Gatlin, Jones win 100 titles at AT&T USA Outdoor Champs

06-23-2006

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INDIANAPOLIS - Justin Gatlin reaffirmed his sprint dominance while Marion Jones returned to top form Friday in the 100 meters at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In the field, Kim Kreiner added her fourth American record of the year in the women's javelin as 9,276 fans filled the stands at Michael Carroll Stadium.

The final stop of the 2006 Visa Championship Series, the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships will be televised live on ESPN2 from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, and from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. All times are Eastern.

Experienced winners

Running three rounds in one day did nothing to deter Gatlin and Jones. The co-world record holder and Olympic and world champion Gatlin displayed an easy speed all day long, running 10.02 in the first round and 9.99 in the semifinals, the latter race into a 1.2 meters-per-second headwind. In the evening's final, he led from start to finish, running 9.93 into another 1.2 mps headwind. Tyson Gay was second in the final in 10.07 and Shawn Crawford was third in 10.26.

Jones won her 14th career national title and her fifth in the 100 meters - her first sprint crown since 2002 - in the women's 100 meters. A two-time world 100m champion and 2000 Olympic champ, Jones got a strong start and won in 11.10 seconds, running into a .9 mps headwind. 2005 world champion Lauryn Williams was a close second in 11.17, with 2003 world champ Torri Edwards third, also in 11.17. Jones enjoyed comfortable wins in the rounds while running 11.17 in the first round and 11.22 in her semifinal heat.

Lagat goes long

Having already won his first-round heat of the men's 1,500 meters earlier in the day, Bernard Lagat won the first U.S. title of his career in the 5,000 meters. Biding his time in the back of a lead pack that clicked off 65-second laps throughout the race, the former Kenyan national sprinted off the final curve to win in 13:14.32. It was the fastest time by an American in 2006 and put him first in what was a phenomenal race. Former University of Wisconsin standout Matt Tegenkamp set a big personal best in second in 13:15.00, with Dathan Ritzenhein third in a PR 13:16.61 and Adam Goucher fourth in 13:18.93 as four men ran under 13:19.

Nellie nails another title

The men's shot was equally exciting. Although entering the meet as a bit of an underdog, world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson stepped up in the men's shot put to win his third U.S. title. His winning throw of 22.04/72-3 came on his fifth attempt and was enough to hold off World Indoor champion Reese Hoffa, who posted a mark of 21.96m/72-0.5 on his final throw. It also put him into second in the Visa Championship standings with 1,243 points, behind Gatlin. Christian Cantwell, the 2006 world leader, was third at 21.89m/71-10, a mark that temporarily gave him the lead in the third round.

AR for Kreiner

Kim Kreiner set her fourth American record of 2006 in the women's javelin with her second-round throw of 62.43m/204-10, improving on her mark of 62.12m/203-10, set May 28 in San Mateo, Calif. Dana Pounds was a distant second with a mark of 56.00m/183-9.

Surprise winners

The men's and women's 10,000 meters saw first-time winners. In the men's 25-lapper, Jorge Torres won the in his national championship debut in the event, sprinting away from American record holder Meb Keflezighi. Torres finished in 28:14.43, with Keflezighi, the Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, second in 28:18.74. Olympian Dan Browne was third in 28:19.32.

In the women's race, defending champion Katie McGregor was overtaken with three laps to go as Sara Slattery and Amy Rudolph moved to the lead. Two-time Olympian Rudolph ran off Slattery's shoulder before sprinting away to a win in 32:25.56. Slattery was second in 32:29.97, and former American University runner Samia Akbar was third in 32:41.84.

Additional upsets occurred in field events as Jessica Cosby upended the American record holder and defending champion, Erin Gilreath. Cosby threw a personal-best 70.78m/232-3, with Gilreath second at 69.39m/227-8. Amber Campbell was third with 67.52m/221-6.

Also posting a surprising win was Brian Johnson in the men's long jump. The two-time U.S. indoor champion leaped 8.10m/26-7 to relegate world and Olympic champion Dwight Phillips to second (8.08m/26-6.25) and defending U.S. outdoor champion Miguel Pate to third (7.96m/26-1.5).

On the track, Lauren Fleshman won her first national title in the women's 5,000 meters, pulling away from Kara Goucher in the final straight to win in 15:12.37. Goucher was second in 15:14.13, with Blake Russell third in 15:19.07.

Resuming competition after it was suspended due to weather Thursday night, the women's triple jump final featured a close competition. Shani Marks came through with a big personal best of 13.89m/45-7 to prevail over American record holder Tiombe Hurd (13.86m/45-5.75). Yvette Lewis was third with 13.42m/44-0.5.

A.G. Kruger won his first national crown in the men's hammer throw with a best mark of 75.81m/248-9, with James Parker second with 72.33m/237-4 and Jake Freeman third with 71.87m/235-9.

World Championships gold medalist Bryan Clay led the decathlon after day 1 of competition with 4,392 points, followed by 2003 world champ Tom Pappas with 4,342. Clay ran 10.49 in the 100 (977 points), jumped 7.22m/23-8.25 in the long jump (866) and 2.02m/6-7.5 in the high jump (822), and ran the 400 in 48.15 (902).

Qualified successes

The women's and men's 400 meters went according to script as Olympic relay 4x400m gold-medal teammates DeeDee Trotter (51.01) and Sanya Richards (51.20) won their respective heats. The #1 world-ranked Richards was the 2005 Visa champion and is looking to win this year's $100,000 first prize as well. In the men's one-lapper, World Outdoor silver medalist Andrew Rock won the second semi in 44.68, while Olympic and World Outdoor relay gold medalist Darold Williamson won the first heat in 45.11.

Defending national champion Hazel Clark won heat 1 of the women's 800 in 2:01.07, while Frances Santin won the second semi in 2:01.92. The men's races saw multi-time Division III 800 and 1500 champion Nick Symmonds of Willamette win the first race in 1:48.63 and 2005 USA champ Khadevis Robinson won the second in 1:47.30.

In qualifying rounds, world champion Michelle Perry (12.70) and world leader Ginnie Powell (12.71) led qualifiers into the semifinals of the women's 100-meter hurdles. Defending U.S. champion Daniel Lincoln had the fastest time in the men's steeplechase (8:33.01), while 2005 USA runner-up Chris Lukezic was the quickest qualifier in the men's 1,500 meters with 3:38.84.

Tiffany Ross-Williams won the first heat of the women's 400m hurdles first round in 55.17 as World Outdoor silver medalist Lashinda Demus won heat 2 in 55.20. In the men's semifinals, 2005 Visa Champion Kerron Clement won heat 1 in 48.70 and world champion Bershawn Jackson took the second in 48.63.

For complete results, athlete quotes, event schedule and start lists, visit www.usatf.org