Sunday, July 1, 2012

Olympic Trials: Day 9 Recap

There were only a handful of finals contested on Saturday, and most events paled in comparison to the women's 200m.

Men's Triple Jump

On his first jump, Will Claye jumped a lifetime best of 57'7" to take the early lead, but immediately after it was 2011 World Outdoor Champ pushing it out to 57'10.25". Claye took 2 more jumps before passing on his final three attempts, while Taylor took just one more (foul) and then became a spectator as nobody else even came close. As the pair of Florida Gators are the only two with the A standard, they are the only two representing the US - but are a definite threat to go 1-2 in London.

1. Christian Taylor 57'10.25"
2. Will Claye 57'7"

Men's 110m Hurdles

One of the fastest men of all time - David Oliver - will be watching the Olympics from home this year, as he failed on Saturday to qualify for the Olympics team. Oliver finished 5th behind winner Aries Merritt, who ran a lifetime best 12.93 (wind +1.2m/s). Jason Richardson finished 2nd and Jeff Porter, whose wife Tiffany Porter has made the team for the UK, took 3rd.

1 Aries Merritt Reebok 12.93
2 Jason Richardson Nike 12.98
3 Jeffrey Porter Unattached 13.08
4 Antwon Hicks Unattached 13.14
5 David Oliver Nike 13.17
6 Dexter Faulk Nike 13.23
7 Ryan Wilson Saucony 13.24
DNF Tyron Akins Unattached 0.179

Women's High Jump

2012 Indoor World Champ Chaunte Lowe took the win in a meet record 6'7" and Arizona Wildcat Brigetta Barrett jumping a 2" personal best to finish 2nd and get a piece of the meet record (6'7"), but the real story is 36 year-old Amy Acuff making her 5th Olympic team. 5th. 1-2-3-4-5th. Absolutely unreal. Acuff jumped 6'4.75" and is definitely not a medal threat, but that's pretty darn amazing.

1 Chaunte Lowe Nike 2.01m 6-7 M
2 Brigetta Barrett Arizona 2.01m 6-7
3 Amy Acuff Asics 1.95m 6-4 ¾


Having not competed in a heptathlon since 2010, Hyleas Fountain had to make sure she achieved the Olympic A standard. She did, easily, but for Chantae McMillan it took a 2 second lifetime best in the final event - the 800m - to ensure she captured the A standard. Fountain ran a 12.86 in the 100m Hurdles, a time that is good enough to see her compete individually (and she has previously) but she is obviously stronger in the multi-event. McMillan is much stronger at the throws, and needed to run about a 2:20 800 (with her PB being 2:19) in the 800m. After an opening lap of just under 69 seconds, she managed to run strong on the second lap and hit the mark, running a 2:17.71. Sharon Day comfortably finished 2nd. 

Men's 200m Semifinal

Honestly, this is without a doubt the weakest our 200m depth has been in a long time. Maybe 2004 when that Greek guy won the Olympics in a time well over 20 seconds were we less-equipped, but this is definitely not a strong year. With Walter Dix out, and Tyson Gay not running the 200m, it's on the shoulders of Wallace Spearmon and the aging Shawn Crawford, or some young guys, to get things done.

Crawford ran one of the nastiest 200m races I've ever seen - 20.30 indoors at ACC Championships one year. He then went onto running on a dirt track in Africa against a giraffe and a zebra in Fox's "Man vs Beast."

There was a little bit of headwind and the track was wet, but the fastest qualifying time was 20.43 by Maurice Mitchell. I don't see tomorrow's final being particularly impressive.

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