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Team USA Rolls Through Sunday Morning Qualifying

MOSCOW - Sixteen U.S. athletes advanced to the next round of competition, and Ashton Eaton held his lead in the men’s decathlon during Sunday’s morning session of the IAAF World championships at Luzhniki Olympic Stadium.

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.

Olympic champion and world record holder, Eaton (Bend, Ore.) maintained his lead during the early portion of the second day. After seven events, Eaton is in the lead with 6,280 points. In the 110m hurdles, Eaton clocked the fastest time of the field in 13.72, and in the discus he recorded his second-best ever mark in a decathlon at 45.00m/1467-8. Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) is currently in fifth with 6,108 points. After a 14.57 effort in the hurdles, Nixon set a personal best in the discus of 42.38m/139-0.

All four men from Team USA advanced smoothly through the first round of the men’s 110m hurdles. Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, Calif.) was the first to win his heat as he clocked 13.33 in heat one. Ryan Wilson (Los Angeles, Calif.) took heat two at 13.37, while Aries Merritt (Bryan, Texas) made it safely through to the semifinals with a 13.32 to win heat three. David Oliver (Orlando, Fla.) ran the fastest time ever in the first round of the World Championships to win heat four with a 13.05.

Three U.S. women’s advanced from the first round of the 1500m run. In the first heat it was 17-year-old Mary Cain (Bronxville, N.Y.) who spent the early portion of the race at the back of the pack, and passed four people over the final lap to advance automatically in sixth at 4:08.21. In the second heat, reigning world champion Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colo.) outleaned Russia’s Sharmina to take second at 4:07.16 and automatically advance. Sarah Brown (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished eighth in the final heat at 4:09.00, advancing to the semifinals as a time qualifier. Brown arrived from the U.S. yesterday after being added to the team as an alternate. Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.) was near the front with a lap to go in the second heat, but couldn’t hold on as she ended up 10th at 4:12.33.

In the women’s shot put, Michelle Carter (Dallas, Texas) only needed two throws to record her third farthest throw ever at 19.76m/64-10 in to automatically advance to the final. Tia Brooks (Grand Rapids, Mich.) opened up with a 17.92m/58-9.5 that put her through to the final with the 11th best mark of the day. Alyssa Hasslen (Sheridan, Ore.) put the shot 15.97m/52-4.75 on her third throw, but did not advance.

All three U.S. men advanced in the first round of the 400m. Tony McQuay (Gainesville, Fla.) and LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.)  advanced automatically as each won his heat. McQuay took the first heat in 45.06, while Merritt won the third heat in 44.92, the fastest time overall. Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) struggled over the final 50 meters and finished fifth at 45.45 in the second heat. Hall’s time was the fastest qualifier on time.

The U.S. women advanced through the first round of the 100m with ease. English Gardner (Vorhees, N.J.) rode an explosive start to a 10.94 to win heat three with the fastest time ever in the first round at the World Championships. Octavious Freeman (Lake Wales, Fla.) 11.16 to take second in heat one and move on automatically. Alex Anderson (Austin, Texas) finished second in heat two with a time of 11.13. Reigning World Champion Carmelita Jeter (Los Angeles, Calif.) clocked 11.24 in second place in heat six.

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

Athlete Quotes
Jason Richardson, men’s 110m hurdles first round
“I believe that the best offense is a good defense, so I will be defending my title. Overall it feels interesting to come in as the defending world champion but not be favored to medal, so it's a tough situation. Overall I'm just excited to be able to run. In every round I hope to pick it up and run away with the title again.”

Ryan Wilson, men’s 110m hurdles first round
“I reacted pretty well to the gun. I felt like I put myself in a good position into hurdle one then two and three.  I just wanted to get out of the way of everybody so I wouldn't have to do so much work mentally during the middle if the race. I got out mid race, and I clipped my trail leg, and it kind of set me off, but I had to collect myself and relax and just hurdle clean for the next four hurdles. I had to make sure Wayne [Davis of Trinidad] didn't pass me.  It was early morning jog in the park. I felt good. It's nice to get started.

