Merritt wins 400m title at USA Championships, remains undefeated

06-27-2009

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Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
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EUGENE, Ore - 2008 Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt remained unbeaten this outdoor season, winning the Gatorade Men's U.S. 400m title Saturday at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.

The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Outdoor Championships conclude Sunday in Eugene.

The #1 ranked quarter-miler in the world, LaShawn Merritt was in control of the race from start to finish as he captured his second-consecutive national men's 400m title in 44.50 seconds. Merritt's performance matches his world-leading time originally set on May 1 at Baie Mahault, France

The 2007 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist, Merritt will be joined in Berlin by runner-up Gil Roberts of Texas Tech, who finished the race in 44.93, and 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist and 2007 World Outdoor 400m hurdles champion Kerron Clement, who was third in 45.14. They will be joined by reigning World Outdoor champion Jeremy Wariner at the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin.

Demus posts world leader in winning Hershey 400m Hurdles

2004 Olympian and 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Lashinda Demus took the lead for good over the final hurdle and beat 2008 Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta to the finish line in winning her third career U.S. Outdoor title in 53.78 seconds.

Demus' time was the fastest in the world this year and a new Hayward Field record, bettering the 53.96 clocking by Sandra Farmer-Patrick set in 1993. Tosta, who qualified for her second World Outdoor Championships team, finished second in 54.45 seconds, with 2004 Olympic finalist Tiffany Ross-Williams finishing third in 55.18.

Richards wins Visa Women's 400 Meters

2008 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist and 400m bronze medalist Sanya Richards captured her fourth U.S. Outdoor title in winning the Visa Women's 400 meters in 50.05 seconds, which is the third-fastest time in the world this year.

Richards, who entered the 2009 season ranked #1 in the world at 400 meters, posted the fastest time in the world this season with her 49.57 win June 14 in Berlin.Two-time Olympic Trials eighth-place finisher Debbie Dunn qualified for her first World Outdoor Championships roster with her runner-up finish in 50.79, and 2008 World Junior Championships silver medalist Jessica Beard finished third in 50.81. 2008 Olympic Games 4x400m relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings was fourth in 50.89.

Payne wins first U.S. outdoor crown in Visa Men's 110m Hurdles

2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Payne captured his first U.S. national 110m hurdles title after a tremendous battle with two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell.

Payne and Trammell were inseparable as they crossed the finish line and both were clocked at 13.12 seconds, with Payne emerging as the victor by three-one thousandths of a second (13.115 to 13.118). 2006 NCAA champion and 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Aries Merritt punched his ticket to the World Championships in Berlin with his third-place finish in 13.15.

Phillips back on top in men's long jump

2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips won his fifth U.S. men's long jump title with his second round leap of 8.57m/28-1.50 (+2.2 mps).

Phillips leaped back on the world stage with a monster effort at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic here in Eugene, when he easily won the event at 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches. That effort tied him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history. The trio are also tied as the #5 performers all time.It was also the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991.

Joining Phillips at the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin will be 2008 Olympian Brian Johnson, who finished second with a best leap of 8.26m/27-1.25. A two-time ACC Outdoor champion while at Clemson, George Kitchens placed third with a best of 8.23m/27-0. Kitchens has neither the A nor B qualifying standard for the World Championships in Berlin. 2008 Olympian Miguel Pate finished fourth with a leap of 8.20m/26-11.

Texas high schooler Marquise Goodwin, who earlier today won the Junior title, finished fifth with a national prep record leap of 8.18m/26-10, topping the 20-year-old standard of 8.16m/26-9.25 set by Dion Bentley.

Rowbury wins Nike Women's 1,500 meters

2008 Olympic Trials champion and Olympic Games finalist Shannon Rowbury trailed Christin Wurth-Thomas until the final stretch before overtaking her and reaching the finish first in 4:05.07.

Wurth-Thomas made a mad dash in an attempt to steal the race, at one point leading by 30 meters, but ran out of gas over the final 200 meters and finishing as the runner-up in 4:06.00.2008 Olympic Trials 3,000m steeplechase champion and former national record holder in that event Anna Willard secured her place in Berlin by finishing third in 4:07.70.

Patterson wins women's javelin with monster throw

Former Purdue University standout and 2008 Olympic Trials champion Kara Patterson successfully defended her U.S. women's javelin title on her fifth attempt with a personal best throw of 63.95 meters/209-10. Patterson's winning throw was the second best ever by a U.S. woman.

