EUGENE -- A historic men’s shot put and a thrilling men’s 10,000m gave the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field the first day it deserved after waiting a long year for it to finally become a reality. In front of an appreciative and noisy crowd in the new Hayward Field, Team USATF athletes shined brighter than ever as spots on the squad for the Tokyo Games were up for grabs in the first two finals of the meet.

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Men’s Shot Put final

Ryan Crouser (Redmond, Oregon / USATF Oregon) had hinted at it for months, stringing together some of the best throws ever. If he hit all his positions and applied force through the shot, the world record would be his.
In round four of the final, he knew the moment it left his powerful right hand that this was The One, sending the 16-pound iron ball farther than anyone in the history of the world.
After qualifying earlier in the day with the fifth-farthest throw in history and a meet record 22.92m/75-2.5, Crouser did what almost everyone on the planet knew he would eventually do, smashing the world record with a 23.37m/76-8.25 bomb that landed almost at the end of the sector. Crouser’s throw added almost a foot to the previous world record of 23.12m/75-10.25 set in 1990 by Randy Barnes, and he had two other throws beyond 74-feet in his series.
Almost lost in the drama of Crouser’s blast, Joe Kovacs (Powell, Ohio / USATF New York) went 22.34m/73-3.5 for second and Payton Otterdahl (Horace, North Dakota/ USATF Dakotas) outdueled 2016 Olympian Darrell Hill (Chula Vista, California / USATF San Diego-Imperial) for the final Tokyo berth, slamming a personal best 21.92m/71-11 in round five, with Hill a heartbreaking inch behind in fourth. Josh Awotunde (Horace, North Dakota/ USATF Dakotas) almost broke up that duo, notching a lifetime best 21.84m/71-8 on his last attempt.

Men’s 10,000m final

When the pace slowed and a qualifying standard for Tokyo ebbed away, it was incumbent upon those five men remaining in the race who already had the standard to decide when to take off and go for a spot in the top three. When the bell rang for the final circuit, four men took off at an all-out sprint and a 53.47 last 400m gave Woody Kincaid (Portland, Oregon / USATF Oregon) the win in 27:53.62, with Grant Fisher (Portland, Oregon / USATF Oregon) second in 27:54.29 and Joe Klecker (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) third in 27:54.90 to give Team USATF one of its youngest-ever Olympic 10,000 trios.
Kincaid, the oldest of the three at 28, qualified for his first international championship meet, while Fisher was a member of the U.S. squads at the 2013 World U18 meet and the 2014 World U20 meet that was held on the old Hayward Field oval. Klecker, also 24, has Olympic blood in his veins by way of his mom, Janis, who was 21st in the 1992 marathon at Barcelona.
Collegians Conner Mantz (Smithfield, Utah / USATF Utah) of BYU and Robert Brandt (Pasadena, California / USATF Southern California) of Georgetown were the early leaders before 2020 Toyota USATF 15 km Championships Frank Lara (Westminster, Colorado / USATF Colorado) took the field through two miles in just under nine minutes. Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado / USATF Colorado), fourth at the marathon Trials last year and an agonizing three seconds short of qualifying for the Games in that event, moved to the front for a couple laps and then yielded to Emmanuel Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado / USATF Colorado), who traded the duties with Lara. Gonzaga’s James Mwaura (Spokane, Washington / USATF Pacific Northwest) led for several laps along with Brandt, but it was inevitable that the men with the Games standard would prevail, and Fisher led that charge with two to go. Ben True (West Lebanon, New Hampshire / USATF New England), 35, was trying to make his first Olympic team after twice running the 5,000m at the World Championships, but had to settle for fourth in 27:58.88. Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon / USATF Oregon), the marathon Trials winner and an eight-time U.S. 10,000m champion who won the 2016 Trials, was sixth.

