2008 Top World & U.S. Marks, courtesy of USA Track & Field, Day 1 Comments by Larry Eder

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The first day of the trials has been a glorious start to the best ten days of track and field in our country. Every four years, the track faithful journey to whatever temple of the of the sport is chosen by USATF to worship their favorite sport. Every four years, there are moments of great passion and great excitement. There are also moments of great sorrow as an athlete one might expect does not fare well.

A famous memoir of the 1980 Trials was written by the late Ken Kesey. Titled, The Summer of their Discontent, and first appearing in the cult running magazine, Running, Kesey used several real and not so real characters to explain an Olympic Trials, naming a team that could not go to Moscow. It was bittersweet, it was happy, it was sad, it was, extremely well written, very Kesey. Twenty two years later, I reprinted the story, thanks to Mrs. Kesey, in Athletes Only and sent it to 150,000 high schools athletes. About ten of the schools sent it back, due the scene where a former steeplechaser, watching the meet, chomping down on whole grain bread, psychedelic mushrooms, sprouts and some organic cheese. Through Kesey's former teammates tears' we understood the irony of the meet..it was good, it was sad...

The 1980 Trials were my first to come and worship. I remember seeing the tremendous battle between Ron Addison and John Gregorek in the men's steeplechase, after a heroic lead by MIke Roche, who was overcome by Doug Brown, and then Brown was caught by Henry Marsh who set an American record. Marsh's 8;15, and Brown's 8:18 were world class marks, and they would not race the best that year, Bronislaw Malinowski of Poland or Filbert Bayi of Tanzania. It was a great moment, it was a sad moment...

I got into Hayward Field early to walk around as the final steps were being done in the preparations for Day 1. I watched the heptathlon high jump with Karin Smith, the great American javelin thrower. Karin had agreed to do an interview with me and she had her answers. Karin was a member of the ill fated 1980 Olympic team, which Eugene 2008 was celebrating on this first day of the Olympic Trials in 2008.

I spoke to Karin Smith, former American record holder in the javelin and Lynn Anderson, the former American record holder in the discus about their 1980 experiences and how it affected their lives. Both were athletes who gave it their all while they competed, and while their coaching experiences are quite different, they have found a way to translate their experiences as athletes to another generation.

So much for pontificating!

2008 TOP WORLD & U.S. MARKS
(As of June 26, 2008)

MEN

WORLD / U.S.

100m: Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.72 May 31, 2008 / Tyson Gay 9.85 May 31, 2008
200m: Usain Bolt (JAM) 19.83 June 12, 2008 / Tyson Gay 20.00 May 3, 2008
400m: Jeremy Wariner (USA) 43.98 June 6, 2008 / Jeremy Wariner 43.98 June 6, 2008
800m: Abubaker Kaki Khamis (SUD) 1:42.69 / Khadevis Robinson 1:44.55 June 8, 2008
1,500m: Augustine Kiprono Choge (KEN) 3:31.57 June 1, 2008 / Bernard Lagat 3:35.14 May 18, 2008
Steeple: Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN) 8:01.85 May 31, 2008 / Anthony Famiglietti 8:24.34 April 24, 2008
5,000m: Moses Ndiema Masai (KEN) 12:50.55 / June 1, 2008 Bernard Lagat 13:16.29 May 4, 2008
10,000m: Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 26:25.97 June 8, 2008 / Abdihakem Abdirahman 27:16.99 June 8, 2008
110mH: Dayron Robles (CUB) 12.87 June 12, 2008 / David Oliver 12.95 May 9, 2008
400mH: Kerron Clement (USA) 47.79 May 3, 2008 / Kerron Clement 47.79 May 3, 2008
20 km Walk: Jose Baggio (BRA) 1:23:12 June 15, 2008 / Patrick Stroupe 1:30:30 - March 30, 2008
HJ: Dusty Jonas (USA) 2.36m/7-8.75 May 18, 2008 / Dusty Jonas 2.36m/7-8.75 May 18, 2008
PV: Brad Walker (USA) 6.04m/19-9.75 June 8, 2008 / Brad Walker 6.04m/19-9.75 June 8, 2008
LJ: Irving Saladino (PAN) 8.73m/28-7.75 May 24, 2008 / Brian Johnson 8.30m/27-2.75 May 17, 2008
TJ: Phillips Idowu (GBR) 17.55m/57-7 June 7, 2008 / Rafeeq Curry 17.22m/56-6 March 29, 2008
SP: Adam Nelson (USA) 22.12m/72-7 June 8, 2008 / Adam Nelson 22.40m/73-6i February 15, 2008
DT: Gerd Kantner (EST) 71.88m/235-10 May 8, 2008 / Ian Waltz 68.90m/226-0 May 22, 2008
HT: Krisztian Pars (HUN) 81.29m/266-8 April 26, 2008 / A.G. Kruger 78.68m/258-2 May 9, 2008
JT: Jarrod Bannister (AUS) 89.02m/292-1 February 29, 2008 / Leigh Smith 83.74m/274-9 May 9, 2008
Decathlon: Dimitriy Karpov (8,504 points) June 1, 2008 / Trey Hardee 8,371 points April 3, 2008

