Olympic Trials Day 2




Producing the longest leap in the world since 2004, Brittney Reese highlighted day two action at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field on Saturday at Hayward Field.


Reese (Inglewood, California) broke the Olympic Trials meet record with a stunning 7.31m/23-11.75 in the fourth round. The previous meet record of 7.22m/23-8-0.25 was set by Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988. Joining Reese on the U.S. team for Rio were Tianna Bartoletta (Toledo, Ohio), 7.02m/23-0.50, and Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colorado), 6.93m/22-9.


Reese’s leap was the second-best U.S. all-time mark and ranks ninth all-time in the world.


The defending world champion in the long jump, Bartoletta jumped her best mark of the day (7.02m/23-0.50) on her opening leap before passing in the next round to prepare for the women’s 100m, an event where she won her heat at 11.03 to advance to the semifinals. DeLoach had two fouls early and was out of contention for the team, but came through in the final round to book her ticket to the Games.


Women’s 10,000m sees wire-to-wire finish as Huddle, Infeld, Hall make Team USA

With a rare wire-to-wire 10,000m victory, Saturday saw Molly Huddle (Providence, Rhode Island) make her second Olympic team with a win in 31:41.62. Fellow 2015 World Championships teammates Emily Infeld (Cleveland, Ohio) and Marielle Hall (Haddonfield, New Jersey) joined her on the team, earning their first Olympic appearances in 31:46.09 and 31:54.77, respectively. Huddle ran out front from the gun with the entire pack in single-file formation behind her. Huddle ran with such confidence and poise, it was obviously from the first lap that Huddle was bringing her road savvy to the track.


While the makeup of the top 10 changed throughout the race, the four constants were Huddle, Hall, Infeld and Aliphine Tuliamuk (Sante Fe, New Mexico), who was competing in her first U.S. Olympic Trials after becoming a citizen this year.


With four laps to go, Huddle, Hall and Infeld dropped Tuliamuk to set themselves apart as the trio to represent Team USA. With 800m remaining, Hall slipped off Huddle and Infeld with the duo dropping the hammer with 600m left in the race. As the World Championships teammates rounded the track past the Hayward Field video board with Huddle easily breaking away to put 15m between her and Infeld and come away with the victory.


Three first-time Olympians highlight women’s discus action

Whitney Ashley (Moreno Valley, California) was the lone thrower to surpass 200 feet in the final as she topped the field with a 204-2 (62.25). She secured first place with a 201-4 opening round toss and improved to 203-3 on her second effort. The top three positions were determined early as Shelbi Vaughan (197-9) and Kelsey Card (197-3) hit their best marks in the first two rounds. The trio advancing to Rio each have won NCAA titles. Ashley claimed the 2012 title for San Diego State, Vaughan (Azle, Texas) won for Texas A&M in 2014 and 2015, and Wisconsin’s Card (Plainview, Illinois) was the 2016 winner.


Eaton leads through five, Taiwo ties decathlon high jump American record

After five events, Ashton Eaton (Bend, Oregon) leads with 4,560 points. He scored over 1,000 points in the first two events off a 10.34 in the 100m (1013) and a 7.84m/25-8.75 long jump (1020). Jeremy Taiwo (Seattle, Washington) holds second place through day one at 4,478 points after taking the lead following the high jump when he scored 1,002 points off a 2.21m/7-3 high jump. Wisconsin’s Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois) is third with 4,411 points.


Taiwo tied the American record in the decathlon high jump and broke the Olympic Trials record with his clearance of 2.21m/7-3. The American record was set by Tom Pappas in 2000 during the Sydney Olympics. Bill Hancock held the Olympic Trials record of 2.17m/7-1.5 from 1976 when he set it at Hayward Field. In another record race, Eaton ran 46.30 to break the Olympic Trials record in the 400m to close out day one action at the Trials.


Top 3 leaders after each event

100m: Ashton Eaton, 1013 points; Trey Hardee, 966; Zach Ziemek, 952

Long Jump: Ashton Eaton, 2033; Zach Ziemek, 1942; Devon Williams, 1930

Shot Put: Ashton Eaton, 2764; Zach Ziemek, 2677; Garrett Scantling 2612

High Jump: Jeremy Taiwo, 3605; Ashton Eaton, 3567; Zach Ziemek, 3564

400m: Ashton Eaton, 4560; Jeremy Taiwo, 4478; Zach Ziemek, 4411


Wilson, Martinez win semis to set up Monday fireworks

World Indoor silver medalist Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, New Jersey) controlled the first semifinal of the women’s 800 most of the way, leading through the 400 mark in 58.19. Wilson passed 600 in 1:29.72 with McKayla Fricker (Canby, Oregon) and Chrishuna Williams (Dallas, Texas) just behind. Wilson ran on to win in 2:00.81, with a fast-closing Kate Grace (Santa Monica, California) the fastest over the final 200 to place second in 2:00.94. Williams was third in 2:01.29.


