(PHOTO) Tyson Gay poses besides the sign board posting his new American record time of 9.77 in the men's 100 meter quarter-finals during day two of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field on June 28, 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tyson Gay pulled off two shockers on Saturday. In the fourth heat of the Preliminary round Tyson Gay went into an early lead but pulled up as if the race were over at the starting line of the mile. Once he realized everyone was still running hard he put in a burst of speed to keep from falling outside of the automatic fourth qualifying berth in10.14 (top time was Walter Dix in 9.96).
In the quarterfinal round run in ideal sprinting conditions of 96 degrees with 38% humidity he ran past the mile starting line but still eased into the tape. The result was a new American record in the 100 meters at 9.77 with just a 1.6 meter/second (m/s) aiding wind. In second, Jeff Demps ran 10.01 to break J-Mee Samuels' national high school record of 10.06 and American Junior record of Walter Dix, 10.06, and tied the World Junior record of Darrell Brown of Trinidad & Tobago. The next race had Travis Padgett winning in 9.89 (+1.6 m/s), and Darvis Patton won the third heat in 9.89. In all there were six competitors in the quarterfinals that ran under ten seconds. Seven times under ten seconds for the early rounds of the 100 meters is a record.
Duck NCAA champion Rachel Yurkovich was third in the order and had her best throw on the first attempt. Like the NCAA meet she had a low qualifying mark but she was dissatisfied with her performance, "I just didn't have it today apparently." She also is feeling the pressure of the event, "I just feel like there's a lot of people who want it for me."
The top qualifier, Dana Pounds, is still chasing the Olympic "A" standard (60.50 meters, 198-6) so that she can be on the Olympic team. She automatically qualified for the final on the first throw but wanted to keep throwing to chase the "A" standard, "Honestly I am a little disgruntled because I was feeling good today and I only got one shot at the A standard. It was almost like taking a meet away from me. Every attempt counts when you don't have the A standard. I wanted to (take more throws). I had my coach look it up…when you hit the standard on a qualifying round you have to call it."
Hyleas Fountain continued her roll in the Heptathlon. She won the Long Jump in 22-7 and the Javelin Throw with 158-0. She was last in the 800 meters in 2:27.69 but she already had the Heptathlon sealed up and won with a world leading mark of 6667 points and moved to third on the US all-time list. She shocked herself with the performance, "This was the meet of my life. I'd never have guessed to have the highest score in the world. It's amazing." Jacquelyn Johnson had another pr performance this year with a mark of 6347.
The exciting battle was for third place. Ex-Washington State Cougar Diana Pickler was just 79 points ahead of Gi-Gi Johnson and couldn't seem to shake her. Gi-Gi Johnson started the second day with a 21-0 ¾ jump but Diana could only must 20-5 ¾ and now Diana was only 22 points ahead. She just barely lost to Johnson in the in the Javelin, 139-4 to 139-1. And had to stay within 1.5 seconds to not lose her third position and final Olympic Team berth. She stayed right behind Gi-Gi and only lost 2:15.88 to 2:16.59. In the process Pickler ran a pr and set a seven-event pr of 6257 to 6247 for Johnson.
In the first women's 100 meter semi-final Marshevet Hooker continued her strong meet with a wind-aided (3.2 m/s) 10.89 followed by Muna Lee in 10.91. In the second semi-final Torri Edwards ran a wind legal (1.8 m/s) 10.78 for the fastest time in the world since 2004 and moved to eighth on the all-time World list (fourth among Americans).
In the men's 400 hurdles semi-finals Kerron Clement won the first heat in 48.20 and Bershawn Jackson won his in 48.63. Defending USA and Olympic Trials champion James Carter failed to qualify for the final. In the women's 400 meter hurdles semi-finals Sheena Tosta won the first heat in 54.95 and Tiffany Ross-Williams won the second in 54.75.
In the women's 800 meter semi-finals Alice Schmidt won the first heat but a pile-up occurred when Becky Horn (in second at the time) had her back foot unintentionally clipped by the long-legged Nikeya Green. Horn fell and three runners behind her fell, including Oregon Track Club Elite's Nicole Teter. Teter recovered the best but (2:10.76) could not catch the last automatic finisher, Lara Hermanson (2:05.78). Agents for the four runners protested and they were advanced to the final. Morgan Uceny won the second heat in 2:02.10.
The men's 800 meters was less spectacular but Oregon's Andrew Wheating showed his patented burst of speed in the first heat. Over the last 200 meters he moved himself into second (1:46.23) behind Khadevis Robinson (1:46.14). Ex-Duck Matt Scherer was a non-qualifying fifth in 1:47.14 and his teammate with Oregon Track Club Elite (OTC) Brandon Shaw was sixth in 1:47.22. The second heat was won by the sizzling kick of Nick Symmonds that led to a finish in 1:45.61. His OTC teammate Christian Smith was final qualifying third in 1:46.02. Unfortunately his teammate Elliot Blount was seventh in 1:46.61.
The men's Shot Put was won by 2007 World and US champion Reese Hoffa, with a best throw of 72-6 ¼. Behind him was Christian Cantwell at 71-2 ¾. In third two-time Olympic Silver Medallist Adam Nelson almost did not make the team. With his first throw he quickly moved into second, 20.78 meters (m), behind his ex-teammate Reese Hoffa but was passed by Dan Taylor (second at 20.80m ) and tied by Christian Cantwell. He fouled the next two throws but Cantwell had a fair throw (20.48m) and by virtue of the tiebreaker was now in third ahead of Nelson. Nelson finally settled things with a throw of 20.89 meters that moved him into second behind Hoffa. Cantwell passed him on his fifth throw and Taylor could not improve.
The women's 100 meters was the biggest surprise. Torri Edwards had run the fastest time in the 100 meters since 2004 earlier in the day, Marshavet had run the fastest 100 meters in any wind conditions since 2000, Lauryn Williams was second at the Worlds last year and the Olympics in 2004 in addition to being the world champion in 2005. Earlier this season Muna Lee had finally broken eleven seconds (five year-old pr) for the first time ever. Here she won her preliminary heat and but was second in her other two races, including losses to Edwards and Hooker. In the final she got her best start and showed her great open speed and no one could catch her. She won in 10.85 ahead of Torri Edwards in 10.90 and Lauryn Williams in 10.90. Marshevet Hooker, who obviously strained with every step seemed to tight and finished fourth in 10.93 ahead of World 200-meter champion Allyson Felix in 10.96.
Saturday was a day for shocking events.
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