U.S.Olympic Trials, Day Eight-Saving the Best Day for Last! Jenn Stuczynski Sets AR , 4.92m! Amazing Races! by Larry Eder


Just before the final day of track & field, Vinn Lananna and Greg Erwin, the co chairs of Eugene 2008, held a press conference. Vinn challenged the sport to take this momentum and suggested a Summer tour, similar to the European tour in the US! He also said that they would find ways to improve on 2008 for 2012.
Each day of the Trials has provided some of those oohs and ahhs. Today has been quite the same with a sunny, windy day, pretty good for sprints, difficult for the pole vault...

Olympic Trials, Day 8, July 6, 2008

110 m hurdles, Men's semi finals

Semi one

David Oliver ran a 12.89 here in heat one, with a 3.2 mps wind, so while the time was wind-aided, it was a nice win. David Payne, 2007 world champs bronze medalist, took second here, in 13.06. Aries Merritt overcame an atrocious start, to move to the final, taking third in 13.24 and Ty Atkins was fourth in 13.26.

Semi final deux

Two false starts. Dexter Falk is dqed due to a false start. Terrance Trammel, with a legal wind, ran 13.08, second fastest legal in Hayward ever. Antwon Hicks took second in 13.09 with Anwar Moore in third with 13.15 and the final qualifier to the hurdle final is Andrew Brunson, who hurdled 13.33!

Discus, Men's Final
Ian Waltz, on his fourth throw, hit 65.87m, or 216-01 to take the title. Ian had throws of 63.32m, 64.54m, a foul, 65.87m, 63.99m, and a final foul. This is his second trip to the Olympic Games.

Michael Robertson was the example of somebody doing it on the right day. Robertson made the team on throw three, a 62.73m throw, or 209-01. That throw took second.

Casey Malone hit his best on throw one, with a 62.67 m throw or 205-07 and repeated that distance in his fouth throw. His series was 62.67m, 57.73m, 61.07m, 62.67m, 60.83m, and 60.57m. Malone took third by one inch!

Doug Reynolds got his throw out in round 1, with a 62.64m or 205-06! He fouled three times, then hit 60.85m and then pushed too hard in his last throw, going 56.20m. Fourth place was a difference of one inch with third place, how agonizing.

Jarred Rome finished eleventh in the disc with his 193-5.

John Godina, the best shot/discus thrower of his generation, mutiple World Champs and Olympic medals, threw 187-11 or 57.27m, and finished twelfth, in what will probably be his last Olympic Trials. A great guy, amazingly competitive athlete, John will be missed by his friends and foes.

100 m hurdles, semi finals, Women

Semi final uno

Damu Cherry, with a 1.7 legal wind, hurdled a 12.48 to take the first semi final! Kellie Wells was second in 12.58, Joanna Hayes, the 2004 Olympic champion was third in 12.68 and Virginia Powell was fourth in 12.75.

As Joanna Hayes hit the finish, she collapsed in agony with a leg injury.

Semi final deux

LoLo Jones, hurdling her best ever, set a Hayward Field record, hurdling 12.45 to run the fastest in the world for 2008 and taking the second semi! Nichole Denby was second in 12.54, Candice Davis was third in 12.58 and Candice Davis was fourth in 12.76.

Women's 1,500 meter final: Shannon Just Does It!

Shannon Rowbury, who has delighted fans this spring with her gutsy running, ran her race today. Treniere Clement, Amy Mortimer, Shannon Rowburty, Christin Wurth Thomas and Erin Donahue were the lead pack as the field trotted out a pedestrian 68.17.

Lisa Gallo took over after the four hundred meters, hitting the 800 meters in 2:15.73, with the pack right there. On the backstrech, Shannon Rowbury began a long run home, heading by Gallo, with Wurth Thomas and Donahue in attendance.

At the bell, hit in 3:04.4, Shannon Rowbury was on her own, running fast and looking efficient, with a fine 61 second last lap, taking the Olympic Trials final
in 4:05.48. The native of the San Francisco Bay area, Shannon was a fine runner in high school, Sacred Heart, Shannon shows what hard work, a great coach ( John Cook) and a dream can do!

The battle royale for second was between Christin Wurth and Erin Donahue. Erin made the move with less than 200 meters to go, and caught Christin, to take second. Erin Donahue finished second in 4:08.20 with Christin Wurth holding on for third in 4:08.48.

Morgan Uceny made a game run over the last lap, in the 62 region, moving up from back in the pack to fourth place, in 4:10.85. In fifth was Amy Mortimer, in 4:14.98. Lindsey Gallo, who had taken the lead mid race, finished sixth in 4:15.96. Tiffany McWilliams finished seventh in 4:16.28. Sara Hall, who had made a game run for third at the beginning of the last lap, finished ninth in 4:16.54. Jordan Hasay, the new high school record holder, had an excellent adventure in her first Olympic Trials, getting a high school record in round two and finishing tenth overall in 4:17.36. Jennelle Deatherage, a 2004 Olympic team member, finished eleventh in 4:22.45.

This is the year of Shannon Rowbury. She has run a fine 1,500 meter this year as well as a fine 800 meters. Her racing here was solid and she stayed out of trouble. That is half the game.

Men's 200 meter final....it is ....Walter Dix!

With a 1.7 mps wind, and a pretty even start, Shawn Crawford, the 2004 gold medalist, came storming off the turn, with Walter Dix running very well on Crawford's left and Wallace Spearmon to Crawford's right.

Crawford continues to charge, as Walter Dix continues to push and move even with Crawford. Walter Dix, running through the finish, edged Shawn Crawford 19.852 to 19.857 for the gold!