Aries Merritt, men’s 110m hurdles first round
“It went really good, very easy. I took control of the race early. I just eased into my run, didn't make any mistakes. It was very comfortable.”

David Oliver, men’s 110m hurdles first round
“I went out and had a great warmup. I just ran well. I didn't try to do anything anything spectacular. I ran a pretty good time. Now we just have to start all over from zero and get ready for the semifinals tomorrow. I'm never surprised when I run fast.”

Mary Cain, women’s 1500m first round
“It was good, definitely hard. It was pretty hard, we went out pretty fast.”

Cory McGee, women’s 1500m first round
“Going into it I knew I had the reigning world champion standing to my right. I feel like that gave me a slight advantage, as a rookie it showed me who to stick with and who to keep my eyes on. I did the best that I could for about three laps trying to take every step right there with Jenny. I think age and experience have a lot to do with it here at the world championships cause everybody has a lot of it.  It was a great learning experience.

Jennifer Simpson , women’s 1500m first round
“I felt like I needed a clean, smooth race. My best effort would be if I got out there and just really took control of myself from the start I tried to stay to the outside and just pick a good spot up with the leaders and stay in the the top half of the race and just make it through. I tried to hold back the temptation to showboat. There's a temptation because all of us have big egos. You get here to show people what you've got. There is that temptation, but I held back and said you're in. It means you get another chance to do that. I'm trying to save the turbo boosters for when I need them.”

Sarah Brown, women’s 1500m first round
“I think I qualified on time. Considering getting in yesterday, I'm happy. I was in Falmouth on Thursday, because I was going to race on Saturday. My parents came, my husband, we were going to do a little vacation as well. I got a call about 12:00 on Thursday. I didn't have the visa yet, but I had the letter. We jumped into the car and drove to New York City, got there at 5:00. Luckily, my agent found a contact from within. It was closed but they buzzed us in, and I was able to give them my paperwork and picked up my visa the next day. Went straight to the airport, got on a plane and landed about 8 a.m. yesterday morning. I love running in stadiums like this. It's so awesome. I was trying not to give myself any excuses. This is the perfect opportunity. I wasn't quite as poppy as I wanted to be. But overall I felt really strong considering what I had been through.”

Tia Brooks, women’s shot put qualification
“I came here to do a job, and it wasn't pretty, but the goal was to get out of this round and I did that.”

Michelle Carter, women’s shot put qualification
“Today I felt great.  I took two throws instead of one.  The shot slipped in my hand on the first throw, I came back with a good second throw.  I’m glad to have qualified to the next round.  I’m ready to go back to the hotel and rest for tomorrow.”

Alyssa Hasslen, women’s shot put qualification
“I didn't throw as well as I would've liked to. This is my first meet this big. It was a good experience and I’ve learned a lot for next time.”

Tony McQuay, men’s 400m first round
“I felt pretty good.  I got out well and just wanted to advance to the next round which I did. I’m happy to advance and ready to come out tomorrow.”

Arman Hall, men’s 400m first round
“I felt good. I tried my best it just wasn't good enough. Everybody else was running like I was too it just wasn't good enough.”

LaShawn Merritt, men’s 400m first round
“It was humid. The air was a little thick, but everybody's breathing the same air, so I'll go out tomorrow and put together another race and try to cross the finish line first.”

Octavious Freeman, women’s 100m first round
“I felt pretty good. This is my first meet back up since the world trials. I'm happy with the overall performance. I'll just go to the next round.”

Alex Anderson, women’s 100m first round
“It was good today. I had to shake the cobwebs off.  I'll just go for here. This is my first time in an open event. Our nationals is so intense, so when you get here, you know what to do, just have fun with it.”

English Gardner, women’s 100m first round
“It was fun. I did everything my coach wanted me to. I executed, got out there worried about my own race, my own lane my own finish and tried to make sure I didn't run too fast.”

Carmelita Jeter, women’s 100m first round
“The first part of the race went well, my start went well. I have to build into this right now, I’m just trying to stay positive.”

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