EUGENE, Ore - Amy Yoder Bagley, Galen Rupp and Ashton Eaton thrilled their hometown crowd during the opening day of 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 run from June 25-28.
Yoder Begley thrills Hayward crowd again
Oregon Track Club member Any Yoder Begley thrilled the Hayward Field crowd in finishing third at the Olympic Trials last year, bettering the Olympic Games women's "A" qualifying standard in the process, and she brought an even bigger roar tonight as she won her first national championship and set a Hayward Field record.
Yoder Begley and 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan traded the lead twice in the final lap, with Yoder Begley emerging as the victor in 31 minutes, 22.69 seconds, which is the #9 U.S. women's 10,000m time in history. Flanagan was the runner-up in 31:23.43. Both times shattered Flanagan's previous Hayward Field record time of 31:34.81, set in winning the 2008 Olympic Trials. 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Katie McGregor punched her ticket for her third U.S. World Championships team with her third-place finish in 32:08.04.
Rupp pleases hometown fans
In his last ever race in a University of Oregon singlet, 2008 NCAA Cross Country champ, and 2009 5,000m and 10,000m winner Galen Rupp battled two-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein most of the way in the 10,000m final, until Rupp broke away with 150 meters to go before winning the race in 27:52.53.
Ritzenhein punched his ticket for a second World Outdoor Championship with his runner-up finish in 27:58.59, and Oregon TC Elite member and 2008 Olympic Trials tenth place finisher Tim Nelson finished third in 28:01.34
Gay torches Hayward Field track
Reigning World 100m and 200m champion Tyson Gay had a solid start in first round competition in the men's 100 meters and convincingly won heat one in the sixth-fastest time in history under all conditions with a wind-aided 9.75 seconds (+3.4 mps). Gay announced on Wednesday that this would be his only race at the USA Championships, with his Team USA 100m and 200m roster spots for the 2009 World Outdoor Championships already secure.
Earlier this year at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City, Gay dominated the men's 200m, crossing the finish line in a blistering 19.58 seconds, which is the third-fastest performance ever, behind only USA Track & Field Hall of Famer Michael Johnson (19.32) and triple 2008 Olympic champion Usain Bolt (19.30).
Other men's 100m heat winners were Travis Padgett (Heat 2-9.93w), 2008 Olympic finalist Darvis "Doc" Patton (Heat 3-9.92w), 2008 Olympic Games 200m silver medalist Shawn Crawford (Heat 4-10.06w) and current U.S. seasonal leader Michael Rodgers (Heat 5-9.92w).
Brown Trafton wins first national title
2008 Olympic Games women's discus gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton, who ended the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world, won her first U.S. national title in that event with a best throw of 64.25m/210-9. Brown Trafton, who posted the farthest throw in the world this year of 66.21m/217-2 in San Mateo, Calif., on May 24, will be joined on the Team USA roster for Berlin by runner-up and four-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond (62.51m/205-1), and two-time World Outdoor Championships team member Becky Breisch, who finished third with a toss of 62.08m/203-8.
Hill joins all-time U.S. javelin greats
Two-time NCAA Division I champion and former University of Georgia star Chris Hill won the men's javelin in his first event as a professional athlete. In the second round of the competition, the 21-year old Hill unleashed the sixth-best throw ever by an American of 83.87 meters/275 feet 3 inches.
Joining Hill on the Team USA men's javelin throw roster for the Berlin World Championships will be 2008 Olympian Mike Hazle, who was the runner-up with a best toss of 82.06m/269-3, and Sean Furey, who finished third with a throw of 76.16m/249-10.
Roulhac posts U.S. leader in men's triple jump
2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Brandon Roulhac won the men's triple jump this evening with a windy best hop, skip and leap of 17.44m/57-2.75. His 17.26m/56-7.5 from earlier in the competition was not wind-aided and now sits atop the 2009 U.S. list.
Finishing as the runner-up was 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2006 World Cup winner Walter Davis, who leaped to 16.84m/55-3, and 2006 NAIA champion James Jenkins placed third with a best of 16.79m/55-1.
Howard wins women's high jump
2008 Olympic Games sixth-place finisher Chaunte Howard won her third consecutive U.S. Outdoor title with a clearance of 1.95m/6-4.75. Joining Howard on the Team USA roster for Berlin will be Amy Acuff, who qualified for her 12th consecutive U.S. team roster for either the World Outdoor Championships or Olympic Games, with her runner-up clearance of 1.95m/6-4.75 (Howard won the event on fewer misses). 2008 Olympic Trials third-place finisher Sharon Day was third, also clearing 1.95m/6-4.75.
