BERLIN - Chelsea Johnson and Carmelita Jeter each won medals and Jenny Barringer improved her own American record during a productive evening for Team USA, Monday at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.
Johnson, the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up from Los Angeles, Calif., came up with the clutch performance of her life in winning the silver medal in the women's pole vault with her season's best clearance of 4.65 meters/15 feet 3 inches. Also receiving a silver medal will be Poland's Monika Pyrek, who's series was identical to Johnson's except for one failed attempt at 4.80m/15-9, to go along with her two misses at 4.75m/15-7.
Johnson opened with first attempt clearances at 4.40m/14-5.25, 4.55m/14-11 and 4.65m/15-3, before missing all three attempts at 4.75m/15-7. With her performance, Johnson joins Stacy Dragila (Gold - 1999, 2001) as the only U.S. women ever to medal at a World Outdoor Championships in the pole vault.
Anna Rogowska of Poland won the gold medal with a clearance of 4.75m/15-7.
Jeter captures bronze in women's 100m
Carmelita Jeter (Los Angeles) posted a lifetime best of 10.83 in winning the second semifinal earlier this evening before finishing third in the final in 10.90 seconds. This matches Jeter's performance at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, where she also won the bronze medal with her time of 11.02.
Shelly-Ann Fraser of Jamaica won the gold medal in a world leading 10.73, with her countrywoman Kerron Stewart the runner-up in 10.75.
After posting a season's best 11.01 in this evening's first semifinal, 2005 world champion and 2007 silver medalist Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.) duplicated that performance with her sixth-place finish, also in 11.01.
Two-time Olympian Muna Lee (College Station, Texas), just missed making the final by finishing fifth in the second semi final in 11.18.
Barringer sets American record in Steeple final
Two-time U.S. champion and American record holder Jenny Barringer came storming from behind over the last 200 meters of the women's 3,000m steeplechase final to finish fifth in a new American record time of 9:12.50.
Barringer, who spent the majority of the race at the back of the pack, shattered her previous American record of 9:22.26 from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where she finished ninth.
Earlier this year, Barringer won her second U.S. 3,000m steeplechase crown with her time of 9:29.38. She captured the 2009 NCAA steeple crown with her winning time of 9:25.54.
Ritz leads Team USA in men's 10,000 meters
Two-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein (Eugene, Ore.) posted a personal best time of 27:22.28 with his sixth-place finish in the men's 10,000 meters.
Ritzenhein's time is the best ever by an American in the 10,000m at a World Outdoor Championships, easily bettering Abdi Abdirahman's 27:52.01 from the 2005 Worlds in Helsinki, Finland. His sixth-place finish is also the best ever by an American, slightly bettering the seventh-place finishes by Todd Williams in 2003 and Abdirahman in 2007.
Ritzenhein's effort this evening clobbered his previous personal best of 27:35.65 that he set in Palo Alto, Calif., on April 30, 2006. His performance makes him the fourth-fastest American ever behind only Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman and Mark Nenow.
For Ritzenhein, it's an improvement on his ninth-place finish at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships, where he crossed the finish line in 28:28.59. Ritzenhein finished ninth at the 2008 Olympic men's marathon in 2:11:59.
Reigning U.S champion Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) turned in a season's best time of 27:37.99 in finishing eighth. Rupp finished 13th at the 2008 Olympic Games in 27:36.99.
This marks the second consecutive World Outdoor Championships where Team USA has had two competitors finish in the top ten in this event. At the 2007 Championships in Osaka, Abdirahman finished seventh (27:56.62) and Ritzenhein placed ninth (28:28.59).
2009 USA Outdoor Championships third-place finisher Tim Nelson (Redding, Calif.) finished 17th in 28:18.04.
Lagat, Lomong, Manzano advance to 1,500m final
Reigning USA Outdoor 1,500m men's champion Lopez Lomong (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and 2007 world outdoor champion Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) each qualified for the men's 1,500m final on Wednesday as a result of their performances from this evening's initial semifinal.
