2011 USA Outdoor, Day 1: Strong Throws, Exciting 10,000m battles, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

The first day of the USA Outdoor Championships showed, that, once again, the wealth of talent in American track & field continues to astound. From Ashton Eaton's first day of 4602 in the decathlon (he won two events), to two strong 10,000 meter races, to the fabulous women's shot put and men's hammer-the US team for Daegu, Korea is looking very, very good.

Rupp_GalenFV-USAout.jpg Galen Rupp, USA Outdoor, 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

The men's 10,000 meters was won for the third time by none other than Galen Rupp. Sporting an allergy mask for the first 17 laps, Rupp stayed out of the fray, and then dropped off his mask and went to business. Rupp's business included a 1:52.6 last 800 meters with a 54.4 last lap to hold off Matt Tegenkamp (4th, Osaka, 5,000m) and Scott Bauhs, who showed the talent and kick (finally) that many have believed the Chico (State) Grad has possessed. Bobby Curtis, the US leader for the 10,000 meters, finished fourth in this very tactical race. Chris Solinsky, still dealing with a leg injury (but recovering well), did not start the 10,000 meters, preferring to focus on the 5,000 meters. Rupp told the Eugene-Register Guard's Ron Bellamy that he would probably double this weekend, returning Friday night for the 5,000 meters. Rupp ran 28:38.17 to Tegenkamps 28:38.97 to Bauh's 28:40.51.

Flanagan_Shalane1-USout11.JPGShalane Flanagan, USA Outdoor, 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shalane Flanagan took off from the start and dominated the women's 10,000 meters. Showing her toughness, Flanagan ran her fourth sub 31:00 10,000m, with a fine 30:59.97, which she finished with a 57.93 last lap!

Pursued by Jenn Rhines and Kara Goucher the entire race, Goucher overcame Rhines for second, with Goucher running 31:16.65  and Rhines, in third, in 31:30.37. Huge Personal bests were scored by fourth placer Desi Davila (31:37.14) and fifth placer Magde Lewy Boulet, who ran 31:48.38!

The field events opened some eyes. Kibwe Johnson, the leading U.S. hammer thrower, let her rip and 80.31 meters, 263-06 later, he had the US leader, the best US throw in eleven years and a throw that puts him in top six contention for Daegu, Korea!

Johnson_KibweA-USout11.JPGKibwe Johnson, USA Outdoor, hammer throw,
photo by PhotoRun.net

In the women's shot put, Jill Camerena has been having a super year. Camerena lets go with a 19.85m throw! One centimeter off her indoor best and second best throw for US women ever.

Camarena_Jill-USout11.JPG Jill Camerena, USA Outdoor, shotput, photo by PhotoRun.net

Well, this was so not over! Michelle Carter, who has beat Camerena by a centimeter before, throws a personal best of, yes, 19.86m! Now Michele Carter has the second best throw in US ever, and Camerena has third best.

Carter_Michelle1-USout11.JPGMichelle Carter, USA Outdoor, shotput, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jill Camerena comes back in next round and drops a huge throw, by any standards, 19.84m, just two centimeters short of the lead! The US now has two throwers who can challenge the world's best in the shot put, and this again shows how two competitive athletes can change an event that has been dormant for several years.

2008 Olympic champ Stefanie Brown Trafton took the discus on her first throw of 63.35m and Christian Taylor, NCAA champ, with a triple jump of 17.49m, with team mate William Claye in second and 2005 World Champ Walter Davis in third. Note that all three jumpers were or are coached by Dick Booth, a coach with tremendous talents in coaching the jumps. 

The first day of USA Outdoor showed us many things: new faces, and some faces, recognizable, who could be challenged in this, the toughest track & field championships in the world. Make the top three or you do not go to Daegu: as simple (well, besides the A and B standards) and as daunting as one can get! 



EUGENE (USA, Jun 23): The first day of competition at the USA Outdoor Championships at the University of Oregon came to a close with dominant victories for Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Galen Rupp at 10 000 m. Using completely different tactics, both athletes earned berths on Team USA for the IAAF World Championships. Flanagan, 29, decided to take full advantage of the cool and dry conditions here to attack her race and run from the front. She took the lead immediately, running 73 seconds for the first lap, and quickly built a five-second margin over her key rivals, Kara Goucher and Jen Rhines, who would run most of the race together. Flanagan won in 30:59.97 with Goucher second 31:16.65 and Rhines third 31:30.37. Not qualified and still under 32 minutes were Desiree Davila 31:37.14 and Magdalena Levy Boulet 31:48.58 (for both career bests). Rupp blasted the final lap in 54.44 and finished in 28:38.17. Second Matt Tegenkamp 28:39.97 and third Scott Bauhs 28:40.51 and all having the standards to run in Korea. The other finals of the day were in technical events. Best ever US women shot put competition was won by Michelle Carter with huge PB 19.86 over Jill Camarena-Williams 19.85, third Sarah Stevens-Walker 18.12. Another top personal best for Kibwe Johnson 80.31 in hammer qualified him to Daegu easily. Second and third Michael Mai (74.69) and Matthew Di Buono (73.06) are having only B-standards. NCAA star triple jumpers ruled as Christian Taylor leaped to 17.49 (+3.5) and even did not jump in the last three attempts. Will Claye was second 17.09 (+2.4, legal 17.06 +1.5) and 2005 World Champ Walter Davis third (17.02, +1.4). It was his first 17+ since 2008. Olympic winner Stephanie Brown-Trafton won the women discus with first round 63.35. Also qualified to Daegu Aretha Thurmond 62.87 and Gia Lewis-Smallwood 60.53. Becky Breisch was only 8th (56.32). Double world champion finalist Jarred Rome won the men´s discus 63.99 ahead of Jason Young 63.81 and Lance Brooks 63.43. But they all have only B-standard. Fourth Russ Winger (63.38) has the A-standard. So here the situation remains unclear. But Rome has the Daegu shirt for sure.



