Eugene, Ore. - Two Olympic Trials champions were crowned, six athletes were selected for the men’s and women’s 10,000m Olympic teams and Ashton Eaton set two decathlon world records in the 100m and long jump. Many more athletes advanced through rounds on the first full-day of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field in front of a crowd of 20,936.
The first final of the day had former duck Galen Rupp posting the fastest time by an American this season in winning the 10,000 meters in a time of 27:25.33 amid a downpour of rain. He broke the meet record of 27:36.49 set by Meb Keflezighi in 2004.
Finishing second in the race was Matt Tegenkamp in 27:33.94, but the story behind him was Dathan Ritzenhein, who placed third in 27:36.09 to nab the Olympic A standard for the final London spot just ahead of Stanford’s Chris Derrick in fourth at 27:40.23.
Rupp, among the leading trio throughout the race, pulled away in the final five laps. He covered the last couple of kilometers in 2:40.4 and 2:38.1, cruising to a comfortable victory.
Amy Hastings covered the final lap in just over 65 seconds to capture gold in the women’s 10,000m in 31:58.36, holding off Texas A&M’s NCAA champion Natosha Rogers, who was a surprise second with a massive PR of 31:59.71. Olympic Trials marathon winner Shalane Flanagan garnered the final podium spot at 31:59.69, but will elect to run the marathon in London. That puts fourth-placer Lisa Uhl and seventh-place finisher Janet Bawcom on the Olympic team with Hastings, as Rogers does not have the A standard.
Ashton Eaton turned in one of the finest first-day performances in history in the decathlon, scoring 4,728 points, only 10 points shy of the world decathlon record for a first day performance.
Eaton, who carries a 322-point lead into the second day, electrified the crowd in the first event as he ran a decathlon world record of 10.21 in the 100 into a 0.4 mps wind and outpaced the field by two-tenths of a second. Eaton’s effort earned him 1044 points. Bryan Clay was second in 10.45, with Trey Hardee third in 10.50.
As the decathletes moved on to the long jump, Eaton delivered a another decathlon world record performance of 8.23m/27-0 to extend his lead by more than 170 points. His leap was better than any of the open long jumpers achieved in the qualifying rounds later in the day.
In the shot put, World champion Hardee took the top spot with a heave of 15.72m/51-7, but Eaton came back with the best clearance in the high jump at 2.05/6-8.75, and zipped to a stellar 46.70 in driving rain to close out the day. Hardee is second at 4,406, and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Clay sits third with 4,252.
Despite the rain, reigning Olympic discus gold medalist Stephanie Brown-Trafton sent the disc sailing 62.83m/206-1 to record the farthest mark of the day. U.S. Junior champion Shelbi Vaughan advanced easily as the Texas high schooler had the fourth-best mark at 59.05/193-9.
Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt turned in the fastest quarter of the day in 45.36 to lead 16 men to the next round of the 400m. Other top qualifiers for the semis included NCAA champion Tony McQuay of Florida and USA Junior champion Aldrich Bailey. NCAA runner-up and 2011 World Championships 4x400 gold medalist Mike Berry of Oregon was the biggest casualty, failing to advance after a 46.29.
U.S. leader Sanya Richards-Ross, the world leader and World Indoor champion, was an easy advancer to the semis in the women’s 400 with a 51.69 to win her section. Francena McCorory, the winner of the adidas Grand Prix, was the fastest qualifier with a 51.11 to take the first heat.
Last year’s World Championships fourth-placer Alysia Montano used her usual dash-to-the-front tactics and cruised to an easy 2:02.61 to win heat two of the women’s 800. The top four qualifiers came from the third section, with Molly Beckwith clocking 2:00.61 to lead the way. High schooler Ajee Wilson of New Jersey, the 2011 World Youth champion, moved on with a 2:03.63, the only one of three prep entrants to advance.
Defending national and Olympic Trials 800m champion Nick Symmonds was a crowd favorite as he sprinted to victory in heat one at 1:46.94, and Tyler Mulder, another local, was the fastest qualifier with a 1:46.81 in the second section. One of the oldest men in the meet, Khadevis Robinson, won the final heat to advance, while NCAA champ Charles Jock was victorious in section three to move on.
Reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper and defending U.S. champion Kellie Wells took care of business in winning the first two sections, with Wells the fastest qualifier at 12.68. NCAA winner Christina Manning of Ohio State took the top spot in the fourth heat, and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes and two-time World Indoor 60m hurdle winner Lolo Jones also advanced.
Pre-Trials favorites Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix did it in divergent ways, but both advanced in the women’s 100. World champion Jeter blasted to a lead that she never relinquished to win heat three by almost a quarter-second in 11.20. Felix came from behind to edge Lauryn Williams 11.19-11.22 in the final section. The fastest qualifying time went to Tianna Madison in heat one at 11.10, .06 in front of Jeneba Tarmoh.
World Indoor triple jump gold medalist Will Claye left it late but uncorked the best long jump of the day on his final attempt, topping the qualifying list with a 7.98/26-2.25 leap. Defending national champion and NCAA winner Marquise Goodwin of Texas ended up 10th with a 7.68/25-2.5 effort to advance to the final, but the other two U.S. men with the Olympic A standard, Trevell Quinley and Tyron Stewart, faltered and failed to move on.
Due to inclement weather, the women’s pole vault qualifying round was cancelled, and all athletes will advance to Sunday’s final.
, athlete quotes
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for tomorrow’s competition can be found at www.usatf.org