Meb breaks 2 records, wins Olympic Trials 10 km
SACRAMENTO - In a brilliant, solo run, Meb Keflezighi added the Olympic Trials and U.S. Championships records to his second career Olympic Trials 10,000m title Friday evening at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.
Already the American record holder entering the Olympic Trials, Keflezighi finished in 27:36.49 to shatter the legendary Craig Virgin's Olympic Trials record of 27:45.61, set in 1980. His time also breaks Virgin's hand-timed U.S. championships record of 27:39.4, set in 1979.
The 2002 U.S. and 2000 Olympic Trials champion at 10,000 meters, Meb in February had punched his Olympic ticket by placing second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. On Friday, he gave himself another option for Athens by pulling clear of his only competition, fellow 2000 Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, approximately 19 minutes into the race. Abdirahman finished second Friday night in 27:55.00, with Dan Browne adding a third-place finish and second Olympic option to his third place at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 28:07.47. Browne indicated on Friday he may run both events in Athens.
Keflezighi, Abdirahman, American 5,000m record holder Bob Kennedy and Browne had separated themselves from the field after 2,400 meters (1.5 miles). At 3,600 meters (3.25 miles), Kennedy dropped out of the race with an injury to his left Achilles tendon, and Meb and Abdi took over from there. But less than 6 minutes after the duo came through 5,000 meters in 13:43.33, it was a one-man race.
The shot put stayed true to its four-man theme as John Godina, Adam Nelson, Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa guaranteed that Saturday's final will include each the world's top throwers. The quartet went 1-4 in qualifying, led by Godina (21.55 meters/70-8.5). Defending Olympic Trials champion Nelson threw 21.44m/70-4.25, with world indoor champion Cantwell at 20.91m/68-7.5 and world indoor silver medalist Hoffa at 20.30m/66-7.25.
The women's 100 meters also saw all expected qualifiers advance out of the quarterfinals. NCAA champion Lauryn Williams of the University of Miami pleased the crowd with a runaway win in heat 4 and the fastest time of the day (11.14); LaTasha Colander (11.35) edged Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones (11.38) in heat 1; Inger Miller won heat 2 (11.30); and Torri Edwards took heat 3 on a photo-finish with two-time gold medalist Gail Devers (both timed in 11.36). On Saturday the semifinal and final will be contested.
After four events, Tiffany Lott-Hogan leads the heptathlon with 3,686 points. The two-time NCAA champion and 2000 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher leads Hyleas Fountain (3,659) and Michelle Perry (3,634) heading into Saturday's final three events.
Sandra Glover was the fastest qualifier into Friday's semifinal of the women's 400m hurdles with her time of 54.82 seconds. Also among the qualifiers were NCAA champion Sheena Johnson (55.64), former NCAA champions Brenda Taylor (54.98), Lashinda Demus (55.14) and Raasin McIntosh (55.25), as well as former world record holder Kim Batten (57.53).
LaRon Bennett led men's 400m qualifying with 49.09. Also advancing were world outdoor silver medalist Joey Woody (49.43), defending U.S. champion Bershawn Jackson (49.14), and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor (49.78).
Defending Olympic Trials champion Hazel Clark ran 2:02.65 to win the first heat of the women's 800m, in the fastest time of the day. Clark's sister-in-law, American record holder Jearl Miles-Clark, won her heat in 2:03.24, ahead of indoor champion Jen Toomey's 2:03.35, and American indoor record holder Nicole Teter won the final heat in 2:03.29. Khadevis Robinson ran the quickest time in the men's 800m preliminaries with 1:46.42.
Vanitta Kinard jumped a personal best of 14.07m/46-2 to lead qualifying into Sunday's women's triple jump final. 2001 world indoor bronze medalist Tiombe Hurd (13.99/45-10.75) and defending U.S. champion Yuliana Perez (13.64/44-9) rounded out the top three qualifiers. American junior record holder Brittany Daniels also advanced, standing in fifth, with 13.57m/44-6.25. The mark was just 5.5 inches off her AJR.
Marla Runyan led all qualifiers in the women's 5,000 meters with 15:36.74 as all expected qualifiers advanced, and Kim Kreiner (54.02m/177-3) and Serene Ross (53.95/177-0) were the class of women's javelin qualifying.
The men's pole vault qualifying followed an unusual pattern as it took only 5.50m/18-0.5 to advance to Sunday's final. Brad Walker, Dan Ryland, Tim Mack, Keenan King, Tye Harvey, Derek Miles, Jacob Pauli, Justin Norberg, Russ Buller, Toby Stevenson and defending Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong all cleared the height. Jim Davis and Robert McLean also advanced at 5.40m/17-8.5. Nine vaulters no-heighted, including American record holder Jeff Hartwig and former American record holder Lawrence Johnson.
Competition Saturday features finals in the men's shot put and women's 100 meters, and the second and final day of the women's heptathlon. First-round action will include four-time U.S. champion Breaux Greer in the men's javelin; Olympic gold medalist Maurice Greene and 2004 world leader Shawn Crawford in the men's 100; dueling national champions Amy Acuff and Tisha Waller in the women's high jump; and Aretha Hill, Suzy Powell and Kris Kuehl in the women's discus.
The top three finishers in each event at the Olympic Trials who have met the Olympic "A" standard are named to the U.S. Olympic Team for Athens.
For results athlete quotes, posted live during competition, visit the Olympic Trials section at www.usatf.org. The USATF Web site also includes a list of all athletes who have achieved the Olympic "A" qualifying standard and full start lists for Saturday's competition.