Sunday, June 24, 2012

Talking Trials: A World Record, a dead heat and Lolo time

The brotherhood that is the decathlon was on full display
as Curtis Beach lets Ashton Eaton win the 1500 meters
(photo: TrackAndFieldPhoto)
This is the fourth installment of "Talking Trials." There will be more to come every day during the 2012 USA Olympic Track and Field Trials from Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, OR.Full results for the trials are here.

On Saturday, the weather started out rough once again, but ended beautifully. The Women's 100 meter hurdles were delayed 30 minutes because of hard rain, but that would be the smallest of the problems at Hayward Field on this day, as an Olympic spot would remain in limbo after a three hour deliberation of who finished third in the Women's 100 meter final. The official statement was that the race's third and final Olympic spot would end in a tie.

The stars would be on display as Lolo Jones would reach the 100 meter hurdle final and then would run just fast enough to finish inside the top three in the final; taking the third spot on the podium and booking her trip to London. After finishing and realizing she made the team, she did a version of "the worm" on the track. To say she was excited to be an understatement

The story of the day would be Ashton Eaton and his pursuit of the World Record in the decathlon. Needing to run 4:16.37 for 1500 meters to set the mark, Eaton would run an inspired 62 second last lap and finish in 4:14.48 to break Roman Sebrle’s 11 year old record by 13 points, scoring 9039. Joining him on the London team would be 2009 and 2011 World Champion, Trey Hardee. Beijing Gold Medalist, Bryan Clay, would fail to qualify after a disqualification in the 110 meter hurdles ended his quest. 1976 Olympic Gold medalist Bruce Jenner was in attendance to watch the athletes compete in the event that made him famous. I was able to sit behind he and his sons as they watched the decathlon and it was very surreal to watch him go down memory lane, while being inspired by what he was witnessing.

Allyson Felix on the phone during the review
And while Eaton's performance was the most exciting, it wasn't the only one people were talking about when they left Hayward Saturday. Carmelita Jeter would take the 100 meter title, with Tianna Madison finishing right on her heels. The true battle to make the team would be in third. Jeneba Tarmoh was initally declared the victor over Allyson Felix for the last spot on the team, but then the photo finish was reviewed to the 1/1000th of a second, showing a dead heat. As of the release of this post, there was still no resolution to who would go to London. I'm hoping for a run-off.

The after party facet of the event was once again an exciting one. The fans were out in droves and there was quite the who's who of past stars at the Wild Duck Cafe. If you want to see some runners, throwers and jumpers, this is the place. You'll have to trust me on this one!

More instagram photos from Day Two at Hayward:

Nike had a lot of cool signage
Ashton Eaton, World Record Holder
Lolo and the hurdle team
The Women's 100 was a great example of this!
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1 comment:

  1. I'm with ya on the runoff between Felix and Tarmoh. Just line em up, no clock, winner takes all 100m dash.