Women’s 1,500m 1st round

All three heats of the women’s 1,500m followed a similar pattern with a conservative early pace and a mad dash over the final 300m. A group of seven women in the first heat came off the final turn all within striking distance of one of the six automatic qualifying spots for the semifinal. Nikki Hiltz (San Diego, California / USATF San Diego-Imperial) on the outside and Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) on the inside were the fastest over the final 50m, with Simpson taking first in 4:11.34 and Hiltz second in 4:11.42.
Heat two went much the same way, with nine women in contention before Dani Aragon (Sleepy Hollow, New York / USATF New York) closed fastest to win in 4:13.34, a step ahead of Dani Jones (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) and Sarah Lancaster (Austin, Texas / USATF Texas Southern), the former collegiate basketball and tennis player who came into 2021 with a best of only 4:16.70 and has improved to 4:05.55. American indoor mile record-holder Elle Purrier (Brighton, Massachusetts / USATF New England) was just in front at the end of the final heat, clocking 4:11.78. Heather MacLean (Brighton, Massachusetts / USATF New England) was second in 4:11.85, and Cory McGee (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) was a hundredth behind her.

Men’s Hammer qualifying

Defending Trials champion Rudy Winkler (Ithaca, New York / USATF New York) continued his streak of stellar throwing in the qualifying round of the men’s hammer, moving to No. 3 on the all-time meet performer list with a 79.13m/259-7 in round two. Daniel Haugh (Marietta, Georgia / USATF Georgia) was atop the standings after flight one after a 77.43m/254-0 effort, while Alex Young (LaVergne, Tennessee / USATF Pacific) also went past 250-feet with a 77.09m/252-11. Sean Donnelly (Chula Vista, California / USATF Inland Northwest), one of five U.S. men who had achieved the Tokyo qualifying standard, had three fouls and did not advance.

Women’s 400m 1st round

Showing poise befitting the most decorated American woman in track and field history, Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California / USATF Southern California) ran a controlled race in heat one of the women’s 400m and won with a 50.99 ahead of Jessica Beard’s (Ocoee, Florida / USATF Florida) 51.10. Behind those two, Jaide Stepter-Baynes (Los Alamitos, California / USATF Southern California) had a season-best 51.20 and NaAsha Robinson (Huntsville, Alabama / USATF Alabama) notched a lifetime best 51.30, both achieving the Tokyo standard. Quanera Hayes (Hope Mills, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina), the fastest woman in 2021 in this field, went out quickly in heat two and established a big lead but had to put on another little burst of speed in the final 10m to assure her of the win in 52.34 in front of a quick-finishing Taylor Manson (Gainesville, Florida / USATF Florida) of Florida.
Team USATF’s top finisher at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Wadeline Jonathas (West Columbia, South Carolina / USATF South Carolina) bided her time in lane two as Lynna Irby (Indianapolis, Indiana / USATF Indiana) took the pace out very quickly on the outside. Jonathas took over the lead off the final turn and won in a season-best 50.64, with Irby second in 50.91. Kaylin Whitney (Clermont, Florida / USATF Florida) set a personal best of 50.94 in third. The final section saw Kendall Ellis (North Hollywood, California / USATF Southern California) win comfortably in 51.02. Collegians Shae Anderson (Norco, California / USATF Southern California) of UCLA and Talitha Diggs (Hellertown, Pennsylvania / USATF Mid-Atlantic), the Florida freshman who is the daughter of Olympian Joetta Clark-Diggs, were second and third.

Men’s 400m 1st round

North Carolina A&T’s Trevor Stewart (Spotsylvania, Virginia / USATF Virginia) finished behind Noah Williams (Hilton, New York / USATF Niagara) of LSU at the NCAA Championships last week, but he reversed that order in the first heat by sprinting away from the field to win in 44.75. Williams was second in 45.21 and 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalist Justin Robinson (St. Louis, Missouri / USATF Ozark), still just 19 years old, was third. World Championships mixed 4x400m relay gold medalist Michael Cherry (Inglewood, California / USATF Southern California) looked confident and in control at the front of heat two, strolling across the line in 44.86, almost a half-second ahead of runner-up Ryan Willie (Baltimore, Maryland / USATF Potomac Valley), a Florida freshman. NCAA silver medalist Bryce Deadmon (Houston, Texas / USATF Gulf) of Texas A&M took the third auto qualifying spot.
Georgia’s Elija Godwin (Athens, Georgia / USATF Georgia), always a fast starter, took off quickly and was never challenged on his way to a 44.81, several strides ahead of Michael Norman’s (Sherman Oaks, California / USATF Southern California) 45.18 runner-up effort and Nathan Strother (Lexington, Kentucky / USATF Kentucky) came through to take third in 45.44. 2019 World Championships 4x400m relay gold medalist Wil London (Waco, Texas / USATF Southwestern) edged Vernon Norwood by the slimmest of margins in the final heat, .007 ahead as both men clocked 45.46. NCAA champion Randolph Ross (Burlington, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) had to make a mad dash over the final 100m to secure third and an automatic berth in the semis. 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia / USATF Virginia) was the final time qualifier with his 45.81 in heat two.

