Allyson Felix is Majestic, Aries Merritt Dazzles, Jason Richardson Impresses and Jeff Porter Comes Up Big
June 30, 2012
With only two running finals on the track Saturday at the Olympic Trials, we don't blame you if you thought it might be a dull day at the Olympic Trials, as everyone got ready for Sunday's grand finale.
Allyson Felix and Aries Merritt's stunning performances made sure it wasn't. First up was Merritt who blasted a 12.93 to tie Renaldo Nehemiah and others as the seventh fastest man of all-time. Then in the last race of the day, Allyson Felix was simply stunning. In a race that featured 7 of the top 10 women in the world, Felix blasted off the bend and destroyed the competition, running a personal best 21.69, the second fastest time ever for a woman without a drug positive to her name (FloJo ran faster). We give some perspective below.
Merritt Comes Up Big to Win Great 110m Hurdle Final
The US men held 9 of the top 15 places in the world coming into the 110m hurdles semi-final and final on Saturday. Things only got better for the US as the day went on.
First in the preliminaries, World Champion Jason Richardson joined the sub 13.00 club by running 12.98. World indoor champion Aries Merritt was pretty good himself with a 13.01 in the second heat, and sub 13.00 hurdler David Oliver captured his semi-final into the wind in 13.27. They set up a great final 2 hours and 20 minutes later.
The final exceeded its high expectations.
Jason Richardson was just as good as he was in the semis running 12.98, but Aries Merritt was even better. The World Indoor Champion picked the perfect time to join the sub 13.00 club, clocking 12.93 to tie Renaldo Nehemiah as the 7th fastest man of all-time.
That left the battle for third. David Oliver, the 12.89 man, was trying to overcome a slow start, and battling with Antwon Hicks and Jeffrey Porter. Next thing you knew Porter was doing a superman dive across the finish and that got him third in 13.08 to Hick's 13.14, followed by Oliver's 13.17.
Porter was superman on Sunday. Before today his personal best was 13.26. He ran 13.19 in the semi-final and then 13.08 in the final. He'll be joining his wife, Brit Tiffany (Ofili) Porter at the Olympics.
QT1: Aries Merritt's transformation since he switched from 8 steps to the first hurdle to 7 has been stunning. First, he won the world indoor title and now he backed that up with is 12.93 clocking here. Merritt said back in April on the switch, "The success so immediately is kind of shocking." Now gold in London is a possibility.
QT2: Everyone but David Oliver brought their "A" game. Antwon Hicks ran his fastest time since 2008 and that only got him 4th.
QT3: David Oliver's image is on Coke cans throughout the country but he did not make the Olympic team. Afterward, Oliver said, "Hats off to those guys. They got it done. I didn't get it done."
*Nice Article in Oregonian on Porter making team, last seeind his dad alive 4 years ago in Eugene, with a photo of the dive across the line.
Aries Merritt Goes Sub 13.00 at the Right Time
David Oliver Reacts
Aries Merritt, Jason Richardson, Jeffrey Porter Press Conference
Allyson Felix One of the Most Impressive 200s Ever
As the women settled into the blocks of the 200m final, Allyson Felix was at a pivotal point in her career. America's golden girl of track and field heading into the Trials, faced the possibility of not qualifying for London in an individual event. In a field that included 7 of the top 10 in the world, Felix could not afford to slip up and make the team. Sanya Richards Ross already had run faster than her this year, Kimberly Duncan had run faster than Felix twice this year, Tianna Madison ran the same time as her in the semifinals, Carmelita Jeter had beaten her last year at Worlds in the 200m, and then there was training partner Jeneba Tarmoh who had tied Felix in the 100m.
This one was no contest. Felix blasted out of the blocks and ate into the stagger of Tarmoh and Jeter on her outside. Felix had a huge lead as she hit the homestretch and she only extended it to the finish. All that was left was how fast had she run.
The rest of this star studded field was amazingly nearly a half-second behind. Jeter got second in 22.11 and Richards Ross third in 22.22.
Allyson Felix had put on an exhibition. All year Felix said her emphasis was on winning the elusive 200m gold at the Olympics. She finally put it together in a race and it showed. She said, "I was thrilled with my race. I feel like everything came together."
One has to wonder if the 100m tie drama pushed Felix to higher heights in the 200m. Felix said, "I guess it was all about fighting to make the team. It's emotional to try and make the team after putting it all the hours and work on the track. I wanted to leave it all out on the track today."
Earlier in the week, USATF said the 100m tie between Felix and Tarmoh (5th in 22.35 here) would be settled by Sunday. That is apparently not the case as Bobby Kersee coach of both of Felix and Tarmoh told SI's Tim Layden, that Monday would be too soon for a race-off. So it's either wait longer or a coin-toss.
QT1: 21.69. That speaks for itself. This race was absolutely stunning. Sure the time was incredible, but to destroy that field was something else.
|4||Kimberlyn Duncan||L S U||22.34||+1.0||0.190|
|8||Aurieyall Scott||U C F||22.68||+1.0||0.192|
Women's Long Jump: Chaunte Lowe Wins High Jump, Amy Acuff Becomes 6th 5 Time Track Olympian
Men's Triple Taylor, Claye Dominate, Davis Retires
In the Men's Triple, World Champion Christian Taylor and bronze medallist Will Claye dominated. 2005 World Champion Walter Davis got third, but did not get the "A" and immediately retired from the sport by leaving his shoes next to the pit. What a way to go out.
Women's Heptathlon: Hyleas Fountain Wins, Chantae McMillan Prs to Hit "A" Standard
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