Eugene, Ore. - Three of the six Olympic qualifiers from Friday’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field are young collegians. Colorado’s Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp qualified in the steeplechase, and Tia Brooks of Oklahoma took the third in the women’s shot put in front of a crowd of 21,097 at Hayward Field.
Coburn, who set a huge lifetime best at the Pre Classic on June 2, enjoyed another relatively unchallenged tour around the Hayward oval Friday to dominate the women’s 3000m steeplechase and claim a spot on the London team. Coburn, who ran a 9:25.28 earlier this month, led throughout the race and won in 9:32.78. Behind her, Bridget Franek moved up steadily through the field and held off a charging Shalaya Kipp for second at 9:35.62, as Kipp achieved the Olympic A standard with a 9:35.73 in third. This will be the first Olympic berth for all three women.
Even on a relatively subpar day, American Record holder Jill Camarena-Williams was able to summon up a 19.16m/62-10.5 in the third round to win the women’s shot put, and her third career U.S. outdoor title. The 2011 World bronze medalist was in fourth place before her big toss. 2008 Trials champion Michelle Carter launched an 18.57m/60-11.25 on her fifth attempt to take second. NCAA winner Tia Brooks of Oklahoma held the early lead and finished third to nab her first Olympic berth with a throw of 18.34/60-2. A big PR went to fourth-placer Kearsten Peoples of Missouri at 18.22/59-9.5.
2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain ended the day in first place after four events in the women’s heptathlon. Fountain finished second in both the 100m hurdles (12.84) and the high jump (1.87m/6-1.5) and held on with the fifth best shot put and third best 200m of the day. Fountain now sits in the lead by a margin of 151 points with 3,948. Olympic teammate Sharon Day ends the day in second with 3,797, and is the only athlete in the field with the A standard.
Setting up one of the most anticipated finals of the Trials, Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter all moved on in the women’s 200 as 400m champ Richards-Ross had the fastest time at 22.15. Felix clocked a 22.30 to take the third semifinal heat ahead of 2011 World bronze medalist Jeter’s 22.64, and NCAA champion Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU advanced with a 22.37 in semi two. Jeneba Tarmoh and 100m runner-up Tianna Madison went 1-2 in the first semifinal. After finishing in a dead-heat in the final of the women’s 100m, Tarmoh and Felix finished within one-thousandth of a second of one another in the semifinal round of the 200.
Defending World champion and American Record holder Lashinda Demus recorded the fastest time by an American this year in the semifinal of the women’s 400m hurdles with a 54.41 runaway victory in section two. The first semi was won by rapidly-improving Georganne Moline of Arizona, who clocked a lifetime-best 54.72. 2008 Trials winner Tiffany Williams and NCAA champ Cassandra Tate of LSU also qualified for the final, along with last year’s NCAA victor T’erea Brown. 2008 Olympian Queen Harrison failed to advance to the final.
The top three advancers in the men’s 400m hurdles share five Olympic and World titles between them. Two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor looked very impressive in winning the second semifinal at 48.77, sprinting to the front over the first five hurdles and then maintaining and easing home in front of Michael Tinsley’s 49.05. Bershawn Jackson took care of the first semifinal heat in 48.83 ahead of Kerron Clement’s 49.04. Last year’s national champion, Jeshua Anderson, failed to advance.
2011 World No. 1 Morgan Uceny and World Champion Jenny Simpson led the way in the women’s 1500m semifinals, going 1-2 in the first section with Uceny tops at 4:08.90. Shannon Rowbury and Gabriele Anderson were the top two finishers in the second semifinal, and the two time qualifiers for the 12-woman field came from section one. NCAA champ Katie Flood of Washington and 800m Olympic team member Alice Schmidt did not advance.
Four women met the automatic advancement standard of 6.75m in long jump qualifying, including a windy (+2.8) and massive 7.15m/23-5.5 by Janay Deloach that made her the No. 4 all-time all-conditions U.S. performer. Another shocker came from Vashti Thomas of The San Francisco Academy of Art in round two, as she moved to equal eighth on the U.S. all-time list with a 6.97/22-10.5 effort. Thomas had a previous PR of 6.48m indoors. World Indoor and Outdoor champion Brittney Reese needed only one attempt, spanning 6.88/22-7, and former TCU star Whitney Gipson, the NCAA winner, had a 6.83/22-5 leap.
Three-time World Championships medalist Wallace Spearmon was easily the best of the qualifiers for the semifinal of the men’s 200m, strolling to a windy 20.17 in the first heat. Former North Carolina A&T star Calesio Newman had the fastest wind-legal time with a lifetime-best of 20.28 to win the third heat. NCAA champion Maurice Mitchell of Florida State also advanced easily from the fourth heat.
2011 World Champion Jason RIchardson and Aries Merritt produced the fastest times from the opening round of the 110m hurdles. Merritt ran 13.13 in the opening heat to top runner-up Jeffrey Porter (13.35) by 0.22 of a second. Richardson’s 13.13 placed him ahead of a challenging Antwon Hicks (13.24). The other pair of heat winners included Dexter Faulk in 13.27 and David Oliver in 13.32. Not advancing from the first round was Terrence Trammell, who clocked 13.86 for fifth place in the final heat.
Ten seconds separated the two heat winners of the men’s 1,500m. Former Oregon star Matt Centrowitz, the 2011 World bronze medalist, and 2008 Olympian Leonel Manzano led the tight field in the second heat with a equal times of 3:41.90 with Robby Andrews third in 3:42.14. Both time qualifiers came from the faster second heat and included NCAA champion Andrew Bayer of Indiana at 3:42.56. The slower first heat was claimed by Will Leer in 3:51.27 with Andrew Wheating second at 3:51.40 and David Torrence third in 3:51.43.
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