Women’s Discus qualifying

After an opening round foul, American record holder Valarie Allman (Austin, Texas / USATF New York) drove the discus out to 70.01m/229-2, the second-farthest throw in U.S. history and an Olympic Trials record. It was also the best throw ever in a qualifying round, topping the 69.67m by Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic in 2017. Rachel Dincoff (Las Cruces, New Mexico / USATF New Mexico), the second-ranked American this year, matched that position with her 61.63m/202-2, and former American record holder Gia Lewis-Smallwood (Alexis, Illinois / USATF New York) had the third-best throw of the day at 60.94m/199-11. One notable casualty was NCAA silver medalist Laulauga Tausaga (Lawrence, Kansas / USATF Missouri Valley), who had three fouls.

Men’s 800m 1st round

A slowish opening lap left seven men with very little between them, including 2019 World Championships fourth-placer Bryce Hoppel (Midland, Texas / USATF Missouri Valley). Hoppel and Abraham Alvarado (Smyrna, Georgia / USATF Georgia) moved slightly ahead into the last straight, and Alvarado crossed the line first in 1:48.35. Hoppel was .03 back and Shane Streich (Janesville, Minnesota / USATF Minnesota) took the third automatic berth by four-thousandths of a second over Samuel Voelz (New Palestine, Indiana / USATF Indiana). On the heels of the very experienced Erik Sowinski (Iowa City, Iowa / USATF Iowa) through much of the first 600m in heat two, American record holder and world champion Donavan Brazier (Grand Rapids, Michigan / USATF Oregon) had a real fight on his hands coming to the finish but held off Brannon Kidder (Seattle, Washington / USATF Pacific Northwest) and Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine / USATF Maine) to win in 1:45.00. Kidder was second in 1:45.06, with Harris third in 1:45.25. Sowinski was fourth in 1:45.47 to grab a time qualifier slot in the semis.
Pace slowed down again in the third heat and Michael Rhoads (Colorado Springs, Colorado / USATF Colorado) of the Air Force took advantage to grab the top spot in 1:48.64, while two collegians -- Sean Dolan of Villanova and Texas A&M’s NCAA silver medalist Brandon Miller (Cinnaminsin, New Jersey / USATF New Jersey) -- took the next two places. A matchup of NCAA champion Isaiah Jewett (Inglewood, California / USATF Southern California) of USC and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy (Pepper Pike, Ohio / USATF Lake Erie) in section four saw Jewett lead through 400m in 54.32, the slowest of all the heats, and those two men ran negative splits to speed up on the final lap and finish 1-2 with Jewett clocking 1:47.83, .01 up on Murphy. Jonah Koech (Colorado Springs, Colorado / USATF Colorado) snagged third in 1:47.92.

Women’s High Jump qualifying

It took 1.87m/6-1.5 to advance to the final and seven of the 12 women who cleared that did so without any misses. Outdoor world leader Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada / USATF Nevada) took only one attempt overall and will be joined in the final by NCAA champion Rachel Glenn (Long Beach, California / USATF Southern California) of South Carolina and Rachel McCoy (Austin, Texas / USATF Texas Southern), among others, but Jelena Rowe (Las Vegas, Nevada / USATF Nevada), one of three American women who have the Tokyo standard, missed three times at her opening height of 1.82m/5-11.5 and did not advance.

