Keeler McJunkin wrote the Day two recap for RunBlogRun. Keeler is in the track journalism class at the University of Oregon managed by Professor Lori Shontz, who is supporting our coverage with her team of budding journalists. Watch for this service each and every day as you see, before your eyes, another generation of track & field journalists keeping the flame lit.
And yes, Brittney Reese’s 7.31 meters is the performance, so far, of the meet!
By Keeler McJunkin
EUGENE, Oregon — On an 85-degree day at Hayward Field, several favorites in the women’s 10,000 meters, women’s long jump and women’s discus made the U.S. team, while defending Olympic champion Ashton Eaton took a commanding lead after day one of the decathlon.
Reese dominates long jump final:
Defending Olympic champion and three-time world champion Brittney Reese jumped 23 feet, 11 inches to claim the title by almost a foot with her fourth jump of the day. She’ll be joined on the U.S. team in Rio by Tianna Bartoletta (23-0) and Janay DeLoach (22-9).
Shakeela Saunders of Kentucky missed making the Olympic team by just over an inch after she had the second-best qualifying jump on Friday.
Molly Huddle makes second Olympic team:
Huddle, who competed at the 2012 London games in the 5K, qualified for her second Olympics with a time of 31:41 after leading the race wire-to-wire. She’ll be joined on the Rio 10K team by Emily Infeld, who took second with a time of 31:46 in her first race of the season, and Marielle Hall who came in third at 31:54.
“Having seen some of the results from the Ethiopian and Kenyan results, to medal I think you’ll need to be in 30:20 shape, which is a huge order and the American record,” Huddle said. “I’m going to get as fit as I can for that race, but I could have a great day and finish eighth, you just never know.”
Ashley claims discus title:
American record holder Gia Lewis-Smallwood withdrew from the discus on Friday, opening the door for the athlete second on the form charts, Whitney Ashley. Ashley made her first U.S. Olympic team, winning with a throw of 204-2.
“Exciting, overwhelming, kind of speechless at the same time,” Ashley said. “I have really taken a leap of faith since college and just trying to listen to people when they tell me that I was talented and that this was going to be my event. It really all came together four years later for me.”
Eaton leads decathlon after day one:
Defending Olympic champion Eaton jumped out to an early lead with victories in the 100-meters, long jump and 400 meters. Eaton has totaled 4,561 points through five events and leads second-place Jeremy Taiwo, who has 4,478 points.
She’ll be joined in Rio by two collegiate throwers, Shelbi Vaughan of Texas A&M and Kelsey Card of Wisconsin.
Favorites advance to 400-meter finals:
There weren’t any upsets in the 400-meter semifinals as the top athletes on both the men’s and women’s sides advanced to Sunday’s final. Tony McQuay and Gil Roberts posted the fastest times on the men’s side, while Francena McCorory and Allyson Felix had the best times in the women’s heats.
Berian cruises in 800-meter semifinal:
Current world indoor champion Boris Berian eased to victory in his semifinal heat, posting the top time of the day to advance to the final. After favorites to make the U.S. team Donavan Brazier and Duane Soloman failed to advance out of the preliminary round, Erik Sowinski and Casimir Loxsom recorded the second and third best times.
Prandini, Bromell post top 100-meter times:
Reigning 200-meter national champion Jenna Prandini ran 10.81 to edge English Gardner (10.90) for the fastest time of the day.
“It is pretty exciting,” Prandini said. “It just shows that my training is right where it needs to be and if I can just stay focused and stay relaxed and keep getting through the rounds I should be happy.”
Six former or current Oregon Duck sprinters, including Prandini, made the women’s semifinals.
Trayvon Bromell ran 9.94 to record the fastest men’s time, and Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Isiah Young and Michael Rodgers all advanced to the semifinals.