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Posted: September 15, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: News & Notes, Volume 9, Number 48

Jeter dominates at World Athletics Final

2009 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter posted the fastest women's 100m time in 12 years with her victory over the weekend at the IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Jeter, who captured the U.S. title in June and posted a career best time of 10.83 seconds at the World Championships last month in Berlin, stormed out of the blocks and was never challenged before crossing the finish line first in 10.67 seconds, which is the third-fastest performance in history. World and Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser (JAM) was the runner-up in 10.89, with world silver medalist Kerron Stewart (JAM) finishing third in 10.90.

"When I saw the clock, I was in shock and in tears," Jeter said after the race. "When I got into the race and the gun went off I didn't think; I just ran to the line. Everything felt slow and when my coach says that it feels slow it's actually fast. So when I saw the clock I could not believe it because I felt like I was running 10.9."

Jeter, who also won the World Athletics Final in 2007, has been undefeated since the Berlin World Championships, posting wins in Zurich, Gateshead and Brussels. She intends to wrap up her season this month with meets in Shanghai and Daegu.

Other U.S. winners in Thessaloniki included Sanya Richards, who earlier this year won the women's 400m gold medal at the World Championships in Berlin, and secured a one-third share of the 2009 IAAF Golden League $1,000,000 jackpot with her win recently at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium.

Richards won the 400m in 49.95 seconds, and also ran well in the women's 200 meters with her seasonal best time of 22.29 seconds. Three-time World Outdoor Champs 200m gold medalist Allyson Felix posted the identical time and was declared the victor in a photo finish.

World Outdoor Championships men's silver medalist Tyson Gay faced a huge deficit to former world record holder Asafa Powell (JAM) in the men's 100 meters before storming back to take the lead and the victory in 9.88 seconds. Powell was the runner-up in 9.90, with 2009 World Outdoor Championships and 2008 Olympic Games finalist Darvis ("Doc") Patton finishing third in 10.00.

Reigning world and Olympic men's 400m champion LaShawn Merritt won his second consecutive World Athletics Final in 44.93 seconds, with Chris Brown (BAH) the runner-up in 45.49 and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Neville finishing third in 45.60. Elsewhere, two-time world champion and 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Kerron Clement won the men's 400m hurdles in 48.11 seconds.

Americans took the top two spots in the women's 800 meters with 2009 USA Outdoor Championships 1,500m third-place finisher and former American 3,000m steeplechase record holder Anna Willard winning the race in 2:00.20, with 2009 World Champs team member Maggie Vessey the runner-up in 2:00.31.

In field event action, 2009 World Outdoor champion Brittney Reese set a WAF record with her win in the women's long jump with her best leap of 7.08 meters/23 feet 2.75 inches. Reese owns the top four jumps in the world this outdoor season.

2008 Olympic silver medalist and reigning world champion Christian Cantwell won the men's shot put with a new WAF record heave of 22.07m/72-5. Cantwell owns the three best throws in the world during the 2009 outdoor campaign.

Other impressive performances were turned in by two-time Berlin World Championships medalist Bernard Lagat, who was the runner-up in the men's 3,000 meters in 8:04.00. Also finishing second in their respective events were 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist Dawn Harper in the women's 100m hurdles (12.61), Dexter Faulk in the men's 110m hurdles (13.26), three-time World Outdoor Championships medalist Wallace Spearmon in the men's 200 meters (20.21), 2008 Olympian Leonel Manzano in the men's 1,500m (3:35.40), reigning men's long jump world champion Dwight Phillips (8.24m/27 feet.50 inch) and 2008 Olympic Games fourth place finisher Derek Miles in the men's pole vault (5.60m/18-4.50).

For more information on the 2009 World Athletics Final, including the complete results, visit: IAAF.org.

Sharp, Taylor win U.S. 40 km race walk titles

Ray Sharp of Atlantic Mines, Michigan, celebrated his 49th birthday with his fourth consecutive victory, and fifth overall, in the 71st annual USA Track & Field National Championship 40-Kilometer Race walk Sunday at Joe Palaia Park in Ocean, N.J.

Covering a two-kilometer park loop course 20 times, Sharp, representing the Pegasus AC, outclassed a field of 40 competitors gathered from 12 states and Canada, in a three-hour, 55-minute, nine-second triumph. He'd won his first 40K title in 1982, then returned from a long layoff to win it in 2006 and has won it each year since.

John Soucheck of Little Silver, N.J., competing for host Shore Athletic Club, closed fast over the second half of the race to snare second place in 3:58:36, little more than a quarter-mile behind Sharp, after 24.8 miles of walking. Third went to Chris Knotts of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the Miami Valley Track Club, in 3:59:37.

Erin Taylor, 31, of Bergenfield, N.J., regained the women's 40 km title she last held in 2004, with a 4:07:45 clocking that won convincingly over Pegasus AC teammates Becky Benjamin (4:42:08) and Debbie Topham (4:58:29.)

In a tight battle for the men's team championship, the Shore AC trio of Soucheck, Dave Talcott (4:12:25) and Tom Quattrocchi (4:34:32) edged the defending champion Pegasus AC squad of Sharp, Leon Jasionowski (4:18:52) and Rod Craig (4:33:14.) The Pegasus AC threesome of Benjamin, Topham and Susan Fassett (4:59:11) walked off with the women's team crown.

Three athletes established American age-group records in competitions within the 40K. Dan Serianni of Rochester, N.Y. set a USA junior (19-under) record of 2:14:05 for 25 kilometers; Jack Starr of Wallingford, Pa. lowered the American 30K record for men 80-84 to 4:02:46, and Darlene Backlund of Newfield, Oregon set a women's 60-64 division mark of 6:45:01 for 50K.

The race attracted 40 athletes from 12 states and Canada, and 24 of them finished the 40K. The others were scored in intermediate 5K, 10K and 20K divisions.

This was the 45th time in the past 46 years that the National 40K has been staged by Shore AC, one of the longest record of national-event hosting of any USATF competition.

Sharp and Benjamin also won over-all titles in Masters division (40-up) scoring. Masters team winners were the Shore AC men and Pegsaus AC women.

For more information on the 2009 USA 40 km Race walk Championships, visit: USATF.org.

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.


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