EUGENE (USA, Jun 23): World indoor record holder Ashton Eaton leads the decathlon with superb 4604 points first day score. It is 11th best perfomers first day total ever. He clocked 10.33 (equalled his overall PB), went with 780 long jump, outdoor shot put PB 14.14, 205 in high jump and superb 46.35 in the 400 m. He is on his way to hugely improve his 8457 best from last year. Olympic winner Bryan Clay is way behind second 4196 ahead of Eric Broadbent 4175 (214 in high jump, his PB is only 7558 so far). Last year US Champion Jake Arnold is out after 3 events. In the 100 m heats Tyson Gay easily qualified as second in windy heat 5 (+2.3) in 10.01. Winner was Ivory Williams 9.95. "My start was a bit sluggish, my whole goal was that I didn't false start. I am feeling good, just starting to get back to full strength," said Gay. Legal fastest in the heats was Mike Rodgers with 9.95 (+1.3) in the second race. Former oly and world winner Justin Gatlin won the first one 10.08 (+1.9, here out for 200 m olympic winner Shawn Crawford 10.33). NCAA standout Rookie Salaam won the third heat in 10.09 (+1.5) ahead of Walter Dix (10.13) and another university sprinter Jeff Demps was the best in heat 4 (10.04, +0.7). Two fast legal sub 11 times in women 100 m heats. Marshevet Myers was close to her PB with 10.87 (+1.6) and Carmelita Jeter got 10.88 (+1.7) in another one. US junior record holder English Gardner at the end of the day did not run, Stephanie Durst false started. From other prelims to note that olympic medalist Sheena Tosta was a non-starter at 400 m hurdles, other major casualties were Russell Brown in men´s 1500 m heats, World participant Gil Roberts in 400 m heats and this years US indoor champ Duane Solomon in 800 m heats. Other favorites advanced, Bernard Lagat in the 1500 m, Lashinda Demus at 400 m hurdles (55.15), Jeremy Wariner at 400 m (45.94, but fastest was collegian Tony McQuay 45.25), Francena McCorory (51.46) and Allyson Felix (51.79) in women 400 m heats. Sanya Richards-Ross also won her heat in 52.02 and is apparently not continuing in this event and concentrating on 200 m.



KINGSTON (JAM, Jun 23): Favorite sprinters showed top shape in the 100 m heats during first day of Jamaican Championships. World leader Steve Mullings won the first heat in 10.13 (-1.3). Last year fastest Nesta Carter was the best in second in 10.05 (+0.7) ahead of Jacques Harvey of UTech who clocked 10.12. Third race saw Asafa Powell sprinting windy 9.99 (+2.7) with world junior champion Dexter Lee second 10.09. Fourth heat was the fastest but had also strongest wind support +3.6. Yohan Blake achieved 9.83 ahead of Michael Frater 9.86 and Lerone Clarke 9.99. Friday´s semifinals and finals are expected with much anticipation. Interesting that young talent Nickel Ashmeade at the end of the day skipped 100 m and is concentrating on 200 m as is Marvin Anderson. Women´s 100 m semis and finals are also on Friday. Kaliese Spencer was the best in women 400 m heats 50.86 with no casualties. Hurdles world champion Melaine Walker was not competing as expected. In men´s 400 m heats national record holder Jermaine Gonzales was the best in 45.61, second fastest time for Oral Thompson 45.69. Olympic silver medalist 2004 Danny McFarlane was the fastest in 400 m hurdles semis at age of 39 in 49.59. He is aiming for his 11th World Championships as he did not miss a single edition since 1993. The 400 m hurdles women will be held as straight final.







CALGARY (CAN, Jun 23): Damian Warner won the Canadian decathlon title with excellent PB 8012 points. During second day his marks were 13.87, 45.67, 430, 56.30 and 4:44.64. He is the 6th Canadian with 8+ result. In the heptathlon battle at the end the winner was Ruky Abdulai with lifetime best 6150 score ahead of Jessica Zelinka 6132. In the 100 m heats Justyn Warner achieved 10.22 (-1.2) and in another race Sam Effah 10.29 (-1.3).


