Symmonds and McEwen close out a great meet

On Sunday there was a great performance by the growing legend that is Nick Symmonds and a surprise performance by Warsaw graduate school student Tom Brooks in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. There was also a spectacular performance by Tyson Gay in the 100 on Friday and 200 on Sunday.

It was a big day for Nick Symmonds and he knew it. He couldn't stay at the starting line until just before the start. At a glance it looked like he hadn't shown up for the race but he was running in the straightaway while everyone was waiting for the starter's call. He obviously had a lot of nervous energy to burn off. At last year's US championship the defending champion, Khadevis Robinson, had run hard from the bell and no one was able to catch him. This year he did the same. He hit the first 200 meters in 24.4 and Symmonds was in last one second back and in eighth place out of eight. At 220 he had moved to seventh and only closed slightly, 51.1 to 52.0, by 400 meters.

By 600 meters Robinson was making a move of his own and Symmonds was passing runners and had moved to sixth (1:17.3 to 1:18.6). Nick closes better than anyone else in this meet but a 1.3 second lead is too much to overcome. Khadevis ran well to finish at an American leading 1:44.37. Symmonds did pass the four ahead of him before 100 to go but had a ten meter gap to Robinson with 100 to go and finished in second at 1:45.17. Now Symmonds will get a chance in Europe to get experience and take a shot at a medal at the World Championships.

On Sunday the last two steeple qualifiers from Friday's semifinals stamped themselves on the outcome of the race. Max King took out the pace for five laps until Daniel Lincoln passed him. At the end it was a mad scramble that had Tom Brooks passing Daniel Lincoln and then Anthony Famiglietti for third in a new pr of 8:27.34 (B Standard) behind Joshua McAdams of New Balance in 8:24.46 and Aaron Aguayo of Arizona State in 8:27.01. If Aguayo does not reach the A standard then Tom Brooks will not go to the World Championships unless he gets the A Standard and as a result, Famiglietti will go. Max King finished eighth in 8:33.63.

Ex-Ducks attempted their own styles of flying and had mixed results. Niki McEwen (Reed) was the least affected by the adverse weather conditions (rain and headwind) and vaulted extremely well for second, 4.45m 14-7 ¼ and lost on fewer misses to Jenn Stuczynski. Becky Holliday finished seventh with a clearance of 4.35m, 14-3 ¼. Kyley Johnson unfortunately no-heighted in a weather affected high jump.

The highlight of the meet was the double of Tyson Gay in the 100 and 200. On Friday Gay blitzed the field with an incredible 9.84 seconds over 100 meters into a .5 m/s headwind. He won by almost a quarter second against Trindon Holliday of LSU (10.07). He came back on Sunday after heats and semifinal races to run 19.62 over 200 meters against a .3 headwind to run the second fastest time ever. He solidly defeated the pre-meet favorite (and ex-Razorback teammate) Wallace Spearmon who finished in 19.89. Unfortunately there was an unspecified injury for Gay at the end of the race.

Ex-Washington preps Christopher Lukezic and Andrew McClary finished just out of the medals in the 1500 at fourth and fifth (3:36.95 and 3:39.81) and Indiana collegian and now OTC elite runner John Jefferson was eighth in 3:42.46 all behind the brilliant stretch run of an emotional Alan Webb, 3:34.82 (Meet Record).

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