Greer breaks AR to open AT&T USA Outdoor Champs


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Breaux Greer broke his own American record in the javelin and won his record eighth straight national title in the event as competition opened Thursday at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Carroll Stadium at IUPUI.

The final meet of the 2007 Visa Championship Series, the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships serves as the Team USA selection competition for the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Osaka.

Known for his one-and-done competitions, Greer took two throws in the competition. A sore groin heading into the meet caused him to throw a relatively cautious 82.51m/270-9 on his first throw before letting loose with his second toss, which gave him the record at 91.29 meters/299 feet 6 inches and his eighth consecutive national crown. The throw broke his own American record set May 20 at the adidas Track Classic, when he threw 90.71m/297-7, and marked the fourth time in his career he's broken the AR. Mike Hazle finished second with a throw of 75.06m/246-03.

Abdi Abdirahman won his third national title in the men's 10,000 meters, after taking titles in 2001 and 2005. Running with Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall and later Galen Rupp, that group traded off leading duties for several kilometers. Abdi made a move at 9 km, and with two laps to go, 26:00 into the race, he had the lead to himself. He finished in 28:13.51. Rupp made a strong move to finish second in 28:23.31, passing a tiring Ritzenhein in third (28:31.88). Hall faded to seventh.

Deena Kastor went on a one-woman time trial in the women's 10,000 meters, leading by a gaping margin from wire to wire after throwing in a 3:08 second kilometer. Kastor went on to win her fifth career title in this event in 31:57.00, with Kara Goucher second in 32:33.80 and Katie McGregor third in 32:44.69.

Shani Marks won the first women's field event of the meet, successfully defending her national title in the triple jump with a personal-best jump of 14.08m/46-2.5; Yvette Lewis was second at 44-07.

The day had plenty of qualifying action in many events, with the women's and men's 100m first round taking center stage. The women's heats featured very fast times, with 2005 USA champion Lisa Barber posting a wind-aided time of 10.95 (+2.6) in the first heat, with world champion Lauryn Williams second at 11.02. Brianna Glenn won heat 2 in a personal-best 11.10 and Stephanie Durst did the same in heat 3 (11.09). 2003 world champion Torri Edwards took the final heat in 11.01.

In men's 100 heats, NCAA champion Walter Dix took heat 1 in 10.08, with red-hot Tyson Gay taking the second heat in 9.98, the fastest time of the night. Other fast times were turned in by Mark Jelks in heat 4 (10.04) and Trindon Holliday in heat 5 (10.03). Leonard Scott won heat 3 in 10.15.

Jennifer Barringer of the University of Colorado was the top qualifier into the final of the women's steeplechase, running 9:57.77 in Thursday's qualifying round. Three-time USA champion Hazel Clark was fastest in the women's 800 rounds (2:04.16), with USA indoor champion Nick Symmonds fastest among men (1:46.17).

Other top qualifiers were World Outdoor silver medalist James Carter in the men's 400H (49.07), Erin Donohue in the women's 1,500m (4:09.81), NCAA champion Natasha Hastings in the women's 400 (51.07), and 2006 USA runner-up LaShawn Merritt in the men's 400 (45.20).

The AT&T USA Outdoor Championships will be broadcast live Friday from 8-9 p.m. on ESPN2, with coverage continuing Saturday and Sunday on ESPN2 and NBC.

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