Ali Makes U.S. Olympic Team In the 100m Hurdles|
July 8, 2016
Nia Ali made the U.S. Olympic Team in the 100m hurdles, Jaide Stepter and Dalilah Muhammad advanced to the 400m IH final, Michael Norman to the 200m final and Aleec Harris, Ryan Wilson, Allyson Felix and Deanna Hill advanced to event semifinals during a steady rain at the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today (July 8).
Ali (USC, 2011), the 2011 NCAA outdoor 100m HH champion and two-time world indoor champion in the 60m HH, placed third in the women’s 100m HH finals to qualify for her first Olympic Team. Ali had a time of 12.55 (+1.2) to take third in a tight final in which 0.1 seconds separated the second-fifth-place finishers. Ali advanced to the final by running 12.68 (-1.0) to take second in her semifinals heat earlier in the day, which was the second-fastest time among the qualifiers for the final. Ali had also run 12.68 in the prelims on July 7.
Harris (USC, 2014) ran in the second heat of the men’s 110m HH prelims and placed second with a time of 13.61 (-1.6), with the top three of each heat and the next six-fastest times advancing to tomorrow’s semifinals. Logan Taylor (USC, 2008) placed sixth in the same heat with a time of 13.81 (-1.6) and held the final advancing spot until the last heat, but finished two positions out in 20th. Wilson (USC, 2003), a 2013 silver medalist at the World Championships, took third in the third heat with a time of 13.72 (-1.8) to also automatically advance.
Felix (USC, 2008) cruised to victory with a time of 22.93 (-0.3) in the second of six women’s 200m heats to automatically advance to tomorrow’s semifinal, posting the fifth-fastest qualifying time. The top three in each heat and the next three best times would move on in the event. Alexis Faulknor (USC, 2016) led the third heat for awhile, but was tracked down and finished fourth with a season-best time of 23.65 (-0.2). That time was already a non-qualifier and she finished 31st overall. Hill (USC, 2018) then took third in the fifth heat to automatically advance. She posted a time of 23.04 (+2.2w) which was 13th among the qualifiers for the semifinals.
Stepter (USC, 2016) qualified for the women’s 400m IH final on Sunday by storming from behind to take fourth in the first of two semifinals heats. Stepter got out slow and came from well behind to run down the field and take the final automatic qualifying position. One of the athletes she passed along the way was incoming freshman Anna Cockrell (USC, 2020) who placed sixth in the heat with a time of 56.51. Cockrell finished 11th overall at the USA Olympic Trials before even attending her first college class. Muhammad (USC, 2012) then dominated the second heat, winning with the fastest time on the day of 54.14. The biggest surprise in the heat was that the world-leader and reigning three-time NCAA champion Shamier Little placed fifth and did not advance. Yesterday, Little was defeated in the qualifying round by Stepter, snapping a streak of 14 consecutive wins for her at Hayward Field.
The incoming freshman Norman (USC, 2020) won the first of three men’s 200m semifinals with a time of 20.21 (-1.1) to automatically advance to tomorrow’s final. Norman edged four-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin, who took second in the heat with a time of 20.23 (-1.1). Norman’s time ended up fourth among the qualifiers for the final, despite running the only heat with a negative wind.
Things did not go so well in a strange men’s high jump qualifying round which featured Jesse Williams (USC, 2006) and Randall Cunningham (USC, 2018). Williams, a two-time Olympian, a two-time NCAA indoor and outdoor champion and 2011 world champion, and Cunningham, the 2016 NCAA outdoor champion, both went out at the first height of 7-0.25 (2.14m). Surprisingly that beginning height eliminated 12 of the 26 jumpers, with five competitors clearing the height on their final attempt. Since the field was whittled down to 14 at that point with five tied for 10th, they were all advanced to Sunday’s final. Competing at the exact same venue minus the constant rain, Cunningham won the NCAA high jump title by clearing five heights cleanly through 7-4.50 (2.25m) on June 10.