Olympic champion Harper wins at USA Championships

06-28-2009

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EUGENE, Ore - 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper won her first national outdoor title and the women's Visa Championship Series crown on the final day of the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene.

The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Outdoor Championships serves as the selection event for the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, August 15-23.

Harper captured her first-ever USA Outdoor national title with her win in the Nike Women's 100m hurdles in 12.36 seconds. A tailwind of 2.2 meters per second at her back helped Harper post the fourth-fastest time ever by an American under any conditions. Harper's performance gave her 1,220 points and the women's USA Track & Field Outdoor Visa Championship Series title, as she barely edged out 2009 USA Outdoor 100m champion Carmelita Jeter, who finished second with 1,216 points.

Others joining reigning world champion Michelle Perry at the World Championships in Berlin will be 2007 USA Outdoor champion and fifth-place finisher at the World Championships that year, Ginnie Powell, who was the runner-up in 12.47 seconds, and 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up and Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry, who finished third in 12.58. Two-time NCAA Outdoor champion and 2008 NACAC gold medalist Tiffany Ofili placed fourth in 12.66.

Jackson keeps world lead in men's 400m hurdles

2005 World champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson captured his second-consecutive national 400m hurdles title with his time of 48.03 seconds, which is the fastest time in the world this year. Jackson posted the previous world best this season with his win in Ostrava on June 17 when he was clocked at 48.32.

Others joining reigning World Champion Kerron Clement at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in Berlin will be University of South Carolina standout and 2009 NCAA runner-up Johnny Dutch (2nd-48.18), and two-time Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor (3rd-48.30).

Symmonds wins Nike Men's 800m, named Visa Athlete of the Meet

Eugene area resident Nick Symmonds won the most dramatic race of last year's Olympic Trials at Hayward Field, and he continued his success here this afternoon in being named the Visa Athlete of the Meet following his dramatic win in the Nike Men's 800 meters.

Symmonds began the race in his customary place near the back of the pack before building a sizeable lead coming off the final turn. 2004 Olympian Khadevis Robinson, who finished fourth at last year's Olympic Trials, began closing on Symmonds down the stretch but didn't quite have enough to catch him. Symmonds edged Robinson at the finish, crossing the line first in 1:45.86. Robinson finished as the runner-up in 1:45.97, with former University of Washington standout and 2006 NCAA Outdoor champion Ryan Brown third in 1:46.67. Christian Smith, who finished third at last year's Trials, finished fourth at 1:46.92.

Clark wins women's two-lapper

Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark won her fifth career USA Outdoor 800m title and the fourth in the last five years by crossing the finish line first in this afternoon's final in 2:00.79.

Clark, who qualified for her fourth U.S. World Outdoor Championships team, finished ahead of two-time NCAA Outdoor champion from the University of Michigan Geena Gall (2nd-2:01.01), University of Tennessee standout Phoebe Wright (3rd-2:01.12) and 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships runner-up Maggie Vessey (4th-2:01.19).

Lomong wins Nike Men's 1,500 Meters

2008 Olympic Trials third-place finisher and 2007 NCAA champion Lopez Lomong won his first U.S. Outdoor title in holding off former University of Texas star Leonel Manzano in an exciting Nike Men's 1,500m final.

Lomong held the lead coming off the final turn and Manzano gave chase through to the finish. Although Manzano gained ground on his 2008 Olympic teammate, Lomong held on to win in 3:41.68, with Manzano finishing second in 3:41.82. 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships fourth-place finisher Dorain Ulrey was third in 3:42.84, with 2008 NCAA Outdoor Champs runner-up Steven Pifer fourth in 3:44.21.

Crawford continues excellence in men's 200 meters

2004 Olympic Games gold medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Shawn Crawford got out well from the start and was unchallenged as he dominated a talented field in the men's 200m final.

Crawford crossed the line in 19.73 seconds (+3.3 mps), which is the fastest time under any conditions ever run at Hayward Field. Crawford easily won ahead of Florida State University standout and 2009 NCAA Outdoor champion Charles Clark, who finished as the runner-up in 20.00. 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Wallace Spearmon came from behind to take third in 20.03 seconds. Crawford, Clark and Spearmon will join reigning World Outdoor champion Tyson Gay at the World Outdoor Championships this summer in Berlin.

Felix wins fifth U.S. women's 200m title

Two-time Olympic Games silver medalist and reigning World Outdoor champion Allyson Felix won her fifth U.S. women's 200m title in the last six years with her time of 22.02w. Joining Felix at the World Championships later this summer in Berlin will be 2004 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Muna Lee (2nd-22.13), 2008 Olympic Games fifth-placer Marshevet Hooker and Arizona State's Charonda Williams (4th-22.39), who was the runner-up at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships,

Barringer wins women's steeple crown

American record holder Jenny Barringer, who won the 1,500m and 3,000m steeplechase at the 2009 NCAA Championships, took control of the women's 3,000m steeplechase final early on and cruised to her second U.S. title in this event with her time of 9 minutes 29.38 seconds.2008 Olympic Trials champion and former U.S. record holder Anna Willard was the runner-up in 9:35.01, with Bridget Franek posting a personal best time of 9:36.74 in finishing third in the race. 2008 Olympic Trials finalist and 2007 U.S. Championships runner-up Lindsey Anderson finished fourth in 9:36.74.

