Oympic Trials Day 1




EUGENE, OREGON -- Hayward Field favorite Galen Rupp made history as he won his eighth consecutive USATF 10,000m title, while Oregon native Ryan Crouser highlighted a team of first-time Olympians in the men’s shot put to open track & field action at Hayward Field Friday.


Rupp (Portland, Oregon) led the pack early with the competitors going in single-file formation from the gun. In a move that seemed very un-Rupp-like, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist broke away with 14 laps remaining to put nearly 20 meters between him and the chase pack. After the ensuing 800m, Rupp looked to let up and U.S. Army’s Shadrack Kipchirchir (Eldoret, Kenya) and four-time Olympian Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) made their move to join Rupp away from the pack.


Lagat faltered with seven laps to go and Leonard Korir (Iten, Kenya) join the duo with Hassan Mead (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Chris Derrick (Naperville, Illinois) on their heels. With 800m remaining, and after Mead did not finish, it was clear that Rupp, Kipchirchir and Korir would be the trio to compete in Rio, but their placing was unclear. As Kipchirchir edged ahead on the bell lap, Rupp shifted into another gear and felt the Hayward magic under his feet. Rupp charged around the Bowerman curve with the Hayward faithful on their feet to finish in 27:55.04. Kipchirchir qualified for his first Olympic team in 28:01.52, while U.S. Army teammate Korir finished third in 28:16.97.


First-timers round out Rio men’s shot put

A changing of the guard in the men’s shot put saw Ryan Crouser (Boring, Oregon) became the latest American to top 22 meters, with his 22.11/72-6.5 in round two missing the meet record by one centimeter. Crouser’s mark moved him to 11th on the U.S. all-time list.


World champion Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pennsylvania) sealed his spot on the Rio squad with a clutch 21.95m/72-0.25 in the final stanza to take second, while fellow Nittany Lion Darrell Hill (Philadelphia) made his first Olympic team with a lifetime-best 21.63/70-11.75 in the second round.


Two-time World Indoor champion Ryan Whiting (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) ended up fourth, and veterans Reese Hoffa (Athens, Georgia), the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, and Adam Nelson (Atlanta), the 2004 Olympic champ who received his gold medal in a pre-meet ceremony, were in the top eight in their final appearances at the Trials.


Okolo eases through 400m prelims, Felix begins quest for Rio double

NCAA champion Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas), a member of Team USA’s gold medal indoor 4x400m in Portland, returned to the same track where she won her title a month ago. Okolo eased through her prelim round with a time of 50.78 to lead all quartermile qualifiers. Defending Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) qualified for the semifinals after a quick start out of the blocks, coming through the line in 51.96. Defending Olympic 400m gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas) ended her track & field career at Hayward Field, pulling out of the one-lap race with 170m to go. She took a final lap and received a standing ovation as the crowd saluted one of the greatest track & field athletes in USATF history.


800m business as usual for Berian, while Brazier & Solomon exit early

World Indoor champion Boris Berian (Colorado Springs) ran aggressively to win the second heat with the fastest time of the day at 1:46.03, just ahead of Erik Sowinski (Waukesha, Wisconsin). Heat wins also went to Drew Windle (New Albany, Ohio), Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) and Clayton Murphy (New Paris, Ohio), who moved down a distance after winning the NCAA 1500 title two weeks ago here.


Two big names went out in the opening round, as NCAA champion and American Junior record holder Donavan Brazier (Grand Rapids, Michigan) was fourth in the final heat at 1:48.13. 2012 Olympian Duane Solomon (Lompoc, California) got caught in a slow opening heat and finished fourth in 1:48.71, missing out on a spot in the semifinals.


Cunningham eyes first Olympic berth with top qualifier Friday

World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas) shared the top position in qualifying at 6-0 ½ with Inika McPherson (Galveston, Texas), Chaunte Lowe (Atlanta, Georgia) and Elizabeth Patterson (Rowlett, Texas) as all had clean clearances on their attempts. Amy Acuff (Port Arthur, Texas), who was seeking to make a sixth consecutive Olympic team, matched the height of 5-10 ½ that advanced to the final, but one miss at that height left her tied for 16th as the top 12 qualified.


2008 Olympic champ Brown-Trafton returns to form while Ashley looks to make first Olympic team

Whitney Ashley (Moreno Valley, California) was the lone automatic qualifier in the women’s discus throw Friday, tossing 200-8 on her first attempt to go one-and-done on the day. Just behind her was Beijing Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton (San Luis Obispo, California) with her best toss of 199-5 while 2016 NCAA champion Kelsey Card of Wisconsin turned in a 199-3.


Windy women’s long jump sees defending Olympic & World champions advance

Windy conditions plagued the field in the women’s long jump, but reigning Olympic champion Brittney Reese (Inglewood, California) wasted no time in nabbing her automatic qualifying mark, riding a 2.7 mps breeze to a 7.01m/23-0 on her first attempt. Three other women met the automatic qualifying standard of 6.70, with 2015 World Champion Tianna Bartoletta (Elyria, Ohio) being joined by collegians Quanesha Burks (Hartselle, Alabama) of Alabama and Sha’Keela Saunders (Suffolk, Virginia) of Kentucky. London 2012 bronze medalist Janay DeLoach (Panama City, Florida) was seventh to also grab a berth in the final.





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