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Rollins Wins Gold on Four medal night for Team USA at World Championships

8/17/2013
 
MOSCOW — Brianna Rollins capped off a perfect championship season in the women’s 100m hurdles as Team USA again stormed to a four-medal performance Saturday night at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships at Luzhniki Stadium.

Heading into the final day of competition, Team USA has 20 medals - six gold, 11 silver and three bronze. They lead the point standings 236-156 over Russia.

In the 100m hurdles, Rollins (Miami, Fla.) overcame a slow start out of lane 6 to come from behind on Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson of Australia in lane 5. The NCAA and USA champion, Rollins overtook Pearson over the eighth and ninth hurdles, keeping her cool as she cruised to a well-executed victory in 12.44, adding the World title to her belt. Pearson clocked  season-best 12.50. Tiffany Porter of Great Britain was third in a personal-best 12.55, with Olympic silver medalist Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.) fourth in 12.59 and Queen Harrison (Richmond, Va.) fifth in 12.73. American Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pa.) had run 12.83 to finish third in the first semifinal earlier in the evening and did not advance to the final.

In the most thrilling final of the night, a young Team USA went head to head with the Russians in the women’s 4x400m relay. Running lead-off Jessica Beard (College Station, Texas) handed off to 400m national champion Natasha Hastings (Atlanta, Ga.) with a 5-meter lead. At the second hand-off, the U.S. and Russia were even as Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis Ind.) took on third-leg duties. Trailing the Russians by a step, Spencer hugged the inside lane as Kseniya Ryzova of Russia drifted out to the second lane coming down the homestretch. With a half-stride lead over the U.S., Russia then cut into the inside to make the exchange, with their anchor-leg runner, Antonina Krivoshapka lined up on the rail and Team USA’s Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) on her outside shoulder. The cross-traffic jam caused Spencer to come almost to a stop before being able to hand off to McCorory, who pulled even with Krivoshapka off the final turn but couldn’t overtake the Russian, finishing second in 3:20.41 to Russia’s 3:20.18. Great Britain was third in 3:22.61.

Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett (Tucson, Ariz.) sailed over the bar on her first attempt at her opening height of 1.89m/6-2.25, then 1.93m/6-4, 1.97m/6-5.5, and 2.00m/6-6.75 to sit in first heading into 2.03m/6-8. Barrett failed to clear but Russian Svetlana Shkolina made her first attempt, giving Shkolina the gold and Barrett the silver. With her clearance, Barrett tied the best height ever by an American at the Worlds.

In the men’s 200m, Curtis Mitchell (Daytona Beach, Fla.) overcame a poor first 30 meters to reel in the field down the straightaway and outlean Nickel Ashmeade for bronze in 20.04 to prevent a Jamaican sweep. Usain Bolt won the race in 19.66, with Warren Weird second in 19.79. Ashmeade was fourth, just .01 behind Mitchell.

Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) recorded the best finish ever by an American woman in the World Championship 5,000m final as she finished sixth. Huddle worked alongside Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) over the final half of the race. The two Americans raced in the 6th and 7th position as they ran 15 meters off of the lead pack of Meseret Defar, Mercy Chrono and Almaz Ayana. With two laps to go, they caught Buze Diriba of Ethiopia who fell off the lead pack. Huddle made a strong charge over the final stretch to try and pass Diriba, but was unable to, as she crossed the line 6th in 15:05.73. Rowbury was close behind as she took 7th in 15:06.10. Kim Conley (West Sacramento, Calif.), who led the first laps of the race, faded to 12th in 15:36.58. The best place finish at the World Championships was previously run by Libbie Hickman (1997), Jen Rhines (2007) and Lauren Fleshman (2011).

The U.S. men got off to a conservative start in the marathon as they went through the first 10 km in positions 45 through 47. By the halfway point, the men were still running close together, with only 15 seconds separating the Americans as they came through placing in the mid-30s. But it was Jeff Eggleston (Flagstaff, Ariz.) who began to work his way up through the pack, and by the 35 km split, he cracked the top 20. Over the final 7 km, Eggleston moved up seven places as he went on to finish 13th in a season’s best time of 2:14:23. Daniel Tapia (Castroville, Calif.) went on to finish 27th in a season’s best of 2:18:32, and Carlos Trujillo (Middleton, Idaho) finished 37th in 2:23:13.

The World Championships boast nearly 50 hours of television coverage in the U.S. with broadcasts airing during all nine days of competition. View the complete broadcast schedule here.

For more information on Team USA at the IAAF World Championships, visit www.USATF.org. Live results and startlists are available at www.IAAF.org.

Athlete Quotes
Brianna Rollins, 100mH final
“I feel great, my birthday is tomorrow, so I have two great things to celebrate. I'm just thankful, and I just thank God for blessing me with this opportunity. I didn't panic when I had such a bad start, I just continued to focus on my own ten hurdles, and just try to finish the race strong. It's just such a great year, it's a blessed year, that's how I can describe it."

Dawn Harper, 100mH final
“It was a horrible race, and I don't know what happened."

Queen Harrison, 110mH final
“Despite how I usually do, I actually had a pretty good start. But being out in lane two, it is hard to feel what it going on. You actually can't, so of course I am supposed to run my own race, but it helps in the second half of the race if you can feel people next to yourself. I went out there and executed the best way I could, and I am proud of myself. I've never made it to an international championship in the 100 hurdles, let alone the final, so this is just the beginning. This is my first year of taking the 100m hurdles 100 percent seriously, so there is more to come from me. Fifth, I can take that, of course it would have been better to be on the podium, but I'll take fifth."