CALABAR (NGR, Jun 23): The expected 100 m finals at Nigerian Championships first day saw close races. Blessing Okagbare won in 11.22 over Damola Osayomi 11.23 with Gloria Asumnu appearing here (she was also in the start list of US Champs) as third 11.36. In the men´s 100 m Egwero Ogho-Ogene posted 10.34 over Obinna Metu 10.35 and Peter Emelieze 10.47.


RIED (AUT, Jun 23): Rain and cold weather (15 degrees) played an important role at the International meet here. German Eric Kruger won the 400 m in 46.65 and Austrian Beate Schrott clocked 13.34 (-1.0) at 100 m hurdles. Home talent Lukas Weisshaidinger achieved with 6 kg shot 19.61 and is one of the favorites for European Junior Championships in July in Estonia. Senior winner was German Candy Bauer with 19.46 m.


INGOLSTADT (GER, Jun 23): Again bad weather which made it impossible for pole vaulters to achieve better marks than the winning 542 cm by Raphael Holzdeppe. Second Michel Frauen also 542. Danny Ecker again postponed his comeback due to weather conditions. Tim Lobinger and Fabian Schulze also stayed at home.







ROMA (ITA): Olympic 50 km walk winner Alex Schwazer has pulled out of the Dublin 50 km this Sunday because he does not feel ready to face a 50 km race in two months' time after missing most of the winter preparation due to a skiing accident in January. The Dublin race would have been the last chance to qualify for the World Championships in Daegu in the 50 km, the distance where he is the reigning Olympic champion. "Because of the delay in his preparation, Alex has not the training volume he needs to face the 50 km in Daegu", said Schwazer's coach Michele Didoni, 1995 World Champion in the 20 km. Schwazer will now focus on preparing for the 20 km in Daegu, where he set the qualifying standard last year at the Barcelona European Championships where he won the silver medal.


TORINO (ITA): Former European champion Andrew Howe will make his much-awaited debut in the long jump at the Italian Championships in Turin after his positive start to his season in which he clocked 45.70 in the 400 meters in Pavia and 20.31 in the 200 meters at the Compeed Golden Gala. Howe is also entered in the 200 meters where he will face Matteo Galvan who ran 20.93 into a strong headwind last week at the European Team Championships in Stockolm. The other highlight of the National Championships which will be hosted by Turin for the 17th time will be the men's triple jump clash between European Indoor silver medallist Fabrizio Donato (winner at the Memorial Nebiolo with 17.01 two weeks ago) and European Team Championships winner Fabrizio Schembri (Italian champion in 2009). European Indoor Champion Simona La Mantia, second in Stockolm last week with 14.29, will return to Turin two weeks after her convincing win in the women's triple jump at the Memorial Nebiolo with 14.39. Nicola Vizzoni will gun for his 23rd Italian hammer title of his career (considering both Winter and Summer Champs) after his 80.29 at the Florence Coppa Italia two weeks ago. The other stars will be former European Indoor silver and bronze medalists Fabio Cerutti and Emanuele Di Gregorio and reigning Italian champion Simone Collio, Chiara Rosa in the shot put (18.59 this year) and Silvia Salis (71.93 in Savona last May) in the women's hammer throw. Writes Diego Sampaolo.


INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USA Track & Field and former CEO Doug Logan have come to terms on his separation from the organization, they jointly announced Thursday. "The parties have agreed to mutually resolve their issues privately. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed," the joint release said. Informs USATF.


VIENNA (AUT): Ines Futterknecht is the biggest Austrian hope in the team for the World Youth Championships in Lille. She runs the 400 m and is daughter of two former excellent hurdlers Thomas Futterknecht (49.33 in 1985) and Gerda Haas (56.86 in 1987). In total 12 athletes were selected, seven boys and five girls.


CARACAS (VEN): Venezuela is sending 7 athletes to Lille. Carlos Burlando in octathlon, Richard Vargas for 10 000 m walk, David Franco in 110m hurdles, Misael Rivera in the 100 m and Jhoanmy Luque in long jump. On the girls side Natalia Alfonzo at 5000 m walk and Nedian Vargas in the 100 m.







EUGENE (USA): Ken Nakamura offers interesting stats after 10 000 m women race at US Nationals. Desiree Davila became 24th American woman to crack 32 min. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet became 25th to do so. Five runners in one race achieved sub 32 minutes, that is for first time by US runners. Shalane Flanagan dipped under 31 minutes for the fourth time in her career. She is now tied with Sun Yingjie, Lornah Kiplagat, Ingrid Kristiansen, Galina Bogomolova, Ejegayehu Dibaba and Derartu Tulu. Better only Paula Radcliffe with 8 such results and Werknesh Kidane with five.


STOCKHOLM (SWE): Demyanyuk father and son cleared 235 and 233 cm what makes 468 cm in that statistics. Jukka Harkonen noted that Russians Sergey Malchenko (238 in 1990) and Eduard Malchenko (230 in 2010) as father and son are having the same total of 468 cm. Another interesting addition is that Demyanyuk´s mother Tetyana Markevych was high jumper as well with 185 best, so their family record is ?653 cm. Anybody to match this?

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