Trotter surprises in AT&T women’s 400; Hoffa takes Visa men’s shot put


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Dee Dee Trotter was an exultant winner in the AT&T women's 400 meters and Reese Hoffa won his first national outdoor title Saturday at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Carroll Stadium at IUPUI. On the day, four world-leading performances were turned in amid damp and breezy conditions.

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.

The shocker of the meet came in the women's 400, with Trotter winning her first national title in a world-leading, personal-best time of 49.64, upending the heavily favored Sanya Richards. A 2004 Olympic relay gold medalist, Trotter took the lead on the final curve and powered to the win.

NCAA champion Natasha Hastings of South Carolina placed second in a personal-best time of 49.84, which is the fastest time ever run by a collegian. Mary Wineberg was third, also in a personal-best time of 50.24. Fading in the homestretch, Richards was fourth in 50.68, competing in just her third meet of the year after struggling with illness this spring. It was her first loss outdoors since August of 2005, when she took the silver medal at the World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, Finland. She had won 18 finals races in the 400 since that time.

Hoffa posts first outdoor title

The 2006 World Indoor champion Reese Hoffa was least affected by the rain-soaked conditions during mid-day competition in the Visa men's shot put. One of the more nimble throwers in the field, Hoffa spun across the slick circle and led the competition from start to finish, though it was his fifth throw of 21.47m/70-5.25 that was the farthest of the day. All five of his legal throws were better than the next-best competitor.

Dan Taylor made his first USA international team in the shot with a best of 21.00m/68-10.75, with defending world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson third with 50.54m/67-4.75. Noah Bryant of USC was fourth with a best of 20.14m/66-1 and will make the Team USA roster for the World Championships due to Nelson having a bye as a defending champion. World-leading Christian Cantwell, the biggest thrower physically, struggled most with the weather conditions and ended fifth with a best of 20.10m/65-11.5.

Powell over Perry in Hershey women's hurdles

In a race that pitted the world's top two hurdlers against each other, current 2007 world leader and defending USA champion Ginnie Powell prevailed over reigning world champion Michelle Perry in the Hershey women's 100-meter hurdles. Powell took an early lead and stayed strong through the finish, winning in 12.63 (-1.3mps) with Perry at 12.72. USA indoor champion Lolo Jones was third in 12.79 to make her first national team.

Carter cruises in Tyson men's 400 hurdles

Running with strength and determination, World Championship silver medalist James Carter held off two-time defending champion Kerron Clement to win the Tyson men's 400-mter hurdles in a word-leading 47.72. Two-time Visa Champion Clement, trailing by several meters over the final hurdle, moved up to finish in 47.80, with Derrick Williams third in 48.26.

The AT&T men's 400m final featured the most exciting finish of the day as 2006 USA runner-up LaShawn Merritt tried to hold off 2000 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist and 2002 USA 400m sprint champion Angelo Taylor. With a lunge and a lean, Taylor took the win in a world-leading time of 44.05 with Merritt at 44.06. NCAA runner-up Lionel Larry was third in 44.84.

In the women's 3,000m steeplechase, Jennifer Barringer of the University of Colorado came off the final water barrier well and went on to win in 9:34.64, a meet record and the second-fastest time ever by an American. Anna Willard was second in 9:34.72, also under the previous meet record, and Lindsey Anderson was third in 9:40.74.

The Nike women's 1,500m saw several strategies play out, but in the end, Treniere Clement won her third straight national title in the event in 4:07.04. Having sprinted into the lead with 300 meters to go, Christin Wurth-Thomas was second in 4:07.86. Erin Donohue was third in 4:08.11, with Tiffany McWilliams, who led through 1,200m, fourth in 4:08.86.

Pappas, Fountain win multi-events

2003 world champion Tom Pappas easily held onto his day 1 lead in the men's decathlon, winning with 8,352 points to become just the third man to win five national decathlon titles. On Saturday, Pappas ran 14.12 in the 110-meter hurdles, threw 46.34m/152-0 in the discus, vaulted 5.00m/16-4.75 in the pole vault, threw 59.70m/195-10 in the javelin and ran 4:59.69 in the 1,500m. Paul Terek was second with 8,064 points and NCAA champion Robert Arnold of Arizona was third with 7,921.

2005 USA champion Hyleas Fountain won the women's heptathlon with 6,090 points, with performances Saturday of 6.43m/21-1.25 in the long jump, 41.59m/136-5 in the javelin and 2:22.54 in the 800. Diana Pickler of Washington State was second with 6,029 points, and GiGi Johnson was third with 6,002.

More field events

Grace Upshaw moved from fifth to first on her final attempt in the women's long jump to win her third national title with a mark of 6.74m/22-1.5w (+2.5). Brittney Reese was second with 6.67/21-10.75w (+2.1), with Rose Richmond third (6.60m/21-8). They will join defending world champion Tianna Madison, who placed fifth here with 6.57m/21-6.75, on the World Championships roster.

Amy Acuff won her sixth USA outdoor title in the Hershey women's high jump with a clearance of 1.89m/6-2.25. Placing second was Sharon Day at the same height, with Destinee Hooker of the University of Texas third at 1.86m/6-1.25.

Brittany Riley was a surprise winner of the 24-Hour Fitness Women's Hammer Final with a best effort of 72.41m/237-7. Kristal Yush was second with 68.24m/223-11, with Jessica Cosby third with 68.21.

On the roads, Kevin Eastler won his second consecutive title and third overall in the men's 20 km race walk, finishing in 1:26:43.28. American record holder Tim Seaman was second in 1:28.17, and Matthew Boyles was third in 1:28:40.20.

In the day's qualifying heats, 100m champion Tyson Gay posted the fastest time in the AT&T men's 200m (20.66, -2.4mps), while Miki Barber was fastest in the Visa women's heats (22.73 -1.9mps). In the men's 110-meter hurdles first round, David Payne led a large group of qualifiers with his winning time of 13.43 in the first heat. All top competitors advanced in the 200s and hurdles.

The AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships television coverage concludes with a live broadcast Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

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