Brigetta Barrett, women’s high jump
“It went well, clean through two meters. I really wish I would have been able to make 2.03 on my first attempt, but all glory to God. You take the good with the bad. I'm really honored to be able to do so well. Two silver medals in the course of 12 months, it's been one heck of a year. I can come away with the fact that my dream was to bring American females back to the scene and express that we can dominate and that we can win, so I feel honored to carry that torch again and help to start that legacy, because America is great in the fields."

Curtis Mitchell, Men’s 200m final
“It’s unbelievable, man. I really don’t have any words for the feeling that I feel right now. I just give God all the glory, it’s been such a magical year for me, for him to come out here and bless me with this type of position and all of the things I’ve done at this world championships, then yesterday a personal best, and I was able to stay healthy and come out with a medal for my country. It is so huge and so big. The magnitude of where I am at is unbelievable. I’m glad I was able to come out and represent my country.”

Kim Conley, Women’s 5000m final
"That didn't go at all the way I'd hoped. I just totally choked, it was unacceptable. I've built off of last year, you know making it to London, but not making it to the final. So the goal coming into this was to make it into the final, so I'll build off of that and see where we go from here."

Shannon Rowbury, Women’s 5000m final
“There was a separation, and I thought of covering it, but I kind of hesitated, just because I don't know where my 5k fitness is at. In retrospect, I wish I would have gone with it and seen what could have done, but hopefully next time I'll have done the training to be ready for that."

Molly Huddle, Women’s 5000m final
“I said going in that my goal was six or seven, and I was sixth. I'm realizing how hard it is to break above the top six after that race. That was one of the hardest efforts I've had in a long time. I anticipate [the pace changes] every time in a championship, but when you get in there it feels so hard. I'm usually stuck in no-man’s-land, so it was good to have Shannon to kind of bridge the gap, and that was a big difference for me this year having someone to key off of.

Jeff Eggleston, men’s marathon
“I think in the final 800 meters I was just really putting it on, and I just suddenly started feeling it in my calves and in my feet. Yeah, I’m very happy. The goal was top 15, top 20. It is a tough race to objectify what would be a good place for me. I had a 2:12 PR, so maybe I’m a top-30 seed based on time, but if I just run a smart race and just move myself up, we thought top-15 would be a great performance.”

Daniel Tapia, Men’s marathon
“I was expecting to run a lot better I think, but given the circumstances I ran a good race I think. More importantly I was able to finish, and I was able to finish strong. I did slow down in the second half like everybody else probably, but I never hit a wall. I wish I would have had a little more time, I think I would have been a little more ready, but I don’t have any excuses. Overall it was a good outcome for my first USA team.”

Carlos Trujillo, Men’s marathon
“It was fine. It was a great experience, this is my first team. Obviously it didn’t go as planned, we had talked about going through 1:07 for the half, which I think that is what I hit. I felt great through the half, normally 15-16 miles is where I typically start feeling it. I don’t have any excuses, it was just one of those days. Obviously I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Nia Ali, women’s 100mH semifinal
“I went out there and did the best I could. It didn’t happen today. I have some years left. They (cramps) got a lot better considering it’s been on and off. But I’ve been training still, I just had to modify things. They were getting better. It’s been a really fun, enjoyable experience.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s been amazing getting to know more of the US team and getting to know other people. The hurdles is very competitive, I guess that’s the thrill of it all.”

Jessica Beard, first leg 4x400m
“I thought the lead off went very well. If I'm not mistaken I believe I handed off in first. I know I had a lot of nerves building up to it, but once we said our team prayer, we just said what's going to happen in going to happen.  We just had to give our best, as long as we give 100 percent effort, we have to be satisfied with that. So, I just try to think "team, team, team."  Even the last 30 meters when I'm hurting, I have to put my personal things aside. You have to tell your body something else. This is about team, you're not hurting you feel good, you're not hurting. You have to do the best you can for Team USA. We're on Russian territory and the home crowd is going to be there for them, cheering them on.  We want to be fighters with them at the end as well. That's all I could think about was do it for the team, put them in good position, cheer them on and encourage them.” 

Natasha Hastings, second leg 4x400m
“After 200 meters whatever position you're in, you can't change, you can't move the runners that are waiting for the baton.  So Ashley was on the inside. She had to stop and go around Russia. I think that was probably the biggest difference between it. The girls fought hard.”

Ashley Spencer, third leg 4x400m
“The main thing I really wanted to do was run fast, it was my last race of the season.  I was really focused watching that first leg go around. I just really wanted to keep the momentum going. It was really exciting. I had a lot of fun. We came out with a silver and I’m really happy.  I wanted to get gold, but not this time.

“I came around the turn and I was trying to pass her. She was on the outside of the lane, I was on the inside. I was only a step behind her. I was trying to speed up in order to go around her on the inside, but I couldn't and I saw that Francena was in lane two. I had to stop and go and it was just a mess.”

Francena McCorory, fourth leg 4x400m
“I think everybody put their best foot forward. I was trying to close whatever gap there was so we could win, but we got second. We all know that the rule is that we can't change lanes after 200 meters.  I don't know if Ashley saw me waving her over or if maybe she didn't.  But she didn't move until the last minute. Everyone put their best foot forward.”

Katie Branham
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