeting with the athletes, their representatives, coach and USATF officials.
Tarmoh and Felix on June 23 finished in a dead heat for the third and final Olympic Team position, in 11.07 seconds, behind winner Carmelita Jeter and second-place Tianna Madison. On Saturday, Felix won the women’s 200m in 21.69 seconds, with Tarmoh fifth in 22.35.
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