WOMEN

100m: Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) 10.88 June 14, 2008 / Allyson Felix 10.93 May 9, 2008
200m: Porscha Lucas (USA) 22.29 - May 18, 2008 / Porscha Lucas 22.29 May 18, 2008
400m: Amantle Montsho (BOT) 49.83 May 2, 2008 and Allyson Felix 49.83 May 9, 2008
800m: Pamela Jelimo (KEN) 1:54.99 June 1, 2008 / Hazel Clark 1:59.82 May 17, 2008
1,500m: Liliana Popescu (ROU) 4:00.35 May 24, 2008 / Shannon Rowbury 4:01.61 May 18, 2008
Steeple: Eunice Jepkorir (KEN) 9:11.18 June 13, 2008 / Jennifer Barringer 9:29.20 June 13, 2008
5,000m: Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 14:11.15 June 6, 2008 / Jenn Rhines 14:54.29 June 6, 2008
10,000m: Shalane Flanagan (USA) 30:34.39 May 4, 2008 / Shalane Flanagan 30:34.39 May 4, 2008
100mH: Damu Cherry (USA) 12.47 May 8, 2008 / Damu Cherry 12.47 May 8, 2008
400mH: Lashinda Demus (USA) 53.99 May 8, 2008 / Lashinda Demus 53.99 May 8, 2008
20 km Walk: Olga Kaniskina (RUS) 1:25:11 Feb. 23, 2008 / Teresa Vaill 1:36:19 March 30, 2008
HJ: Blanka Vlasic (CRO) 2.06m/6-9 June 22, 2008 / Chaunte Howard 1.98m/6-6 May 18, 2008
PV: Jenn Stuczynski (USA) 4.90m/16-0.75 May 18, 2008 / Jenn Stuczynski 4.90m/16-0.75 May 18, 2008
LJ: Lyudmila Kolchanova (RUS) 7.04m/23-1.25 June 22, 2008 / Brittney Reese 6.93m/22-9 - April 19, 2008
TJ: Hrysopiyi Devetzi (GRE) 14.92m/48-11.50 June 15, 2008 / Shani Marks 14.30m/46-11 June 13, 2008
SP: Nadzeya Ostapchuk (BLR) 20.23m/66-4.50 June 7, 2008 / Jessica Pressley 18.79m/61-7.75 May 16, 2008
DT: Nicoleta Grasu (ROU) 66.51m/218-2 June 21, 2008 / Stephanie Trafton 66.17m/217-7 - May 8, 2008
HT: Aksana Miankova (BLR) 76.19m/249-11 June 7, 2008 / Amber Campbell 70.19m/230-3 April 20, 2008
JT: Barbora Spotakova (CZE) 69.15m/226-10 May 31, 2008 / Kara Patterson 61.56m/202-0 May 17, 2008
Heptathlon: Tatyana Chernova (RUS) 6,618 points June 1, 2008 / Jacquelyn Johnson 6,307 points May 10, 2008

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