EUGENE, Ore. - Michelle Carter became a second-generation Olympian and Jessica Cosby made some history as the women's throws took center stage Saturday at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field. Men's competition, including victories by Anthony Famiglietti, Jesse Williams and Kevin Eastler, was overshadowed by the injury of Tyson Gay.
U.S. high school record holder Michelle Carter made her first Olympic Team as an elite athlete, winning the women's shot put with a personal-best and U.S.-leading mark of 18.85m/61-10.25. In becoming an Olympian, she follows in the footsteps of her father, 1984 Olympic shot put silver medalist and boys' high school record holder Michael Carter. The 22-year-old Michelle Carter is the 2004 World Junior champion and 20003 Pan Am Junior gold medalist. At the 2003 Texas state meet, she set the national prep record with her throw of 16.73m/54-10.75. Michael Carter's national HS record of 81 feet, 3.5 inches is considered by many to be the greatest high school record in any event in history.
Three-time national outdoor champion and 2004 Olympian Kristin Heaston finished second in Saturday's competition with 18.34m/60-2.0, and three-time USA indoor champion Jillian Camarena was third with 18.12m/59-05.5 as seven women exceeded 58 feet.
Cosby breaks OT record
2006 champion Jessica Cosby won her second career U.S. title in the hammer throw, topping the field with an Olympic Trials record throw of 70.72m/232-0. Two-time indoor weight champion Amber Campbell was second with a mark of 69.24m/227-2, with Sarah Veress third with 68.60m/225-1. Because Veress lacks the Olympic "A" standard of 69.50 m/228-0, fourth-place finisher Loree Smith (67.11m/220-2) will be on the roster for Beijing.
Trio of men's champions
Three-time U.S. runner-up Anthony Famiglietti won his first national title since 2002 in the men's steeplechase in bold, front-running form. Fam took the lead early and ran alone throughout the race, running 8:16 pace for all but the final two laps. Although he slowed somewhat in the final 800, Fam won easily in 8:20.24, with William Nelson (8:21.47) outsprinting Josh McAdams (8:21.99) for third.
The Eugene-based high jumper Jesse Williams gave the hometown crowd still more to cheer about, winning his first national title with a clearance of 2.30m/7-6.5. 2004 Olympic Trials champion Jamie Nieto and 2002 world junior champion Andra Manson tied for second at 2.27m-7-5.25. Nieto, however, lacks the Olympic "A" standard of 2.30. The next highest-finishing jumper to have met the standard is Dustin Jonas, who tied for sixth (2.24m/7-4.25), winning a jump-off against Scott Sellers to claim the third and final roster position. .
Earlier Saturday morning, Kevin Eastler won his fourth career men's 20 km race walk title and secured his place on the Olympic Team with his win in 1:27:07. Eastler held a 22-second lead at the halfway point and cruised to the win in a race contested on a 1 km loop course adjacent to the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium. Olympic 50km Olympic Trials runner-up Matthew Boyles was second in a personal-best 1:28:19, with Patrick Stroupe third in a personal-best 1:29:17. As the only athlete with the Olympic "A" standard, Eastler will be the sole American in the event in Beijing.
Tumultuous times in 200
A stacked lineup for the women's 200m is on tap for Sunday's final, but the men's field saw a huge loss in quarterfinal and semifinal action on Saturday. The shock of these Olympic Trials took place just 14 strides into the first heat of the men's quarterfinals, when world champion Tyson Gay suddenly popped straight up, the Hayward Field crowd groaning with concern. Approximately an hour after Gay was wheeled off the track, his agent, Mark Wetmore, reported that Gay had suffered a severe cramp in the race after feeling some tightness in his hamstring while warming up. There was no other damage apparent, though Gay continues to be evaluated. Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford had the fastest time of the round in heat 4 (20.33, +1.8mps).
The semifinal round was significantly less traumatic. Rodney Martin won the first heat in 20.04 (+2.2), followed by Wallace Spearmon (20.05), Walter Dix (20.09) and Charles Clark (20.48). Crawford took the second heat in 20.20 (-0.9) with Xavier Carter (20.55), Rubin Williams (20.56) and Bernard Williams (20.60) also advancing.
The women's 200 saw all the favorites - all of them capable of making the Olympic Team - make it to Sunday's final. In the first semifinal, Bianca Knight (22.53, -0.1mps) led Marshevet Hooker (22.55), Lauryn Williams (22.59)and Torri Edwards (22.66) through to the final. Two-time world champion Allyson Felix won the second semi in a U.S.-leading time of 22.22 (+0.0 mps), followed by 100m champion Muna Lee (22.33), Shalonda Solomon (22.4) and Carmelita Jeter (22.61). Solomon had been quickest in the quarterfinal round, winning heat 1 in 22.68.
Oliver, Jones lead hurdle qualifying
Saturday featured the first two rounds of a traditionally strong event for Team USA, the men's 110m hurdles and women's 100m hurdles, and 2008 U.S. leader David Oliver looked strong throughout the afternoon. He had the fastest time of both rounds, winning his first-round heat in 13.24 (+2.1) and his quarterfinal round in 13.07 (+2.0mps). Also winning quarterfinal races were Anwar Moore (13.17, +1.5mps) and Antwon Hicks (13.28, +2.1mps) as two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell and World Outdoor silver medalist David Payne also advanced easily.
The first round of the men's competition saw the departure of an all-time great. Allen Johnson, the 37-year-old 7-time national champion, cleared four hurdles before pulling up limping and favoring his injured Posterior tibialis tendon. In the second round, American record holder Dominique Arnold, who had finished fourth in his first-round race, false started and was disqualified.
The women's hurdles suffered no significant loses as World Indoor gold medalist Jones had posted the fastest time in the first round with her heat 4 win of 12.68 (+1.5mps) and again in the second round, when she won heat 2 in 12.59 (+1.1mps). Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes won her semi in 12.65 (+1.7) and Kellie Wells won the first (12.82, -1.3mps). Running with a heavily taped left thigh, two-time world champion Michelle Perry was fourth in the third semi to advance.
In exhibition races, Donna Lawrence won the masters women's 200m in 25.79 (+1.4mps), Eric Keck won the men's Special Olympics 100m (13.05) and Stephanie Johnson won the women's race (15.04).
For complete coverage of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, including results, athletes quotes, photos, TV schedule and start lists, visit http://www.usatf.org/