This is the second day of the decathlon competition. The rest of the meet will not start until 7 pm. I am on the track, but the head is falling back, the eyes are rolling and this writer needs a nap. So, in the spirit of old heavy lids himself, Robert Mitchum, I will do a quick update, then head for some rest….
I missed two events so far in two days that epitomize the moniker, Hardest Team to Make, that you can find all over town:
Men’s Long Jump
Dwight Phillips was the 2004 Olympic champion in Athens. He was the 2005 World Champion in Helsinki. In 2007, in hot and muggy Osaka, Dwight Phillips took the bronze, behind Irving Saldino (gold) and Andrew Howe (silver). Phillips told us in an interview in Osaka, ” I will be training hard for Beijing. It will be very different there….”
How prophetic..Dwight Phillips lead the early competition with a jump of 26’11”. Miguel Pate, who took over the lead, with his 26’11 3/4. Then, Brian Johnson, who leaped 27-2 3/4, who took over the lead, pushing Pate to second and Phillips to third.
But that was not to be..Trevell Quinley, on his final leap, called on his inner strength, his need to make the Olympic team, and with a huge final leap of 27 feet, 5 1/4 inches, moved Brian Johnson to second, Miguel Pate to third and Dwight Phillips to that mind shattering position of …fourth.
Dwight Phillips had the last jump, and while he willed it, he could fare no better, and his
position will remain fourth. Beijing will be quite different, as Dwight Phillips will not be there to defend his 2004 Olympic gold medal.
Heptathlon Women-Saturday, June 28, 2009 Recap
Hyleas Fountain had something to say to the multi event world. She let her ability to
run, jump and throw do the talking. Setting personal bests in six of the seven events, she would have had to fall on her face to loose her place on the team in the final event, the 800 meters.
Hyleas ran personal bests at the 100m hurdles, in 12.65, high jumped 1.81m, threw
the shot 13.67m, and ran 23.31 in the 200 meters for day 1, a one day total of 3989. She had personal bests in the hurdles, shot put and 200 meters on day 1. On day 2,
Hyleas set prs in the long jump, javelin and casually ran the 800 meters, scoring a world leading 6,667 points!
Jacquelyn Johnson had a superb two days. Hurdling 13.12, long jumping 1.78 meters, putting the shot 12.94m and sprinting 24.48 for 200 meters, Jacquelyn scored 3717
for day one. On day two, she long jumped 6.45meters, threw the javelin 47.71m adn finished with a nifty 2:20.07 for second place in 6,347 points.
Diane Picker had an okay first day. A sub par 13.13 in the hurdles hurt her, 1.84 meters in the high jump got her back in and 11.77 in the shot was okay. Her 200 meter time of 24.11 gave her 970 points for a first day total of 3750. She held third for day 1.
Gigi Johnson had a great first day, hurdling 12.83 for the 100 meter hurdles, high jumping 1.66 meters, throwing the shot 12.20 meters and sprinting 23.38 for a first
day score of 3671. Gig was in day 2.
Gigi Johnson battled back on day two. Her long jump was 6.42 meters, for 981 points to PIcklers’ 924 points for her 6.24 m long jump. In the javelin, Diana Pickler threw 42.40m for 713 points, and Gigi Johnson got 715 points for her 42.46m javelin throw.
Gigi Johnson was back in the fight for third, she had to have 1.5 seconds between her and Pickler.
In the 800 meters, Gigi Johnson, who looks like a world class sprinter, and Diana Pickler hs that long distance runner look. Johnson took the lead, with Pickler on her shoulder. They hit the first lap in just about 66 seconds and Johnson began to put on pressure. Pickler stayed on her shoulder, past the 500 meter mark…Johnson made her move very hard with 200 meters to go, and Pickler started to look strained, but she did not break. Still Gigi pushed the pace, harder and harder. The distance between Johnson and Pickler came down to the last fifty meters, when Gigi continued to push and she finally broke Pickler, who gamely held on, but the feet began to build up, two feet, three feet, five feet..finally Gigi Johnson hit the finish line in 2:15.58. Pickler, obviously tired, then crossed next. How far back was she?
The times came up, Johnson at 2:15.58 for 880 points and 6247 total. Diane Pickler at 2:16.59 for 6,257 points! PIckler held on to the third place!
The difference between fourth place and a ticket to Beijing was ten points! The advertising slogan was right, the hardest team to make is the U.S. Olympic Track & Field team.
Okay, sport fans..we will get you caught up with the decathlon on the next update!