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U.S. men 1-2 in decathlon after morning session

8/8/2012
 
LONDON - With two of the best decathletes in the world, it is no surprise that Team USA’s Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee sit in 1-2 after three events on Wednesday’s morning session that also saw seven Americans advance to the next round of their events at Olympic Stadium.

After three events, World Record holder Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) and two-time World Champion Hardee (Austin, Texas) sit solidly in first and second. Eaton has 2,848 points, with Hardee in second at 2,743 points. In the first event of the day, Eaton set an Olympic record in the 100m in 10.35 seconds to earn 1,011 points. Hardee was not far behind as he ran the second fastest time of the day in a season best of 10.42 for 994 points.

In the long jump, Eaton recorded the best mark of the day on his third jump as he lept 8.03m/26-4.25 to add 1068 points to his tally and increase his lead over the field. Eaton was the only decathlete to land beyond the 8-meter mark, and his mark is would have held up for a top ten finish in the individual men’s long jump final earlier in the week. Hardee’s best jump also came on his last attempt with a mark of 7.53m/24-8.50 for 942 points.

After two events, Hardee only held second place by a margin of 6 points, but after a solid throw of 15.28m/50-1.75 on his third attempt in the shot put, he distanced himself by 79 points over Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine who sits in third. Eaton recorded a best mark of 14.66m/48-1.25 to add 769 points to his total.

The U.S. men continue to show a historic level of talent and depth in the distance events. For the first time since 1932, the U.S. will have three men running in the final of the 5,000m after all three American men advanced through the qualifying round with ease. Running in heat 1, Lopez Lomong (Beaverton, Ore.) stuck with large lead pack of 12 men and was ready to respond when the gears changed on the last lap to take 4th in 13:26.16 to advance automatically. The second heat got out much faster than the first, with Craig Mottram of Australia and Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) leading the first half of the race. Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) ran near the back of the lead pack for the majority of the race, but once the kick for the line began, he moved up into 4th to finish in 13:15.45 to advance automatically. Rupp finished 6th in 13:17.56 and easily advanced as the fastest qualifier on time.

American record holder Brad Walker (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.) is the only U.S. man advancing to the final of the pole vault.  Walker entered the competition with the bar at 5.50 and took all three attempts to advance to the next height of 5.60m/18-4.5, which he cleared on his first attempt. With only two clearances, Walker earned his spot in Friday’s final. Jeremy Scott (Brookland, Ark.) narrowly missed making the final after he cleared 5.50m/18-0.50 on his second attempt. Derek Miles (Tea, S.D.) did not clear a height after taking three attempts at the bar at 5.20m/17-0.75.

The American women did not advance any athletes to the final of the hammer throw. In the first flight, Amber Campbell (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) sent the hammer sailing 69.93m/229-5 and American record holder Jessica Cosby (Mission Hills, Calif.) threw a best mark of 69.65m/228-6.  First-time Olympian Amanda Bingson (Las Vegas, Nev.) threw 67.29m/220-9 on her final attempt.

On the day of her grandmother’s 100th birthday, Alysia Montano (Canyon Country, Calif.) gave her grandmother something to cheer about as turned in the fastest time of the day in the 800. Montano bolted ahead of the field in heat 1 and held on to win the heat in 2:00.47. Alice Schmidt (Coronado, Calif.) led heat 2 and held on for 2nd in 2:01.65 to automatically advance to the semifinals. Geena Gall (Eugene, Ore.) finished 4th in heat 4 in 2:03.23 and was able to nab the last qualifying spot on time.

Athlete Quotes

Jessica Cosby, Hammer Throw: “They weren't’ my best distance wise. I felt good, I felt ready, warm ups were great, I gave it a decent effort and I have to wait for flight 2 and hopefully I get in and get another opportunity.”

Amber Campbell, Hammer Throw: “I’m thankful that I’m experienced enough to not let [hitting the cage] rattle me. I just knew that I had to regroup and get it together...I’m nervous, I’m not going to lie, I really want to make the final and I’ve been working super hard for this. I think I can throw much better in the final so hopefully I’ll get three more throws.”

Amanda Bingson, Hammer Throw: “It is so great and so brilliant having all of the fans here. Everyone has their eyes on you, it is extraordinary. And especially having the USA, everybody particularly looks at us, and it is so mind blowing, I can’t really describe it.

Jeremy Scott, Pole Vault: “Nothing really unexpected happened out there other than it was the first time this whole year that I was running without pain. I think I kind of hit that new gear, and in something as technical as the pole vault when you start to change something drastically, all of a sudden things start changing too much as far as timing, what pole you need, grip and where the standard needs to be.

Derek Miles, Pole Vault: “I don’t think I had one thing go right today. I wasn’t feeling very good, and my achilies was sore, I had timing and rhythm problems down the runway, I couldn’t get steps in the same spot twice. So I tried to go conservative with a lower bar and work through the gears, but it didn’t work that way. It is the first final in nine teams that I haven’t made, so it is a little disappointing, but it is the end of this career for me, and it’s not how you want to go out, but it is still a great experience.”

Brad Walker, Pole Vault: ‘I was scared and I emotionally wore myself out. It was obviously nerve wracking on the third attempt at the opening bar. It was kind of reminiscent of Beijing, and that obviously didn’t go the way I wanted it to. IT was just getting through it and a big scream after I made it.”

Lopez Lomong, 5,000m: “I just wanted to race to be able to qualify, so I wasn’t looking to win the race and I just wanted to stay out of trouble and not get tripped over. I’m happy, I came out here and got the automatic qualifier, and we’ll see you Saturday.”

Galen Rupp, 5,000m: “I was happy with it. I finished fine. I looked around the last 100 and knew that I was alright, but at the same time you have to make sure you have that extra gear in case it was slow.

Bernard Lagat, 5,000m: My coach told me to be prepared that this race is going to be fast, and indeed it was fast. He told me to make sure you are in good position and run relaxed, and I did. He told me, towards the end run a bit faster and be with the guys who are leading, and as long as you know you are safe, no need to win, just run hard...I was quite happy with it.”

Alice Schmidt, 800m: “I thought to myself, ‘I’m at least when the race goes I’m out to be out front and not trying to make up ground.’ So I was pleased with how it went today. It wasn’t a super-fast time, but it is one of my first races in a very long time and it was a good shock to my system.”

Geena Gall, 800m: “I’ve been dealing with a strained calf for the past couple of weeks, so I just started running again 100 percent with no pain a few days ago. I just came out here and gave it all that I have, regardless.”

Competition resumes this evening for Team USA in the finals of the women’s long jump, 400m hurdles and 200m and the men’s 110m hurdles. For more information on the 2012 Olympic Games, visit www.usatf.org

Katie Branham
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USA Track & Field
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