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TRACK & FIELD: 2013 Outdoor Championships Recap

TRACK & FIELD: 2013 Outdoor Championships Recap

Natasha Hastings (Photo credit: Jason Suarez)

2013-06-22 -DES MOINES, Iowa –  2008 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Natasha Hastings (New York) took an early lead and went on to run the second fastest time of her career to win her first national outdoor title in the 400 at 49.94, holding off a mad dash over the final 50 by Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.). McCorory set a lifetime best with her 50.01, and NCAA champion Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Ind.) from the University of Illinois passed Joanna Atkins (Stone Mountain, Ga.) down the stretch to place third at 50.58 and take the last U.S. spot for the World Championships. Reigning Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas) continued her comeback from foot surgery with a sixth-place finish in 51.92, running the race in flats instead of spikes.

The women’s 1500m was a tactical race with the entire field within striking distance of the win at the bell lap. With 250 meters to go, 17-year-old Mary Cain (Bronxville, N.Y.) moved into the lead and quickly distanced herself from the field. Treniere Moser (Portland, Ore.) was the only athlete who could close the gap on Cain. The pair was neck-and-neck over the final meters of the race, with Moser taking the win by a hair. Moser finished in 4:28.62, with Cain in 4:28.76. NCAA runner-up Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.)  of the University of Florida finished third. Moser and Cain have the IAAF A standard, while McGee can chase the A or B standard to make the World Championship team. “This is the greatest country in the world.” Cain said about making Team USA.  “We’d been talking about it and I just really wanted to get a uniform, that’d be so exciting.”

Mary Cain take the lead in the Women's 1500m race, but finished in second place. (Photo credit: Jason Suarez)

Olympic bronze medalist Janay Deloach Soukup (Ft. Collins, Colo.) won her first USA Outdoor title on her first jump of the day. Deloach jumped 6.89m/21-10, recorded a mark of 6.65m/21-10 on her second attempt, and then passed all other attempts. Tori Polk (Marrietta, Ga.) finished second in 6.80m/22-3.75, and Funmi Jimoh (Missouri City, Texas) rounded out the podium in third in 6.71m/22-0.25. After winning the past five USA Outdoor titles, Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) fouled on all three of her attempts, but as the reigning World champion, she has an automatic bye to Moscow where she will join Deloach Soukup, Polk and Jimoh on the U.S. team.

Reigning Olympic champion Allyson Felix (2nd left) finished second in the Women's 200m. (Photo credit: Jason Suarez)

LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan (Katy, Texas) became the first collegian since UCLA’s Evelyn Ashford in 1978 to do the double in the women’s 200m, adding the U.S. title to her NCAA win two weeks ago with a windy 21.80 that powered her past reigning Olympic champion Allyson Felix (Los Angeles). Felix had a slowish start and recovered well to clock 21.85 for second, with Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.)  taking third in 22.15, .01 ahead of Texas A&M’s Kamaria Brown. Duncan, Felix and Tarmoh have the IAAF A standard and will represent Team USA at the World championships.

Nicole Bush (Wyoming, Mich.) led from the gun in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase to win her first USA Outdoor title in 9:44.53. This was the second national podium appearance for Bush, after placing second at this meet in 2010. Ashley Higginson (Coltsneck, N.J.) finished second in 9:46.25, with the University of Colorado’s Shalaya Kipp (Salt Lake City, Utah) just behind in 9:46.83. Bush has the A standard and Higginson has the B standard for spots on the world team. Kipp will have the opportunity to chase the A standard to compete in Moscow.

Women's 800m Winner Alysia Montano (on right) takes a peek at 3rd place finisher 19-year-old Ajee Wilson. (Photo credit: Jason Suarez)

Alysia Montano (Canyon Country, Calif.) bolted to the lead from the start of the women’s 800m final and quickly created a 15 meter lead over the rest of the field. Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) led the chase pack and began to close the gap with 250 meters remaining. Coming down the homestretch, Martinez was quickly closing on Montano, but it was Montano who crossed the line first in 1:58.67 to win her fifth USA Outdoor title. Martinez was second in 1:58.78, with 19-year-old Ajee Wilson (Neptune, N.J.) third in 1:59.55 to attain the IAAF A standard. The top three women will represent Team USA in Moscow.

Behind Rollins, Queen Harrison (Richmond, Va.) became the equal-sixth best performer in U.S. history with her 12.43 in second place and former USC star Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pa.) set a lifetime best with her 12.48 in third. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Kellie Wells (Richmond, Va.) was fourth at 12.54. Reigning Diamond League champion Dawn Harper Nelson has an automatic bye to the World Championships, where she will be joined by Rollins, Harrison and Ali.

Double American record holder and reigning Olympic champion Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, N.Y.) had an early miss at her opening height of 4.55m/14-11 and took two attempts to make 4.70m/15-5, but that was enough to give her her seventh outdoor national title and 14th overall. Suhr took three attempts at an outdoor American record of 4.93m/16-2, but was unable to clear the bar. Kylie Hutson (Terre Haute, Ind.) and Becky Holliday (Penryn, Calif.) will join Suhr on the Worlds squad, with Hutson second at 4.60m/15-1 and Holliday third at 4.55m/14-11. Suhr and Hutson have the IAAF A standard, and Holliday has the B standard to round out the Team USA squad for Moscow.

Reigning 1500m world champion Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colo.) moved up in distance to the 5,000m to win her third USA Outdoor national title. Simpson now owns U.S. titles at five different distances – 1500m indoor, mile indoor, 3,000m indoor, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m. Simpson ran with the lead pack throughout the race and moved into the lead clearly with 100 meters to go to cross the line in 15:33.77. 5,000m American record holder Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) took second in 15:35.45, with yesterday’s 4th placer in the 1500m Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) taking third in 15:37.27 ahead of 4th placer Kim Conley (Santa Rosa, Calif.)  in 15:37.80. Simpson has an automatic bye in the 1500m, Huddle has the A standard, Rowbury has the B standard and Conley has the A standard. If Simpson elects not to run the 5,000m at the World Championships, Huddle, Rowbury and Conley will represent the U.S. team.

The USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships conclude the 2013 USATF Championship Series. The meet also selects the athletes that will represent Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18.
Photo credit:  Jason Suarez, www.notafraid2fail.com

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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