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Athletics - 26. June 2007.

Ladies perform at AT&T USA Outdoor champs


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

AT&T USA Outdoor Champs athlete quotes - Friday

Ginnie Powell - Women's 100m hurdle prelim

It was not my normal start, but it was a good first round. The field is very loaded, so it could be anybody's race at any time. You have to bring your "A" game and do have to be focused in last round.

Nicole Denby - Women's 100m hurdle prelim

It went well. I'm just happy with the win, just trying to get through the rounds.

Michelle Perry - Women's 100m hurdle prelim

It felt good. I've got to come back tomorrow to run two rounds. Tomorrow will be way more intense. Today was a little more laid back.

Tiffany Williams - Women's 400m hurdle prelim

I made it through. It was a clean race. I stuttered over the first hurdle but I made it through and that was the goal. I feel good. I want to win and I want to make the (World Championship) team and that is the main thing.

Sheena Johnson - Women's 400m hurdle prelim

I felt pretty good. The goal was just to qualify for the next round.

Suzy Powell - Women's Discus

This gives me some good validation that I will be competitive. I have been trying to temper my thought process around this meet but my focus is on Osaka (World Championships).

Sanya Richards - Women's 400m semifinal

It felt really good. Today I wanted to execute. I felt good and finished strong. I've been sick and people keep saying that if anyone is going to beat me, now is their chance. I wanted to run well today and send the message that I'm still in great shape.

DeeDee Trotter - Women's 400m semifinal

I'm blessed, that's all I can say. What's been working for me is just staying in my lane, doing my own race and not getting caught up in what's going on around me.

Alice Schmidt - Women's 800m semifinal

I just wanted to stay out of trouble. I knew the top four qualify, so I wanted to be there. I've been playing it safe all along, so I'm looking forward to Sunday.

Hazel Clark - Women's 800m semifinal

I just wanted to get out and control it. I think it went smoothly. It's all about qualifying, and I'm excited for the final.

Torri Edwards - Women's 100m

I'm very excited and excited to have won a national championship. This means so much to me. What will mean more to me is winning the World Championships.

Shalane Flanagan - Women's 5,000m

I love to win races. I'm very competitive. I tried to be patient at the beginning, but I wanted to see what I could do out there by myself and hopefully bring some girls to some fast times. It will take a really strong last 1,000m (to make finals at the World Championships) - I wasn't as strong as I wanted to be today. I hope to just establish myself as an aggressive American runner.

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