Team USA sprinters, vaulters & steeplechasers advance in Helsinki


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x317

HELSINKI, Finland - Many of Team USA's athletes in the women's 100 meters, women's 400 meters, men's 3,000m steeplechase and women's pole vault successfully advanced through qualifying rounds Sunday at the 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Williams, Lee, Barber advance in women's 100 meters

2004 Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.) got off to a brilliant start in heat 5 of the women's 100m opening round and shut it down late to finish second in 11.38 seconds and qualify for this evening's quarterfinals.

Despite the slowest reaction time in the field (0.225) 2005 USA Outdoor runner-up Muna Lee (Baton Rouge, La.), rallied to finish second in the third heat of the women's 100m opening round in 11.40 seconds.

In the 8th heat of 100m qualifications, 2005 USA Outdoor champion Lisa Barber (Raleigh, N.C.) won comfortably in 11.32 seconds to advance to this evening's quarterfinals. Barber won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris.

Team USA women one-lappers all advance

2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist and 2005 USA Outdoor runner-up Dee-Dee Trotter (Knoxville, Tenn.) had little trouble in the opening round of women's 400m qualifying. In heat 2, Trotter took command late in the race and cruised to the win in 51.44 seconds.

Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas), a two-time USA Outdoor national champ and 2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist, ran the morning's second fastest time in winning heat five in 51.00 seconds.

2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist and 2005 USA Outdoor third-placer Monique Henderson (Bonita, Calif.) asserted herself in the backstretch and floated to an easy second place finish in heat 6, running 51.65 seconds.

Lincoln places fourth to advance in steeplechase

Reigning USA 3,000m steeplechase champion Daniel Lincoln (Fayetteville, Ark.) ran a strong race in heat 3 of the men's steeplechase qualifying to advance on to the final on Tuesday. Lincoln placed fourth in his race in 8:21.39.

2005 USA runner-up and 2004 Olympian Anthony Famiglietti (New York City) spent a great deal of time in the lead during heat 2 of the men's steeplechase qualifying before finishing just shy of moving to the final by placing sixth place 8:21.84. 2003 USA champion Steve Slattery (Boulder, Colo.) finished 10th in the first heat in 8:36.01 and will not advance to the final.

Schwartz, O'Hara advance in women's pole vault

2004 Olympian Jillian Schwartz (Jonesboro, Ark.) advanced to the final in the women's pole vault after clearing 4.45m/14-7.25 in her first attempt in qualifications. Schwartz will participate in the final on Wednesday with teammate and 2005 USA Outdoor runner-up Tracy O'Hara (San Diego, Calif.), who cleared 4.40m/ 14-5.25.

2000 Olympic gold medalist, former world record holder and two-time world outdoor champion Stacy Dragila (Phoenix, Ariz.) had numerous misses during the competition and did not qualify for the final after posting a top clearance 4.40m/14-5.25.

Tough day for American discus throwers

In women's discus throw qualifying, 2004 Olympic Trials champion Aretha Hill Thurmond (Opelika, Ala) threw a disappointing mark of 47.15m/154-8 and failed to advance. It was the same story for two-time Olympian Seilala Sua (Anaheim, Calif.), who threw 57.68m/189-3, and 2005 USA Outdoor champion Becky Breisch (Lincoln, Neb.) who had a best throw of 57.16m/187-6.

2005 USA 20 km race walk champion Teresa Vaill (Gainesville, Fla.) was unable to finish the race Sunday at that distance.

For more information on Team USA at the 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit