Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Day 3 at USATFs: $100,000 Run for Sanya Richards, Clement Edges Jackson in Hurdles, First US Title for Lisa Galaviz, and Andrew Rock Shows (Two) White Men Can Sprint
Day 3 of the USATF Nationals saw a $100,000 and world leading run for Sanya Richards in the 400m, a world leader for Kerron Clement to get his second straight USATF title in a tight duel with World Champ Bershawn Jackson, Andrew Rock showing that white guys really can do the long sprint, Russ Buller getting an emotional win in the pole vault, and Chaunte Howard coming close the American record in the high jump.
In the distance action, Lisa Galaviz got her first US title by winning the steeplechase and Treniere Clemente defended her 1500m title.
Recaps below with the detailed distance action first.
Women's Steeple: Lisa Galaviz Gets Gold
Messner was the fittest woman on paper and she wasted no time in trying to assert her dominance. She took the lead on the first lap and opened up a gap on the field. Ann Gaffigan led the chasers followed by NCAA Div II star Kristin Anderson.
Messner would get an 8-10 meter lead on the field and by lap 5 of a little more than 7 lap in the race, Kelly Strong was in 2nd followed by her former Arizona State teammate Galaviz. Messner appeared to be running out of a steam a bit on the next lap as she stepped on a hurdle and Strong and Galaviz were closing on her.
At the bell, Galaviz went by Messner, and it was all over for Messner as she was completely dead on the last lap and would finish 6th. Galaviz powered away from the field on the backstretch and appear to be on her way to her first USA title, but making a late charge was Anderson, the 2005 NCAA Div II steeplechase champ and 2006 NCAA indoor Div II 5k champ (who only had a best of 10:06 coming in), who had been hanging in the top 3 or 4 the entire race.
But Anderson left a little too much too late as she could not quite get up to Galaviz who had appeared to have a nearly insurmountable lead with 100 to go. Galaviz got the win in 9:57.58 to Anderson's 9:57.98, while Delilah DiCrescenzo moved up to get 3rd. Strong faded to 4th, and Messner to 6th.
2008 is the first year the women's steeple will be in the Olympics. As a result, the steeplechase is now being included in a lot of IAAF meets. Galaviz this year had already competed in Doha, Qatar (9:56.18 for 7th) and Belem, Brazil (9:48 for 2nd, her fastest time this year was her opener at Stanford (9:46.87)). But since Belem, she had suffered from an injury that caused her to miss some time, so she figured Messner was the favorite. Galaviz said her goals were a bit more modest and to finish in the top 3.
Galaviz said she was not too worried about Messner's big lead, "I expected her to win. She won Brazil in 9:41, so I expected her to go under 9:40." However, when Messner started to fade and Galaviz caught Messner at the bell she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Galaviz said she thought, "I'm just going to go now and see if I can hold on for 400 meters. I wasn't sure (if I could hold on, but I was going to go for it). I saw on the results someone almost caught me on the line. Oh man, I didn't hear her."
Galaviz's plans are to train for 4 more weeks then go over to Europe and start racing in Belgium. She said that was her original plan because she thought she might need a few weeks to make up for her lost time due to the injury, but could reevaluate things. She wants to dip under the 9:40 barrier as she's been stuck between 9:40 and 9:50 for 3 years.
Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase =============================================================== World: W 9:01.59 7/4/2004 Gulnara Samitova, RUS American: A 9:29.32 7/31/2004 Briana Shook, Toledo Meet: M 9:39.35 7/15/2004 Ann Gaffigan, Nebraska Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Lisa Galaviz Nike 9:57.58 2 Kristin Anderson unattached 9:57.98 3 Delilah DiCrescenzo Westchester T C 10:03.31 4 Trina Cox unattached 10:06.32 5 Kelly Strong Asics 10:07.64 6 Carrie Messner Asics 10:12.91 7 Liz Wort unattached 10:13.77 8 Amanda Kuca unattached 10:14.11 9 Jane Rudkin Team XO 10:15.98 10 Cassie Hunt Illinois 10:16.54 11 Ann Gaffigan New Balance 10:19.71 12 Rena Chesser Brigham Young 10:24.61 13 Kelly Siefker Indiana 10:31.32 -- Dawn Cromer Pacers/Brooks DNF
Women's 1500: Treniere Clement Defends
2005 NCAA indoor mile champ and 1500m champ Anne Shadle, took over the lead at 800m as the pack remained bunched together due to the slow pace (2:20).