Women’s 5,000m 1st round

Part of the one of the most moving stories at Rio in 2016 after she got tangled and fell in the heats of the 5,000m and ended up with a torn ACL, Abbey Cooper (Boone, North Carolina / USATF New England) needed to achieve the Tokyo standard in either the first round or the final here to have a hope of a return trip to the Games. Cooper started to pull away from the field in heat one as they passed 3,000m in just under 9:12 and continued to build a lead with a rapid pace. She covered the final lap in 68.93 to stop the clock at 15:07.80 to better the Games standard of 15:10.00 and win her heat by almost 16 seconds.
Lauren Paquette (Memphis, Tennessee / USATF Arizona)) took over pacing duties early on in the second section, carrying the field through 3,000m in 9:20.43, slower than Cooper’s pace in the first heat but much more closely grouped. With just over a lap to go, Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa / USATF Oregon), the second-fastest woman in U.S. history, moved up on Paquette’s shoulder along with Josette Norris (Tenafly, New Jersey / USATF New England), the fastest American in 2021, plus Elise Cranny (Beaverton, Oregon / USATF Oregon) and Elly Henes (Morrisville, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina). Norris claimed the win in 15:32.58, .05 ahead of Schweizer with Cranny and Henes just behind. Vanessa Fraser (Beaverton, Oregon / USATF Oregon) nabbed the fifth automatic slot in the final.

Women’s 100m 1st round

Gabby Thomas (Austin, Texas / USATF Texas Southern) and Aleia Hobbs (Baton Rouge, Louisiana / USATF Southern) were side-by-side in the first heat, with Dezerea Bryant (Ocoee, Florida / USATF Florida) to her traditional explosive start, and Thomas edged slightly ahead at the line to record a lifetime best 11.00. Hobbs was second in 11.04, and Bryant had a season-best 11.09 in third. Picking up right where she left off last week while winning the NCAA sprint double, Cambrea Sturgis (Kannapolis, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) drove out of the blocks and won going away in 11.15. Jenna Prandini (Pflugerville, Texas / USATF Central California), an Olympian at 200m in 2016, was second and Tianna Bartoletta (Berkeley, California / USATF Pacific) took third to advance.
Three women were out well in heat three, and Javianne Oliver (Clermont, Florida / USATF Florida) had the edge at the end of the straight to clock a lifetime best 10.96, .03 ahead of Kayla White (Greensboro, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) and .06 up on Teahna Daniels, both of whom also set season bests. All eyes were on heat four, with American leader Sha’Carri Richardson (Dallas, Texas / USATF Texas Southern) lined up in lane five. Not a great starter, Richardson owned the second half of the race and blazed away from her competitors to pass the line in 10.84, easily the fastest time of the day. Mikiah Brisco (Baton Rouge, Louisiana / USATF Southern) was second to move on, and English Gardner (Voorhess, New Jersey / USATF New Jersey), who has a restaurant named after her in the new Hayward Field, took third to advance.

Women’s Triple Jump qualifying

American record holder Keturah Orji (Athens, Georgia / USATF Georgia) and the other two U.S. women with the Tokyo standard easily advanced to the final, led by Orji’s 14.29m/46-10.75 in round two. Jasmine Moore (Atlanta, Georgia / USATF Georgia), the Georgia freshman who was the NCAA silver medalist, bounded 14.04m/46-0.75 to rank second, and former American record holder Tori Franklin (East Lansing, Michigan / USATF New York) only required two jumps to assure herself of a spot in the final, spanning 13.84m/45-5.
See full results here. Day 2 of competition begins at 1pm PT with the men’s decathlon 100m. Click here to view the streaming / broadcast schedule.
Fans can follow #TrackFieldTrials21 and #JourneyToGold on social media via USATF’s accounts on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

Two additional COVID-19 positives at U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials

One athlete and one non-participant have returned positive results for COVID-19 in the pre-event testing protocols leading up to the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials. Both people who tested positive were asymptomatic and fully vaccinated. Both individuals were immediately placed into the isolation protocol. Contact tracing was performed and no additional Olympic Trials participants were affected.
USATF engaged Premier Medical Group (PMG) who estimated 12,000 tests will be completed over the 13-day period.

USATF Statistician / USATF Communications

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