Hardee leads decathlon after Day 1
2008 Olympic Trials runner-up and 2005 NCAA champion Trey Hardee has the lead after the first day of competition in the men's decathlon.
Hardee tallied 4,337 points through the first five events and holds a slight four-point lead over the University of Oregon's 2009 NCAA champion Ashton Eaton. Desi Burt sits in third place with 4,046 points, with Joe Detmer fourth with 4,044 points. The final five events will be contested tomorrow beginning at 11:45 a.m.
Advance and move on!
In this afternoon's qualifying action, the favorites in the women's Hershey's 400m hurdles all advanced with current World Leader and 2005 World Championships silver medalist Lashinda Demus winning Heat 3 in 55.48 seconds. 2008 Olympic Trials champion Tiffany Williams crossed the finish line first in Heat 1 in 55.18, and UCLA's Nicole Leach won Heat 2 in 56.28. 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Sheena Tosta finished second in Heat 2 in 56.37, and qualified for the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
In the women's Visa 100 meters, 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams won the star-studded fourth heat, crossing the line in 11.06. Two-time Olympic 200m silver medalist Allyson Felix was second in that race in 11.10 and 2007 Pan Am Junior champion and 2008 Olympic Trials finalist Bianca Knight finished third in 11.18.
The Visa Women's 400m qualifying was headlined by 2008 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Sanya Richards, who ended the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world. Richards won the opening heat in 51.38 seconds, with Monica Hargrove crossing the finish line first in Heat 2 in 52.71. Richards' Olympic relay teammate Natasha Hastings won Heat 3 in 52.16.
2008 Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt won Heat 1 of the Gatorade Men's 400 meters in 45.23 seconds. The University of Florida's Calvin Smith won Heat 2 in 46.17, with 2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Darold Williamson capturing Heat 3 in 46.61. Miles Smith won Heat 4 in 46.23, and 2004 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Kerron Clement won Heat 5 in 46.17
Other opening round winners included 2007 World Championships silver medalist Carmelita Jeter in the Nike Women's 100m (Heat 3-10.88), Alexandria Anderson won Heat 1 in 10.92 and 2008 Olympic Trials winner Muna Lee won Heat 2 in 11.01. All women's 100m first round races were conducted with a minimum of a +3.0 mps tailwind.
Women's 800m heat winners included three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic Trials winner Hazel Clark (Heat 1-2:04.39), University of Michigan standout Geena Gall (Heat 2-2:04.92) and two-time Pac-10 champion and former Cal-Berkeley standout Alysia Johnson (Heat 3-2:04.39).
In qualifying in the Nike Men's 800 meters, three-time USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson won Heat 1 in 1:48.07, 2008 Olympian and Olympic Trials third-place finisher Christian Smith won Heat 2 in 1:47.84. 2008 Olympic Trials champion Nick Symmonds, who currently sits atop the U.S. 800m rankings, won Heat 4 in 1:48.07, with Tevan Everett, who placed second at the 2008 NCAA Championships, winning Heat 3 in 1:49.15.
2008 Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas won the first opening round heat in the Nike Women's 1,500m, crossing the line in 4:11.84. Shannon Rowbury, who won the 2008 Olympic Trials, finished seventh at the Olympic Games and ended last year ranked #1 in the nation, won the second qualifying heat in 4:15.19.
In Nike Men's 3,000m Steeplechase qualifying, 2007 World Outdoor Championships team member Aaron Aguayo won the first of two men's opening round heats in 8:42.01, with 2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Daniel Huling winning Heat 2 in 8:34.13.
Whitt wins U.S. Junior pole vault title
In junior competition at the track today, 2009 Nike Outdoor National champion Jack Whitt won the men's pole vault with his clearance of 5.25m/17-2.75. Idaho State freshman Mike Arnold took the runner-up spot with 5.20m/17-00.25 and Scott Houston of the University of North Carolina took third in 5.10m/16-8.75.
Curtis Beach leads the field in the junior men's decathlon after the first day with 3,974 points. He had individual wins in the high jump (2.05m/6-8.75) and 400m (48.76). Florida's Gray Horn is currently in second place with 3,830 points and Neamen Wise of the Central Florida Gliders Track Club is sitting in third with 3,672.
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.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.