The entire field was together with 200 meters to go when the real race began. Lomong and Lagat took up the third and fourth places respectively until the last 20 meters when Lomong advanced to second and Lagat to third, which is where they finished.
Lomong crossed the finish line in 3:36.75, with Lagat on his heels in 3:36.86.
2008 Olympian and NCAA 1,500m champion Leonel Manzano (Austin, Tex.) began the final stretch in the middle of the pack in the second semifinal and used an effective kick during the last 80 meters to move up to second place with his finishing time of 3:36.29.
This marks the first time that Team USA has placed three men in a World Outdoor Championships final. The last time three Americans appeared in an Olympic 1,500m final was 1968 (Jim Ryun, Tom Von Ruden, Marty Liquori).
Third-place finisher at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships Dorian Ulrey (Port Bryan, Ill.) finished 12th in the second semifinal in 3:39.33 and will not advance.
Tosta, Williams & Demus advance to semis
2008 Olympic Games silver medalist and 2007 Pan Am Games champion Sheena Tosta (Chula Vista, Calif.) got off to a blistering start in heat 1 of the women's 400m hurdles. Tosta held a commanding lead with 200 meters to go and saw it slip away just past the final hurdle. Tosta finished fourth in 56.00 and will move on to tomorrow evening's semifinals.
2008 Olympic Trials champion Tiffany Williams (Orlando, Fla.) looked strong in heat 4 running out of lane 7. Williams ran at a consistent pace throughout and finished second in 55.25, which was the fifth-fastest time in qualifying.
Completing the American threesome advancing to the semis was 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist and current world leader (52.63, July 28) Lashinda Demus of Palmdale, Calif. The suspense of this race ended early as Demus took control from the start and won easily in posting the fastest time of the night of 54.66.
Women's 800m semifinal action
Shortly into the second semi-final of the women's 800 meters, three-time Olympian and five-time USA Outdoor champion Hazel Clark (Knoxville, Tenn.) found herself in fourth place, and that's exactly where she ended up after crossing the finish line in a season's best time of 1:59.96. Clark's performance was not good enough to qualify for the final.
Two-time NCAA champion and 2009 USA Outdoor runner-up Geena Gall (Ann Arbor, Mich.) finished sixth in the first semi final in 2:01.30, and 2009 USA Outdoor Championships fourth-place finisher Maggie Vessey (Seacliff, Calif.) finished seventh in the third semi in 2:03.55. Neither will advance to the final
Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50
Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 19.71
Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault 4.65m/15-3
Carmelita Jeter (Inglewood, Calif.) women's 100 meters, 10.90
For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit USATF.org.
Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at UniversalSports.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/mediaCoverage.asp.
For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit USATF.org.
2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships Day 3 Team USA Quotes
Chelsea Johnson (Atascadero, Calif.), women's pole vault silver medalist
I knew this year I was going to make the team. I knew I was going to medal. Things have been going really great this year. That was a goal to come here and medal. Silver is great. I have been 100 percent confident. I was ready to go with my eye on the prize. That was the mindset coming in here, going clean for the first three rounds. It was just like in Eugene, make every height on your first attempt. That's what I did today. It is nice to get it done with and rest while the rest of the girls are battling it out.
Carmelita Jeter (Los Angeles), Women's 100 meters bronze medalist
It was a great race! Like Shelly said, she just jumped out of those blocks, and I just told myself to go and get a medal. I was pleased to get on the podium.
(on the perceived rivalry between the USA and Jamaica)-There's no bad blood between the USA and Jamaica. We're all competitive, and we want to run fast.
I've trained really hard this year. I've changed my coach to John Smith. We've been working on a lot of things, and tried to put some things together. It's been a great year, and there's more to come next year, and we'll start off next year where we left off this year.
