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U.S. Middle Distance Runners Shine for Team USA

8/14/2013
 
MOSCOW - Team USA advanced three men and women to the next round of the women’s 5,000m and men’s 1500m during Wednesday morning’s qualifying session, while Dwight Phillips also became the oldest man to ever advance to the finals of the long jump at 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.

In the men’s 50km race walk, veteran John Nunn (San Diego, Calif.) put forth a valiant effort despite visible distress finishing a grueling race in 4:34.55.  While 15 other athletes failed to finish or were disqualified, Nunn persevered and finished 46th in a season’s best time.

All three U.S. women advanced to the final of the 5,000m. The first heat went out at a pedestrian pace, going through the first 800m in 3:03. By the halfway point, the pack dispersed, and Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) and Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) found themselves running in the third and fourth positions with their qualifying positions relatively secure. Huddle took third in 15:40.91, with Rowbury fourth in 15:50.41, for both to advance automatically. In the second heat, Kim Conley (Santa Rosa, Calif.) jumped out front at 4,000 meters and held on to automatically qualify, finishing fifth in 15:27.35.

Just like their counterparts in the women’s 5,000m, all three Team USA men moved on to the next round in the 1500m. Leo Manzano (Austin, Texas) finished second in the second heat in 3:39.39 in a race that ran right to his strength as a kicker. The field came through 800 in over 2:00, so the final 300 was again a battle of the sprinters, with Manzano among the world’s best in that capacity.

Lopez Lomong (Beaverton, Ore.) ran safely on the outside of the leaders in heat one and found his way to a third-place finish and automatic advancement to the semifinals with his 3:38.48, while Matthew Centrowitz (Portland, Ore.) ran in the third and final heat and worked his way through the field over the final 200 on the way to a 3:38.62 in fifth place to automatically advance to the semifinals.

Two American women made it through to the final in the hammer throw. American record holder Amanda Bingson (San Marcos, Texas) threw 71.90/235-10 on her first attempt, while Jeneva McCall (Carbondale, Ill.), 70.47/231-2 squeezed in as the 12th place finisher overall just ahead of teammate Amber Campbell (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) who threw 69.86m/229-2 and did not advance.

Four-time world champion Dwight Phillips (Decatur, Ga.) had a season-best 7.95m/26-1 on his first jump to seal his place in the final, finishing equal ninth. Phillips, 35-years-old, is in his seventh World Championships and has not missed a single final. He will be the oldest man ever to compete in a WC long jump final.

George Kitchens (Hephzibah, Ga.) was 12th in group A with a best of 7.75m/25-5.25 and did not advance, and Marquis Dendy (Middleton, Del.) was 13th in group B at 7.36m/24-1.75, also failing to move on to the final.

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
Shannon Rowbury, women’s 5,000m round 1
It was kind of how we thought it might play out. I don't think we expected six minute pace, but it picked up in the middle, then I saw with three laps to go that I had a pretty good gap on places five and six. So I didn't just jog it in, but I made sure that I was good to go to just make the top five.

Molly Huddle, women’s 5000m round 1
"I thought the jostling at the beginning would be more at the end, so that was a bit draining. But then it sorted out and it turned into a low stress grind. It was fine for a prelim. I wish I felt a little better, but it blew the cobwebs out."

Kim Conley, women’s 5,000m round one
“It felt pretty good. Our game plan going in was to push from 2k, just because my last couple of races I have proved that I can’t let it come down to a lap. And then when I saw how the first heat went out, I kind of wondered if I really needed to, but I decided to stick with the plan. I waited until a mile to go, and I just tried to make it a progressive effort from there, just to make sure I could weed out people who were waiting around and make sure I got a top-five spot.”


Jeneva McCall, women’s hammer throw
“I was about two meters better than two years ago, so I’m happy with that. Of course I could have done better if I had gotten more sleep, I need to work on that. My body felt tired. Even the second throw, the one I had a foul on, I built up more than I could finish, and it took it out of me on the third one. the good thing is that I am officially a 70 meter thrower, I was not last year, but I am this year. I am very happy about that, it is a big achievement for me.”

Amanda Bingson, women’s hammer throw
“I made it to the finals, I’m happy. I’m not quite satisfied with my performance, because I know I can do better. But I made it through and that is all what today is about. So my hair is a little sparkly, a little pretty. I like to try to girly it up a little bit. I say, ‘look good, feel good, throw good.’”

Amber Campbell, women’s hammer throw
“I felt good going in. I was looking forward to having a really good day. My first throw felt pretty good, and I felt like there were some things I could improve on and have a really good throw, but I just didn’t put it together.”

Matthew Centrowitz, men’s 1500m
"It was definitely like a rust buster. I felt a little sluggish in it but I look at the first round as be one of the tougher ones. I just look to feel better and improve on this and get ready for the semis."

Lopez Lomong, men's 1500m round 1
"It's great. I went out to protect my spot. I came out with a big kick. It was good. It's a championship race. You just have to go out and do what you have to do. Kind of pluck around and see how it is. I feel great."

George Kitchens, men's long jump qualification.
I felt really good in warm-up, excellent.  I was hitting the board well, but when the competition started, I just felt really flat.  Technically, I could’ve done a few things better, but overall I just felt flat.”

Dwight Phillips, men's long jump qualification
“I’m just so happy to be able to make seven World Championship finals and represent the USA.  I feel good, that was a season’s best.  I know in the final, I’ll do even better.  It’s been my goal all year to come here and win.  I’m going to give it everything I have.”

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