Alysia Montano (Canyon Country, California) assumed her traditional place at the front of the pack through the first 400 of the second semifinal, pulling the field by in 58.12. Molly Ludlow (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Oregon’s NCAA champion Raevyn Rogers (Houston, Texas) were on Montano’s shoulder before Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, California) turned up the pace on the backstretch and led through 600 in 1:29.53. Martinez held off Ludlow for the win by .17 in 1:59.64, and Montano claimed the third automatic qualifying berth in the final in 2:00.20. Rogers was one of the time qualifiers with her 2:00.61, and Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tennessee) was the other in 2:01.39.


Boris best in men’s 800 meter semis

Boris Berian (Colorado Springs) made sure the first semifinal was the fastest, zipping to the front and covering the first lap in 49.73 ahead of Erik Sowinski (Waukesha, Wisconsin) and Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Connecticut). Going through 600 in 1:16.67 Berian still had a good lead and he eased to the win in 1:45.72. Sowinski (1:45.82) and Loxsom (1:45.93) were the other auto qualifiers, and Penn State’s Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) ran 1:45.95 in fourth to take one of the time qualifier berths. The second time spot went to Harun Abda (Fridley, Minnesota) in 1:46.28.


A slower early pace in the second semi had Brandon Johnson (San Diego, California) and Shaquille Walker (Provo, Utah) in front at 400 in 51.41. Johnson held onto a minuscule lead at 600 in 1:19.47, but Clayton Murphy (New Madison, Ohio) turned on the jets over the final 200 and crossed the line first in 1:46.97. Johnson was second in 1:47.02, and Charles Jock (Eugene, Oregon) passed a fading Walker for the third spot in 1:47.35. Craig Engels (Oxford, Mississippi) fell on the home stretch and was later advanced to the final on appeal.


Mix of veterans & up-and-comers advance to 400m finals

Always a fast starter, Francena McCorory (Hampton, Virginia) was on the outside of the first semi, three lanes away from Allyson Felix (Los Angeles). Those two battled through the first 300 along with Phyllis Francis (Bryan, Texas), and McCorory looked the sharpest with a 50.28 win over Felix’s season-best 50.31. Arkansas’ Taylor Ellis-Watson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) sliced her personal best to 50.60 in third, with Francis grabbing the fourth spot in the final in 50.84.


NCAA champion Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas) ran a measured pace in the second semi, content to hang in the middle of the pack until the last 100, where she charged past Natasha Hastings and won in 50.37. Hastings held on to second in 51.17, .04 up on third-placer Ashley Spencer. The fourth berth in the final went to Quanera Hayes.


London Olympic 4x400 silver medalist Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Florida) never saw any of his competitors in the opening semi of the men’s 400, zooming to a lifetime-best 44.24 from lane eight, almost a half-second ahead of Gil Roberts (44.67), who was running under protest after initially being charged with a false start. Roberts (Lubbock, Texas) was later reinstated. Najee Glass (Woodbridge, New Jersey) tied his PR in 44.79 and Kyle Clemons (Lawrence, Kansas) matched that time for a personal best in fourth.


In the second semi, 2015 World Championships silver medalist LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia) eased to a victory in 45.05, with reigning USATF 400m champion David Verburg (Lynchburg, Virginia) coming through behind Merritt in 45.19. Also advancing to Sunday’s final were Florida’s Gino Hall (Pembroke Pines, Florida) and Oregon alum Michael Berry (Seattle, Washington) in 45.33 and 45.63, respectively.


World medalists Bromell, Prandini turn in top times in 100m prelims

Recent collegiate superstars Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Florida) and Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California) turned in the fastest qualifying times out of Saturday’s 100m heats, with Bromell looking strong after time off due to an Achilles injury. Bromell (9.94) led three sprinters who ran sub-10, including Tennessee’s Christian Coleman (Atlanta) and American record holder Tyson Gay (Lexington, Kentucky), who finished in 9.95 and 9.96, respectively.


Prandini crossed in 10.81 for a lightning-quick time in the prelims, turning on the afterburners in the final 50m to take the top time. Hayward favorite and Prandini’s relay teammate English Gardner (Voorhees Twp, New Jersey) was just behind Prandini in the overall standings in 10.90, while Beijing bronze medalist Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) won her heat in 10.91.


Javelin qualifying sees usual suspects advance to final

Riley Dolezal (Fargo, North Dakota) led the qualifying field with a 76.69m/251-7 toss while Sean Furey (Methuen, Massachusetts) followed at 76.26m/250-2. NCAA champion Curtis Thompson (Florence, New Jersey) of Mississippi State threw 76.16m/249-10 while Sam Humphreys, the 2012 Olympic Trials winner, had the fourth-best effort at 75.36m/247-3.


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