Christine Wurth-Thomas, who had a huge breathrough at the Prefontaine meet with a nearly 4 second pr (4:05:00), took over the lead with 600m to go and tried to open up the race. At the bell (3:08.8, 66.5) Wurth-Thomas and Clement were together. Clement made her move with 200m to go and would be able to open up a gap she was able to hold on to the finish to get the win (4:10.44) over a fast closing Lindsey Gallo 4:10.72), former NCAA star from Michigan. Sarah Schwald got 3rd, Carrie Tollefson 4th and Wurth Thomas faded to fifth.
Saturday's race was only the second 1500m outdoors for Clement in 2006 as she prepares for the European season and a crack at the 4 minute barrier. This is her second year of training with 2 time 800m Olympian Hazel Clark (the favorite for Sunday's 800m final), under the guidance of JJ Clark (Tennessee head coach). She gives a lot of the credit to her coach. She said JJ is always telling her, "'I know you can do this, I know you can get close to 4 minutes, I know you can run 1:58, you can run a good 5k.' "" And she added, "So my coach keeps my goals very high, so that's what I like about him."
She said it wasn't her plan to take the lead early in the race but with the slow pace she did so to stay out of trouble. But she said she is prepared for all types of races, "The way I train if for anything to happen because in Europe you never know if the races are going to go fast or slow."
She'll open up her European campaign in Lausanne and she is confident in getting close to 4 minutes. "My training with her (Hazel Clark) is going a lot better than last year... I'm closing in... It has built up my confidence training with her."
*Tiffany McWilliams, the 2004 NCAA indoor and outdoor champ, was reportedly minorly injured when she was hit by a car while running in Indianapolis, so she did not start the race.
Women 1500 Meter Run ================================================================ World: W 3:50.46 9/11/1993 Yunxia Qu, CHN American: A 3:57.12 7/26/1983 Mary Slaney, Athletics West Meet: M 4:01.01 7/16/2000 Regina Jacobs, Mizuno Name Year Team Finals ================================================================ Finals 1 Treniere Clement Nike 4:10.44 2 Lindsey Gallo Reebok 4:10.72 3 Sarah Schwald Nike 4:11.60 4 Carrie Tollefson adidas 4:12.23 5 Christin Wurth Nike 4:12.82 6 Shannon Rowbury unattached 4:12.86 7 Amy Mortimer Reebok 4:13.44 8 Jenelle Deatherage Reebok 4:13.71 9 Amy Lia unattached 4:15.26 10 Anne Shadle Reebok 4:15.93 11 Elizabeth Woodworth Wisconsin R R T 4:16.92 12 Natalie Hughes unattached 4:19.51 13 Jemissa Hess unattached 4:28.58 -- Sara Hall Asics DNS -- Tiffany McWilliams adidas DNS -- Mary Jayne Harrelson Nike DNS
Men's Pole Vault: Russ Buller Gets The Win Thanks to His Late Brother
In 2005, Buller was working full time and not sure if he would vault again. His little brother urged him to continue with it. Sadly his brother died in a car crash two weeks later and Buller decided to listen to his brother's advice and follow his passion. Buller said his main goals are in making the 2008 Olympic team, and the win this year was a surprise. "My main goal was just to get back on the horse this year, and make the team in 2008 and for me to win a title means so much more for me now... (tearing up). I just got to thank my brother."
Women's 400m: Sanya Richards And Her $100,000 Run
Men's 400: Two White Men Can Sprint
Andrew Rock, last year's silver medallist at the Worlds in the 400, edged by LaShawn Merritt on the homestretch to get the title in 44.45 to Merritt's 44.50.
Rock not only has had to overcome the color of his skin, but he also has to overcome the biggest obstacle of all, being a Division III athlete.
He said afterwards, "I don't think of myself as a Division III athlete. It was a great college choice for me... I don't think it has anything to do with what division you come from or what size town you come from. When I look at Division III athletes today and follow their careers, if you run the times, you run the times (no matter what division you come from). The stop watch doesn't lie."
Men's 400m Hurdles: Clement Edges Jackson as Both Run World Leading Times
It also moved Clement to #2 in the Visa Championship standings in place to pick up an extra $30,000. (First place at the champs is worth $4,000 in comparison).
Women's High Jump
Women's Long Jump
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