Jennifer Barringer (Boulder, Colo.), 5th in women's 3,000m steeplechase AMERICAN RECORD
The race, I'm a little sad. The time, I'm like, "Wow." I'm stoked. I'm really happy about the time. I knew I had it in me. This is a place to pop this kind of PR. I'm really pleased with the time. In the race, I could see the kicking starting, and I knew belong there. I know if I'm there I got it. That part was hard. I was proud of myself that I finished so strong, despite the fact that in the last 100 meters...I was a little bummed.
My first reaction without seeing any analysis is that the women went out hard. I checked one split for me, and I knew I was running hard for me. These types of races are so tricky. You have to be smart instead of just passionate. I'm proud of the time. A huge American record, 10 seconds. In this race, time doesn't matter. The American record is really cool. I was fifth. What matters is finishing in the top three. That's what I have to keep in mind.
Dathan Ritzenhein (Eugene, Oregon), 6th in Men's 10,000 meters
I'm pretty happy! The one thing I'm disappointed is that the two guys in front of me were fourth and fifth, and that if I had pushed it a bit in the middle, I might have been there with them. I may have ended up sixth anyway, but I'm happy that things came around when they did.
Doing the marathon the last three years teaches you how to grind it out. I knew when the pace picked up that if I could stay in contact, then someone might fall off. There's not very many guys in the world who can sustain the pace up front.
Alberto (Salazar) gets a lot of credit for this one today. The last seven weeks have been awesome. I really enjoyed the change, and I could feel the difference today. I feel that there's been a lot of revitalization in my running. I'm more excited about my running than I've been.
Tim Nelson (Portland, Oregon), 17th in Men's 10000 meters
It was a new experience for me. I think that I could have run a lot better than I did. I'm not happy with the results of the race. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen when that move was made. I wasn't quite sure of myself.
I have a lot of room for improvement.
Lauryn Williams (Miami, Florida), Women's 100 meters
It was a good race. I don't know what my coach is going to say about what I did technically. I know we both hoped that I could go under 11 seconds, but realistically it would have been difficult to go from 11.0 to 10.7-something.
I came out to do my best, and I feel that I did my best, but where I came up short is that I really was hoping to dip under 11 seconds.
This is the first time in three years that I've run without hamstring problems, and running with just plain athlete soreness. That in itself is exciting.
I don't feel like the Jamaicans are that far away from me. I'm looking forward to getting back up there with them.
Sheena Tosta (San Diego, Calif.), Women's 400 hurdles
I was focusing on running hard over the first eight and relaxing over the last two hurdles. I wasn't tired, but tomorrow, I'm looking to put it all together. I shut it down, but I didn't see anyone else coming. I think I might have shut it down too much.
Tiffany Williams (Orlando, Florida), Women's 400 hurdles
My goal was just to make it to the next round. My steps were just a little bit off, so I'm going to talk to my coach and work things out for the next round.
Normally I switch (lead) legs at hurdle 6, but I switched at 5, so my steps were just a little bit off.
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), Women's 400 hurdles
I tried to do what my coach told me to do, but I went away from it. My coach told me to run the first 300 meters hard, but I didn't quite do that because I thought I would be wasting energy, so I slowed down earlier than I wanted to.
Muna Lee (College Station, Texas), Women's 100 meters semifinals
That's what happens when you get stuck in Lane 8 with a good field. My first step was horrible. I can't blame anybody but myself. I couldn't see anything. I decided to look and that messed me up, too. I have never not made a final. This is like history for me. It's not good history. Even in college, I always made it to the finals. This is a first.
I can't say this is going to happen in the 200. That's a whole other different race. They always said the 100 was not my race, so I am not mad. I just wanted to prove everybody that I can run it. When I come back, I have enough time to get stronger. The girls are good. It's not like they don't have experience. It's just whoever is the strongest in this race.