Wallace Spearmon, who was behind the entire race, made a game move, and leant well, thinking he had won it! Spearmon ended up third in 19.90.

In fourth was Rodney Martin, who ran 19.99!

A close race, with great weather and a fast track, and a sprinter running 19.99 and not making an Olympic team! (Consider for a moment what a healthy Tyson Gay would run in such weather).

A great race. Crawford ran well, but did not seem to notice how well Walter Dix was running on his inside. Wallace Spearmon, running a composed race, and not loosing it near the end, finished a strong third. Walter Dix ran a perfect race, focused on himself and ran a great race. " I feel blessed, and it has been a great two weeks!" noted Walter Dix. Dix will be running both the 100 meters and 200 meters in Beijing!

Women's final, 200 meters-Felix, Lee and Hooker!

With a great start, Muna Lee and Allyson Felix come off the turn, with Felix just ahead.
Lee does not give up, and Felix continues towards the finish line, her elegant stride churning up the track. Lauryn Williams is in third.

Felix continues to lead, finishing first in an astounding 21.82, wind-aided (5.2mps) with Muna Lee not giving up, taking second in 21.99.

Marshevet Hooker, who had dominated the 100 meter rounds, where she ended up fourth, fought her way into a fight for third place with Lauryn Williams. Williams leant but Hooker fell over the line, her torso making the difference for third. Marshevet Hooker ran 21.20 to Williams 21.21! The Hardest Team to Make continues!

In the end, Allyson Felix ran her perfect race, with Muna Lee doing the same, the difference was Felix's experience and race savvy. In third, Marshevet Hooker made her team with a come from behind leap which made the difference!

Men's Triple Jump--Aarik Wilson Breaks 22 year old record!

Aarik Wilson lets his hop, skip and jump do the talking, and on his last jump, blew out a twenty-two year old Hayward Field record, with his fine 17.43 meters or 57-02.25. Aarik called Hayward Field and the Trials, " A recipe for great performances." He also thanked God and his family. Wilson's series was 16.92m, 15.63m, 17.06m, 16.99m, 17.13

Kenta Bell finished second, on the strength of his first jump of 17.23m, or 56 -6.50. Kenta's series was 17.23m, 17.02m, 16.96m, 16.95m, foul and 16.63m.

Rafeeq Curry took Walter Davis off the Olympic team with his last jump, hitting 17.21m or 56-5.75. Walter Davis, one of the top jumpers in US history, missed his third Olympic team by .25 of an inch!

Men's 110m Hurdles, Final

Terrance Trammell, two time Olympic medalist, looked great, had a superb start was hurdling very clean! Along comes David Oliver, storming down the middle and he is like a freight train. Well Mr. Oliver, hurdling with passion only seen in an Olympic Trials final, pushes it all the PAST the finish line, insuring his win in 12.95! Wind aided sportsfan, but Oliver was still fast. Terrance Trammell held on for second in 13.00!

David Payne, the last minute addition to Osaka, and the bronze medalist, kept it together here and ran a fine 13.25. Aries Merritt recovered from an abysmal start and
fought all the way, finishing fourth in 13.27!

Women's 100 meter hurdles, Lo Lo Time!

Lo Lo Jones, running a perfectly timed race, hurdled clean and leaned at the right time, running the fastest time ever by an American in any conditions, 12.29 (3.8 mps wind). Damu Cherry took second in 12.58 and Dawn Harper ran 12.62 for the coveted third position.

Lo Lo adds this to her World Indoor title. Running composed races, hurdling clean and racing well when it counts, Lo Lo Jones is a world beater!

Men's 1,500 meters-Lagat, Manzano and Lomong

Running a pedestrian 61.8 for the first lap, Gabe Jennings took the lead, leading the pack through a two minute flat 800 meters. The race was part roller derby from the start, as Rob Myers was pushed at 200 meters, and it just got more physical as Manzano, Lagat, Lomong, Webb, Rankin, Lukesix and Sherer followed Gabe Jennings on his visionquest.

Hitting the 1,100 meters in 2;45, Bernard Lagat stayed with Manzano, Lomong, Webb, Rankin, and Myers. Lagat made his move, comfortably, with 200 meters to go and ran to the finish, winning in 3:40.37, with a 54 last lap!

Leonel Manzano, the NCAA champ, showed his stuff, running hard against Lagat, taking second in 3:40.90.

As the runners came down the stretch, third was in disupte. William Leer, who has this great seventies mustache and runs like a man possessed, moved from the back to fourth, fighting every inch and pushing Alan Webb back one position. Lopez Lomong had moved with 150 to go and took third and hit the finish line in 3:41.00, with Leer in 3:41.54 and Alan Webb in 3:41.62.

Gabe Jennings, his spirit broken, could not move and finished twelfth, in 3:47.92. Chris Lukesic, looking to move with 200 meters to go, fought from the second pack, was way too far back to make a move, taking tenth in 3:43.26. Rob Myers finished ninth in 3:42.62.

More on the race later tonight!

Women's Pole Vault-Jenn Breaks AR, 4.92m-16 feet, one and quarter inches!

Jenn Stuczynski, fighting the swirling winds, took three attempts at her first height, 4.50m. Then, she won on 4.65 and moved it to 4.92m, where she cleared on her second attempt! Moving the bar to 5.02, a new world record, Jenn looked tired on both attempts.

Joining her on the team is April Steiner Bennet, who cleared 4.60m, a personal best and Erica Bartolina, who cleared 4.55m, for third, setting two personal bests today!

I am heading to interview area, watch for a Deep Thoughts and final lovefest about midnight tonight!

Out from the BEST OLYMPIC TRIALS ever!

See you in Beijing!

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