Eugene, USAWorld season leading performances by Brittney Reese in the women’s Long Jump, Jesse Williams in the High Jump, Kellie Wells in the women’s 100m Hurdles and Shalonda Solomon in the 200m culminated the fourth and final day of the USA Championships at Hayward Field on Sunday (26).
Four in a Row of Reese in the Long Jump
Reese sailed a career-best 7.19m to win the women’s Long Jump for the fourth time in a row. Reese had only two legal jumps in the competition, opening with a temporary world-leading mark of 7.02m and finishing with her 7.19m in the sixth round for the World’s furthest mark since 2007.
The reigning World and Indoor champion sensed something special on her sixth-round jump aided by a 1.8m/s breeze.
“I knew that I had done better on my landing than I normally do,” Reese said. “I was very surprise how far it was. I knew that I had that kind of jump in me. To get it here…was really emotional.”
USA Indoor Champion Janay DeLoach was second at 6.97m and 2008 Olympian Funmi Jimoh was third at 6.88m.
Wells wins 100m Hurdles in 12.50
Wells was perhaps the most emotional victor after winning the women’s 100m Hurdles in 12.50 in a race that all seven finishers ran 12.98 or better.
Wells powered away over the final five barriers for her first national title and World Championships berth. Danielle Carruthers placed second in 12.59. Beijing Olympic champion Dawn Harper claimed third in 12.65 with a dive across the finish line.
The USA Championships marked the first time that Wells had competed at Hayward Field since suffering a torn hamstring on her right lead leg after crossing the finish line of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials semi-finals in a then personal-best 12.58.
That remained her best until Sunday. Wells, who ran 12.58 in Doha in June, clocked wind-aided marks of 12.53 in the first round on Saturday (25) and ran 12.51 in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Wells put in extra practice time at Hayward Field in a workout on Wednesday (22) in physical and mental preparation for the meet. After crossing the line on Sunday, Wells put both hands over her mouth in disbelief, dropped to her knees and bent face down on the track in tears.
“I worked on making peace and not thinking about getting hurt,” Wells said. “I am just pleased to have this win and major championship and conquered my fears. A personal best was more than I could ask for. I wanted revenge and I got it.”
In the semi-finals, Carruthers ran a wind-assisted 12.37 (3.4m/s) to tie for the fifth-best time under any conditions. Lolo Jones finished third in her heat in 12.81 to miss the eight-runner final by one spot.
Solomon defeats Jeter to win Women’s 200m
The women’s 200m produced the top two times in the World with Shalonda Solomon and Carmelita Jeter, running 22.15 and 22.23, in the absence of three-time World champion Allyson Felix who did not compete after receiving a bye as defending champion.
Solomon, who trains under Lance Brauman – the coach of Tyson Gay—moved into 12th on the all-time U.S performer list. The 2004 World Junior Champion knocked more than two tenths off her career best of 22.36 set in 2006.
World 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross placed seventh in 22.68 out of the second lane after sneaking into the final as the last qualifier.
Home field advantage for Williams and Symmonds
Oregon Track Club members Jesse Williams and Nick Symmonds posted notable victories on their home facility.
Williams won the High Jump in a meet record 2.37m for the top U.S. mark since 1996 to move into a three-way tie for third on the all-time U.S. list behind Charles Austin (2.40m in 1991) and Hollis Conway (2.39m in 1989).
Williams was perfect through his first five heights of 2.20m, 2.24m, 2.28m, 2.31m and 2.34m before clearing 2.37m on his third try. Williams, who won his third title in four years, said the hometown green played a big part in his clearance.
“I love getting records but I didn’t expect it to feel the way that I did,” Williams said. “I knew if I stayed relaxed and pushed really hard like I did on the first two that I would make it. Even when I didn’t clap. I could hear the crowd behind me. Everybody here was really wanting me to do it.”
Symmonds might have generated the loudest roar after winning the 800m in 1:44.17 in a race that produced the top three U.S. times this season. Symmonds won in customary fashion with a strong homestretch push to overtake pacesetter Charles Jock. Khadevis Robinson placed second in 1:44.49. Jock, a student at UC Irvine – the school that produced former American record holder Steve Scott – was third in 1:44.67.
Nelson posts best mark in Shot Put since 2008
Adam Nelson also felt at home at Hayward Field in the Shot Put. The 2005 World Champion produced 22.09m for his best mark since the 2008 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in a completion featuring the last three World Champions with Reese Hoffa (2007) and Christian Cantwell (2009).
Cantwell finished second at 21.87m and Hoffa was third at 21.86m.
“This is a great place to throw. I hate the fact that they call it Track Town. We called it Shot Put Town for a little while. I think it’s coming back. It’s unique in the world,” Nelson said with a laugh.
Nelson, who will turn 36 in July, said he has been cautious about his training and recovery after tearing a pectoral muscle while lifting weights last year. “First of all, I’m healthy. The older you get that makes a difference,” Nelson said.
Anderson leads three under 48 seconds in the 400m Hurdles
Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson led three intermediate hurdlers under 48 seconds for the first time in USA Championships history.
Anderson, who won his third NCAA 400m Hurdle title two weeks ago, won in 47.93 in another race that produced the top three American times of the year. Angelo Taylor and Bershawn Jackson were second and third, both timed in 47.94.
Dix wins 200m to complete sprint double
Walter Dix held off Darvis Patton to win the 200m, wind-aided 19.95 to 19.98, to complete a 100m-200m sprint double. Jeremy Dodson was third in 20.07 in his first USA national final.
Dix, who won the 100m in 9.94 on Friday, is confident about lowering both marks before the World Championships with a light racing schedule leading up to the USA meet.
“It’s going to take a great person if I am healthy and strong and running. I can’t really see myself losing,” Dix said. “I’m smarter. I know what I am able to do. It’s not a question anymore. You just don’t come out and run one race a 9.94. I knew exactly what I do to get to those times that everybody is running.”
In other events, 18-year-old Trevor Barron became the youngest ever winner ever of the USA title in the men's 20km Race Walk. In the process Barron set the American junior record of 1:23:25.10.
Kylie Hutson won the women's Pole Vault with 4.65m head of national record holder Jenny Suhr (4.60) and Lacy Janson (4.50).
In the women's 800m, Alysia Montano led from the start and held off a late charge by Maggie Vessey, 1:58.33 to 1:58.86. Alice Schmidt was third (1:59.21) and fourth was Phoebe Wright (1:59.25).
NCAA champion Emma Coburn of Colorado outdueled Bridget Franek to win the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:44.91 to 9:44.90.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF
- Jesse Williams leaps 2.37m at the 2011 US Champs (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
- Shalonda Solomon in the 200m at the 2011 USA Champs (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
- Kellie Wells runs 12.50 sec in the women’s 100m Hurdles at 2011 USA Champs (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
- Brittney Reese in the women’s Long Jump at the 2011 USA Champs (Kirby Lee) © Copyright