Hazel Clark (Knoxville, Tenn.), Women's 800 meters semifinals
I gave it my best. This was a season best for me. I broke two minutes. I am a little disappointed. I'll get past it. It always feels good to break two minutes. I was the first one to miss. It was a close call. But this year, I had so many naysayers. I've been here for so long. I have worked so hard for so long. I'm going to keep working hard until I get the medal that I have been working for.
Maggie Vessey (Soquel, Calif.), Women's 800 meters semifinals
I'm not sure what really happened. I felt kind of disconnected. Not only from the race, but from myself a little bit. In the warm-up, I was not like feeling really secure. There were a lot of question going on pre-race, instead of like a real like, "This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to execute." I was a little wishy-washy, and I raced a little wishy-washy. I tried within 350 to 300 to move. But another girl was sneaking out, too. Then I saw how far behind I was. It was a little defeated right there. Maybe at the Olympic Trials I was way more inside, way more gumption to go for it. This time, I was feeling so disconnected to begin with. It's bad when I come to a place like this. I don't feel like I put in a real effort. I feel like I let it go. This was the most amazing experience. I got here. What are you going to do?
Geena Gall (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Women's 800 meters semifinals
I thought I had good position in the beginning. I wanted to be around fourth or fifth. I was nervous going into this round. The crowd is way more electrifying. They were bigger for the different round. I knew it was going to be a lot faster. I have raced in front of this many people. But it was great. This is the biggest stadium I have run in. I can only take this experience and use it for the future. The best thing I got out this was getting to know the best runners and introducing myself to them, feeling like a part of this family, this elite group of runners. That's all I can ask for.
Bernard Lagat (Tuscon, Ariz.), Men's 1,500 Meters, Semifinals
The race went well because we went but quicker than normal. I was happy it went that way. I was in good position in the beginning, and that's what I wanted. I wasn't outside, like I was in the heat. I wanted to be in good position, not outside, not inside. That was my position in the beginning. When the guys were starting to react with 300 meters to go, I was still in good position. I just wanted to keep it to the finals, and that's what happened.
(With teammates in the finals). That's the best part. Think about this. Lopez Lomong works so hard. I told him, "Let's go together. Let's fight together." I didn't want to leave him. I went like that. I remember coming in the straightaway, I was moving to Lane 1, on the inside. Then I realized it was Lopez, so I moved out to Lane 2. I didn't want to cut out my teammate. When we finished, he laughed. I gave him one look and he moved out. That's what teammates are all about. I'm so glad. Leo (Leonel Manzano) fought so hard. And Dorian Ulrey did a very, very good job. He's gaining experience. He's a college kid. Think about it. What is he going to do five years form now? I love to be in the presence of these guys.
Lopez Lomong (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Men's 1,500 Meters, Semifinals
We worked together well. He's a great mentor for me, teaching me who to look out for. We ran side by side the whole time. We picked it up with 200 hundred meters to go. We finished relaxed and ready for Wednesday. I know there is a lot of room for improvement, and on Wednesday we will put on a good show. To put three guys in the final, that's tremendous.
Dorian Ulrey (Pt. Byron, Ill.), Men's 1,500 Meters, Semifinals
A wall, lactic acid and fatigue all hit me at 1,200. I've been here for so long I am more used to this time schedule than any other time schedule. I felt good during the race. I tried to mix it up. I had my noise up in there the first three laps. Those guys took off, and my full year of racing caught up to me. I couldn't be happier to end my season at the semis of the World Championships.
Leonel Manzano (Austin, Texas), Men's 1,500 Meters, Semifinals
I'm excited. That's all my emotions all in one word. I'm in the final with two Americans. I'm excited. I think it's a testament that American distance running is moving on. I am very happy and excited for my teammates. Big credit to those guys. They have definitely worked. They definitely put in the effort. I am very proud of them and I can't wait to step on the line with those two. Tonight, it was trying to make it to the final. It was a little brutal. Looking back on that race, it looked like I was boxed in the whole way. With 120 to go, when I saw an opening, I decided to take it. It was a home shot from there.
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