Brooke Andersen competes during the women's hammer throw qualifiers at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 1, 2021 in Tokyo.
Olympians Brooke Andersen and Quanesha Burks scored national titles on Thursday to open four days of competition at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Andersen, in the women’s hammer throw, and women’s long jumper Burks joined men’s discus champ Andrew Evans in winning national championships on Day 1 of 4. The majority of the event finals will take place over the next three days at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
In addition to national championships, athletes this weekend are seeking spots at the world championships that follow in three weeks, also at Hayward Field. This marks the first time in the nearly five-decade history of the world championships that the meet will be held on U.S. soil.
Some Americans have byes into the world championships by merit of being defending world or Diamond League champions. For most of the U.S. team, though, they can qualify by earning a top-three spot this weekend while also having met the world A standard.
Many of the biggest names from Team USA at last year’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are expected to compete this weekend, including gold medalists Valarie Allman, Ryan Crouser, Sydney McLaughlin, Athing Mu and Kate Nageotte. The U.S. led all countries in Tokyo with 26 medals and seven gold medals in track and field.
Andersen, who finished 10th in Tokyo, won her event Thursday with a throw of 77.96 meters, which was nearly two meters farther than second-place Janee Kassanavoid (76.04). Annette Echikunwoke (73.76) was third.
The women’s long jump field was without retired Brittney Reese, the four-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist who finished second in Tokyo. Burks easily won with a best jump of 7.06 meters. Jasmine Moore was second at 6.80, followed by Tiffany Flynn at 6.69.
Rounding out the winners Thursday was Evans, who won with a best throw of 63.31 meters. Dallin Shurts was second with a person best of 62.32, followed by 2020 Olympic finalist Sam Mattis in 62.25.
Tonight’s winners join four other Americans who already claimed U.S. titles at other events. Garrett Scantling (decathlon) and Anna Hall (heptathlon) won theirs at the USATF Combined Events Championships on May 7 in Arkansas, while Joe Klecker and Karissa Schweizer won their respective 10,000-meter titles at the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 in Eugene.