Pickler wins first U.S. heptathlon title

2008 Olympian Diana Pickler qualified for her second World Outdoor Championships team by winning the women's heptathlon with 6,290 points, which is a new personal best score. 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day posted five personal bests in finishing second with 6,177 points, which is also a personal best total score. Day earlier qualified for the trip to Berlin by finishing third in the high jump competition here in Eugene.

The University of Michigan's Bettie Wade finished third with a total of 5,908 points, bettering the "B" qualifying standard for the World Championships.

2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Hyleas Fountain hurt her neck during the first day of competition on Saturday, and re-aggravated it today during the long jump. Fountain, who held the lead through the first five events with 5,193 points, withdrew from the competition with two events remaining and a 472-point margin over her nearest competitor.

Stuczynski victorious in Gill Women's Pole Vault

2008 Olympic silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski won her fourth consecutive U.S. women's outdoor pole vault title with her clearance of 4.65 meters/15 feet 3 inches.Joining Stuczynski at the World Championships this summer will be 2008 Olympic Trials finalist Chelsea Johnson (2nd-4.60m/15-1) and 2000 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Stacy Dragila (4.55m/14-11).

2004 Olympian and 2006 USA Outdoor champion Tora Harris won his second U.S. Outdoor men's high jump title with a clearance of 2.31 meters/7 feet 7 inches. Other top finishers included 2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Keith Moffatt, who cleared 2.28m/7-5.75 and tied with 2008 Olympian Andra Manson. Moffatt and Manson posted identical series.

Reese wins women's long jump

2008 NCAA Outdoor champion and fifth-place finisher at the Olympic Games Brittney Reese won her first U.S. Outdoor title with a jump of 7.09 meters/23 feet 3.25 inches. Other top finishers included 2002 USA Outdoor champion Brianna Glenn (2nd-6.82m/22-4.50), 2008 Olympian Funmi Jimoh (3rd-6.77m/22-2.50) and two-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian Grace Upshaw (4th-6.77m/22-2.50.

Cantwell wins Visa Men's Shot Put

2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Christian Cantwell posted the second best throw in the world this year in winning the Visa Men's Shot Put with a toss of 21.82 meters/71 feet, 7.25 inches.

He'll be joined on the U.S. roster for Berlin by runner-up and reigning U.S. Indoor champion Dan Taylor (2nd-21.21m/69-7), reigning World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa (3rd-21.10m/69-2.75 and two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson (4th-21.01m/68-11.25).

In the women's hammer throw final, Jessica Cosby captured her third U.S. title with a best toss of 72.04m/236-4. Other top finishers on their way to the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin were 2008 Olympian Amber Campbell (2nd-68.92m/226-1) and U.S. record holder Erin Gilreath (3rd-68.08m/223-4).

Another U.S. Race Walk title for Teresa

Earlier this morning, 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up and 2004 Olympian Teresa Vaill won her fourth career U.S. women's 20 km race walk crown. A seven-time USA Indoor race walk champion, Vaill crossed the finish line in 1 hour 37 minutes 12 seconds for the win.

2003 Pan American Games bronze medalist and 2008 Olympic Trials champion Joanne Dow was the runner-up in 1:39:59. Other finishers included Maria Michta (3rd-1:41:16), Miranda Melville (4th-1:45:38), Erin Taylor (5th-1:50:12), Susan Randall (6th-1:50:46) and Le'erin Voss (7th-1:51:21).

Phillips wins men's Visa Championship Series title

The USA Outdoor Championships are the final event of USATF's Visa Championship Series, and earlier this afternoon 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips was declared the winner of the men's VCS and received a bonus from Visa worth $25,000. Reigning world outdoor 100m and 200m champion Tyson Gay finished second in the standings with 1,285 points

Phillips' VCS winning performance came via his 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.

Phillips won his fifth U.S. men's long jump title Saturday with a leap of 8.57m/28-1.50 (+2.2 mps).

Men's Outdoor Final VCS Standings

1. Dwight Phillips 12902. Tyson Gay 12853. Shawn Crawford 12504. Reese Hoffa 12345. Christian Cantwell 12306. Michael Rodgers 12297. Terrence Trammell 12288. Mike Rodgers 12269. Bershawn Jackson 122110. LaShawn Merritt 1220

Women's Outdoor VCS Final Standings

1. Dawn Harper 12202. Carmelita Jeter 12163. Lashinda Demus 12114. Sanya Richards 12065. Jenny Barringer 12036. Jenn Stuczynski 11936. Lauryn Williams 11938. Allyson Felix 11909. Dawn Harper 118610. Michelle Perry 1179For more information on the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.