EUGENE, Ore. -- Former Razorback great Christin Wurth-Thomas punched her ticket for the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany later this summer on day three of the USA Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field Saturday.
Wurth-Thomas, a 2008 Olympian after finishing bronze at the U.S. Trials, bettered her finish from a year ago with a runner-up spot in the 1,500-meter finals.
She closed in a 62-second final lap and clocked a time of 4:06.00. With 600 meters to go, Wurth-Thomas made a big move and it worked for 500 meters when Shannon Rowbury passed her down the final stretch. Rowbury won with a time of 4:05.07.
"I wanted that title," Wurth-Thomas said. "I went for it. I knew I would have the wind at my back and it's better to make a big move when you have some help. I knew I'd have to close in a final lap of 62 or 63 seconds. I haven't done much speed work yet and I think I had another gear that I just didn't dip into. It's hard to dig deep when you are all alone in the lead. I feel really good about where I am right now in my fitness and my training."
Wurth-Thomas will compete in Madrid, Spain, Lausanne, Switzerland and Rome, Italy, all during the month of July, before heading to Berlin for the World Championships in August.
Freshman Whitney Jones finished fourth in the long jump. Her best jump of the day measured 19-11.75. She was second heading into finals but was passed in the final three rounds of competition. After a successful prelim round in the long jump, she opted out of the 200-meter prelims.
Jones ends her stellar freshman season that includes a 2009 NCAA Indoor All-America honor as the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay. She also picked up an All-SEC honor and was twice named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Freshman Leah Orley is fourth in the junior heptathlon. After four events, she racked up 2,901 points. She started the day with a time of 15.02 in the 100-meter hurdles to finish fifth and score 839 points. In the high jump, she cleared 5-3, finished tied for fourth and picked up 736 points. She finished sixth in the shot put with a toss of 32-9.75, good for 529 points. She ended the day with a seventh-place finish in the 200 meters. Clocking a 200-meter time of 26.00, she finished seventh and earned 797 points. She moved from fifth to fourth in the standings with her solid effort in the 200 meters.
Former Razorback great and Hall of Honor member Gi-Gi Johnson stands at fifth in the senior heptathlon. After four events, she has totaled 3,570 points.
In the 100-meter hurdles, she clocked a time of 13.14 to finish second and score 1,103 points. She cleared 5-3 in the high jump to add 736 points. She moved up in position with strong showings in the shot put and the 200 meters. She tossed for 43-3 and 739 points in the shot put. She ended the day with a time of 23.88 and 992 points in the 200 meters.
Senior Etienne Chaplin is 16th in the heptathlon with 3,255 points. She started the day with the 100-meter hurdles where she clocked a time of 14.18 to finish 15th and score 953 points. In the high jump, her clearance of 5-4.25 scored 771 points. She picked up 597 points with a toss of 36-2.25 in the shot put and 934 points with a time of 24.49 in the 200 meters.
Live results can be found at FlashResults.com. The USA Championships will be televised on the following dates: June 26, live on ESPN from 7-9 p.m.; June 27: live/tape on ESPN from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; June 28: live on NBC from 3-5 p.m. (all times Central).
For a complete schedule of events, start lists, results and more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or USATF.org.