University of Oregon senior and 2009 NCAA champion Rachel Yurkovich was the runner-up with a toss of 59.31m/194-7, and four-time USA champion and American record holder Kim Kreiner finished third with a throw of 58.00m/190-3.

Walker wins men's pole vault

Reigning World Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympian Brad Walker won his third U.S. Outdoor men's pole vault title with his clearance of 5.75m/18-10.25.

He will be joined at this summer's World Outdoor Championships by 2003 World Champs team member and runner-up today Jeremy Scott, 2008 Olympic Trials winner and fourth-place finisher at the Beijing Olympics Derek Miles (3rd) and 2004 Olympic Games silver medalist Toby Stevenson (4th). All of the top four finishers cleared the winning height of 5.75m/18-10.25, with the order of finish determined by the number of misses by each competitor.

Seaman wins 20 km race walk title

Two-time Olympian Tim Seaman captured his sixth career USA 20 km race walk title this morning with his time of 1 hour 26 minutes 14 seconds. Seaman has now qualified for his fifth World Outdoor Championship team, and has increased his USA national titles won total to 37.

2008 Olympic Trials third-place finisher Patrick Stroupe was the runner-up in 1:26:41, with three-time Olympic Trials participant Ben Shorey third in 1:27:17. 2004 Olympian John Nunn was fourth in 1:27:42 and Stephen Quirke finished fifth in 1:29:40.

Kruger hammers the competition again

Two-time Olympian A.G. Kruger won his fourth consecutive U.S. men's hammer throw title with a best throw of 75.31 meters/247 feet 1 inch.2004 NCAA champion and 2007 NACAC champion Jake Freeman finished second with a toss of 74.64m/244-10, and Michael Mai of the U.S. Army finished third with his final attempt throw of 73.80m/242-1.

McAdams wins steeple national title

2008 Olympian Josh McAdams won his second career national title in the men's 3,000m steeplechase with his time of 8 minutes 29.91 seconds. 2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Dan Huling was the runner-up in 8:32.86 and 2008 Pac 10 champion Kyle Alcorn finished third in 8:34.65. Brigham Young University standout Kyle Perry finished fourth in 8:36.65.

Fountain leads heptathlon

2008 Olympic Games heptathlon silver medalist and reigning national champion Hyleas Fountain has the lead after the first day of the women's heptathlon.

Fountain tallied an outstanding first day total of 4,038 points, and will carry a 270-point lead over her nearest competitor and 2008 Olympic teammate Diana Pickler, into tomorrow's final three events. Other top scorers after today's four events include 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day (3rd-3,739) and University of Southern California standout Nia Ali (4th-3,621), who finished fourth at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Favorites move on in qualifying

Highlights of the Nike Women's 100m hurdles first round of competition included 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper posting the fastest time by an American this season with her clocking of 12.68 seconds in winning the first of three heats.

The winner in the second semifinal was 2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry, who ran the fastest time in the world this year under any conditions of 12.49 (+2.6 mps).

Heat winners in the first round of the men's 200 meters were 2004 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford, who won the fifth heat in 20.19w seconds, 2006 NCAA 100 and 400m winner Xavier Carter won the sixth heat in 20.51w and 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Wallace Spearmon won the third heat in 20.53. The Heat 1 winner was Bernard Williams (20.72) and Heat 2 was won by Charles Clark (20.54). Chris Lawson won the fourth heat in 20.39w.

Winners in the women's first round of 200m qualifying were LaShauntea Moore, crossing the line ahead of the field in the first heat in 22.60, 2009 NCAA champion Porscha Lucas won the second heat in 22.77, and in Heat 3, Arizona State star and 2009 NCAA runner-up Charonda Williams was the victor in 22.65w. Two-time Olympic Games silver medalist Allyson Felix won the fourth heat in 22.58w.

University of South Carolina standout Johnny Dutch was the winner of the first men's 400m hurdles semifinal in 49.24 seconds. 2008 Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor will move on to Sunday's final after finishing second in 49.28. Other finalists will include Justin Gaymon (3rd-49.39) and 2005 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist James Carter was fourth in 49.55.

Top finishers in the second semi moving on to Sunday's final include 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson (1st-48.80), 2009 NCAA champion Jeshua Anderson of Washington State (2nd-48.89), Michael Tinsley (3rd-49.43) and Brandon Johnson (4th-50.40).

For ticket information to the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com or www.tracktown.net. USATF welcomes you to purchase tickets with your Visa Card. Visa, the only credit card accepted by USATF.

For more information on the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.