27 FEB 2012 General News

Lowe improves US record to 2.02m, four world leads in Albuquerque - USA Indoor champs, day 2

Chaunte Lowe jumping in Albuquerque (Kirby Lee)Chaunte Lowe jumping in Albuquerque (Kirby Lee) © Copyright

Albuquerque, USAChaunte Lowe set a new U.S. record in the women’s High Jump with a 2.02m jump to highlight the second day of the U.S. Indoor championships at the Albquerque Convention Center on Sunday (26).


Several world-leading performances were also produced: Sanya Richards-Ross in the women’s 400m in 50.71, Trell Kimmons in the 60m in 6.45, Tianna Madison in the women’s 60m at 7.02 and Kristi Castlin in the women’s 60m Hurdles at 7.84.


Lowe eclipsed the record of 2.00m set by former training partner Tisha Waller at the 1998 USA Indoor Championships. The effort gave Lowe possession of both the U.S. indoor and outdoor records. Lowe set the outdoor record of 2.05m in 2010.


Lowe, 28, and Waller, 41, both trained together in Atlanta with Georgia Tech coach Nat Page. Waller served as a mentor for Lowe throughout her career in making the transition from high school to college at Georgia Tech and to the professional ranks.


“I have a great respect for Tisha,” Lowe said about the 10-time national indoor and outdoor champion. “She is kind of the one who ushered me into the professional level and from high school. We had the same coach and we’re kind of like a team. She had (the record) for so long and I was able to come and get it.”


The two-day competition served as the U.S. national team qualifying meet for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, 9-11 March.


Transition from motherhood


Despite setting the American record on Sunday, Lowe, who missed most of last season after giving birth to her second daughter Aurora in April 2011, still doesn’t feel at the same physical level as 2010 when she set the national outdoor record.


“My practices have been good but my competitions up until now haven’t been that great,” Lowe said.


Lowe said that Sunday’s performance was a confidence builder heading into her preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London. Lowe has not incorporated any speed or weight workouts yet into her training regimen.


“Once I get some time to work on sprinting and get into the weight room, I don’t know what to expect but I am really excited about the outdoor season,” Lowe said. “It’s hard to be at the top of your game and then come back at the bottom. Today was me saying that I am back among the world ranks now and it feels good.”


Lowe needed every centimetre on Sunday to win the Visa Championship Series title and $25,000 USD cash price for the top performance during the four-meet USATF indoor circuit. Lowe’s 2.02m clearance on her third attempt gave her 1,221 points to win by three points over Amber Campbell, who won the weight throw on Saturday with a meet-record 24.78m.


“I had my sights set exactly on jumping 2.02m,” Lowe said. “I knew that she had set it up really and high and what I had to do beat her.”


Galen Rupp won the men’s series title with his national record in the two miles of 8:09.72 at the USATF Classic in Fayetteville on 11 Feb.


Long Jump for Lowe?


Lowe hinted that she may add the Long Jump to her agenda for the 2012 campaign if she could be competitive for an Olympic berth. After winning the High Jump on Sunday, Lowe quickly changed her spikes and ran to the Long Jump competition that was in progress.


Lowe took only one jump in the third round of 6.39m to advance for the final three jumps. She jumped again in the fourth round at 6.38m before deciding to withdraw from the competition. Janay DeLoach won with a leap of 6.89m to repeat her 2011 victory over Brittney Reese and defeat the reigning World indoor and outdoor champion for the third consecutive meet this season. Reese was second at 6.86m.


For Lowe, the indoor championships was only her third time on the runway this season. She did run throughs in one practice and competed in a meet in Daytona last week.


“The Long Jump is something that I possibly might want to do if I can medal at the Olympics but I don’t think I should Long Jump indoors ever,” Lowe said with a laugh.


World Heptathlon record holder Ashton Eaton won the men’s Long Jump with a career-best 8.05m to deny Will Claye’s bid to become the first man to win the both the Long Jump and the Triple Jump since 1986. Claye, who won the Triple Jump at 17.63m for the longest mark by an American since 1989 on Saturday, finished second at 8.02m.


Richards-Ross celebrates birthday and wedding anniversary with 400m victory


Richards-Ross celebrated her 27th birthday and her second wedding anniversary to American football player Aaron Ross of the New York Giants with a meet-record 50.71.


The time eclipsed her PB of 50.82 from 2004 and moved Richards-Ross into the third on the all-time U.S. performance list. Richards-Ross currently has the two fastest times in the world this season along with her 50.89 clocking at the Millrose Games on 11 Feb. Gil Roberts won the men’s 400m in 45.39 to equal his U.S. leading mark and No. 2 time in the World.


In the women’s 60m, Madison tied her world-leading mark of 7.02 with Barbara Pierre in second at 7.06. Madison, the 2005 World Long Jump champion, now holds the three fastest times in the world this year and solidified her standing as fifth on the all-time U.S. performer list.


In the men’s 60, Trell Kimmons won in a PB 6.45 to move into third on the all-time U.S. list. Athens Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin finished second in 6.51.


Kristi Castlin won the 60m Hurdles for the first national title for the former Virginia Tech All-American. In the men’s 60m Hurdles, Aries Merritt won in 7.43 to defeat Kevin Craddock by three hundredths. Terrence Trammell placed third at 7.51, followed by Omoghan Osaghae (7.54) and David Oliver (7.56). Dexter Faulk, who ran a world-leading 7.40 in the prelims on Saturday, was disqualified for a false start and ran under protest.


Hoffa and Camerena-Williams win Shot Put titles


Reese Hoffa won the Shot Put at 21.75m to win a competition that featured four of the top five throwers in the world this season. Ryan Whiting was second at 21.60m, followed by Christian Cantwell (21.53m) and Adam Nelson (20.58m). In the women’s Shot Put, Jillian Camarena-Williams won her eighth national indoor title over Michelle Carter, 19.56m to 19.27m.


American outdoor record holder and 2006 World Indoor champion Brad Walker won the Pole Vault at 5.86m to qualify for his third World Indoor Championships.


Manzano and Simpson notch narrow 1500m victories


Leonel Manzano and Jenny Simpson prevailed in photo finishes in tactical men’s and women’s 1500m contests. Manzano overtook Matt Centrowitz and Rupp in the final 50 metres to win in 3:48.05. Daegu World bronze medalist Centrowitz was second in 3:48.16. Rupp, who placed second in the 3000m on Saturday night, was third in 3:48.44.


Simpson completed a 1500m/3000m double by holding off a late charge by Brenda Martinez, 4:15.04 to 4:15.11.


Duane Solomon and Erica Moore won the first national titles in the men’s and women’s 800m. Solomon, a member of the U.S championships teams for the 2007 World Outdoor championships and 2009 World Indoor Championships, was a wire-to-wire victor in 1:48.58. Moore won the women’s 800m in 2:01.08 for a season-leading U.S. mark.


Maria Michta won her third consecutive women’s 3000m Race Walk title after a spirited homestretch duel over Erin Gray, 13:15.31 to 13:15.35.


Kirby Lee for the IAAF


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