A round-up of the final day of US Olympic trials action, which saw meet records by Matt Centrowitz and Dalilah Muhammad and a Rio spot secured by 16-year-old Sydney McLaughlin
A drama-filled final day of US Championships action in Eugene on Sunday (July 10) saw meet record-breaking performances by Matt Centrowitz and Dalilah Muhammad, an Olympics spot secured by 16-year-old world junior record-breaker Sydney McLaughlin and the Rio double dreams of Allyson Felix dashed.
Four-time Olympic gold medallist Felix had been hoping to contest both the 200m and 400m at next month’s Games in Brazil, with the IAAF having agreed to a change of the timetable earlier this year to allow athletes the opportunity to double up following a request from USATF. However, a close 200m final at the US Olympic trials saw the 30-year-old, who won the US 400m title the week before, miss out on a place in the half-lap event by just 0.01.
World 100m bronze medallist Bowie bagged her second Olympics spot after her third place in the trials 100m final the weekend before, winning the 200m title in 22.25 ahead of Deajah Stevens with 22.30 and Jenna Prandini, who stumbled over the line in 22.53 to deny Felix, who clocked 22.54 in fourth.
“Honestly, I’m disappointed,” said Felix. “All year I planned for this race, and for it to end here, it’s disappointing.
“But when I look back and see everything that happened, I still think it’s quite amazing that I was able to make this team. I feel like everything was against me.”
World indoor champion Centrowitz broke the 36-year-old meet record in the men’s 1500m, clocking 3:34.09 after a 53.95 final 400m, while Robby Andrews also dipped under the old record mark with a 3:34.88 PB in second. Ben Blankenship held off Leo Manzano for third and the last Rio place – 3:36.18 to 3:36.62.
Jenny Simpson won the women’s event in 4:04.74 after a 59.97 last lap. American record-holder Shannon Rowbury ran a 60.51 final 400m to cross the line in 4:05.39 after Brenda Martinez lunged for the line to get the third Olympic spot with her run of 4:06.16 after her disappointment in the 800m.
Another meet record was broken in the women’s 400m hurdles as 2013 world silver medallist Muhammad ran a world-leading 52.88 to move to fifth on the US all-time list. Trials 400m finalist Ashley Spencer, running in lane 8, was second in 54.02 ahead of 16-year-old McLaughlin, who smashed the world junior record with her time of 54.15 to make Rio where she will become the youngest Team USA track athlete to compete in the Games since 1972.
“This has to be the icing on the cake,” said McLaughlin. “Regardless of what happens in Rio, I made it here and I’m just so thankful for all of that.”
Molly Huddle became the first athlete to complete the women’s 5000m and 10,000m double at the US Olympic trials, clocking 15:05.01 in the shorter event to add to her win over the longer distance the weekend before.
Shelby Houlihan was runner-up in 15:06.14 and Kim Conley third in 15:10.62. The 10,000m runner-up Emily Infeld was fourth and Abbey D’Agostino fifth, but with Huddle and Infeld due to focus on the 10,000m, D’Agostino should have secured herself a spot on the team for Rio.
Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr claimed her third Olympic trials victory as she cleared 4.80m ahead of Sandi Morris with 4.75m and NCAA champion Alexis Weeks with 4.70m. In the men’s high jump, Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard won his fourth consecutive national title, clearing 2.29m. Kyle Landon cleared a 2.26m PB for second and Brad Adkins 2.21m for third, with Kynard and Adkins to be joined by sixth-placer Ricky Robertson in Rio.
Johnny Dutch and Bershawn Jackson were among those to miss out in the men’s 400m hurdles, which was won by 2007 and 2009 world champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Kerron Clement in 48.50. Byron Robinson clocked a 48.79 PB for the runner-up spot as he finished just ahead of Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley with 48.82. Ricky Babineaux pipped Dutch after a 48.88 PB, while 2005 world champion Jackson placed seventh.
Barbara Nwaba won the heptathlon title, scoring 6494 points after 5.86m in the long jump was followed by a throw of 49.19m in the javelin and a 2:11.71 in the 800m on the second day of competition. Heather Miller-Koch moved up into second place with her PB of 6423 points after an 800m win in 2:09.97, while NCAA champion Kendell Williams also ran an 800m PB of 2:15.31 to set 6402 points and finish third for the final Rio place.
Results can be found here.