The final meet of the 2007 Visa Championship Series, the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships serves as the Team USA selection competition for the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Osaka. The top three finishers in each event who have achieved the IAAF "A" standard will make the team.
2003 world champion Torri Edwards displayed an impressive return to form in the Visa women's 100m. At age 30, the 2003 USA 100 and 200 champion led from start to finish, winning in 11.02 (0.9mps). World champion Lauryn Williams was second in 11.16, with Carmelita Jeter third in 11.17. World 200m champion Allyson Felix was fourth in 11.25 to make the 100m squad for the World Championships in Osaka, since Williams has an automatic bye as defending champion.
American record holder Shalane Flanagan surprised no one by leading the Nike women's 5,000 from wire-to-wire. Her winning time of 14:51.75, however, was perhaps a bit brisker than expected and was the fourth-fastest time ever by an American. Two-time Olympian Jen Rhines was second in 15:08.53, with Michelle Sikes third in 15:09.28, just off the IAAF "A" standard of 15:08.70.
Former NCAA champion Dana Pounds of the Air Force upset American record holder Kim Kreiner in the women's javelin, throwing 59.65m/195-8 to Kreiner's 58.17m/190-10.
Diana Pickler led the heptathlon after four events with 3,636 points. She ran 13.46 in the 100-meter hurdles, cleared 1.75m/5-8.75 in the high jump, threw 12.44m/40-9.75 and ran 24.07 in the 200. 2005 champion Hyleas Fountain was second with 3,618 points and defending champion GiGi Miller third with 3,616.
In qualifying rounds, the women's 100-meter hurdles provided a glimpse into the competition to expect in Saturday's semis and final. Defending USA and NCAA champion Ginnie Powell ran a quick 12.79 in Friday's first round into a 1.7mps headwind. Reigning world champion Michelle Perry was next fastest, winning heat 3 in 12.90, with Nichole Denby taking the second heat in 12.92.
2006 world athlete of the year Sanya Richards ran a 2007 world leader in the semifinals of the women's 400, blazing the first 200 under 24 seconds and finishing in 50.02. 2006 runner-up Lashawn Merritt was the top men's 400 qualifier with 44.44. Hazel Clark led women's 800 qualifiers with 2:02.59.
Tiffany Williams ran 55.18 in the women's 400m hurdles.
The AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships television coverage continues Saturday from 2-3 p.m. Eastern on NBC and from 7-8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. It concludes Sunday with live coverage on NBC from 1-3.
For complete results and athlete quotes, visit www.usatf.org
photos Janos Schmidt