Noah Lyles wins U.S. title on final competitive day at Track Nationals
Ajee Wilson and Athing Mu cross the finish line in the women’s 800 meter final during the USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on June 26, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.
In the women’s 800 meters, Athing Mu got ahead of the field early, as she does. Then, 40 meters from the end, Ajee Wilson passed her.
Wilson’s push marked a real test for Mu, the 20-year-old reigning Olympic champion. And she answered. The New Jersey native again took the lead in the final 10 yards to claim the US title in one of the most competitive events of the weekend, winning in 1:57.16.
Wilson, a two-time world championship medalist, was second in a season-best 1:57.23, followed by Tokyo Olympic bronze Raevyn Rogers in a season-best 1:57.96. All three are expected to be medal favorites next month.
Last year, Chase Ealey missed her first Olympic team when she finished fifth in a women’s shot put field at the Olympic Trials, also at Hayward Field. She has since won a silver medal at the world indoor championships and all six outdoor events she has entered this year, including the national championships.
Her winning throw of 20.51 meters on Sunday not only set a meet record and a personal best, but also put her in the driver’s seat ahead of the world championships with the best mark of the year so far. now. 2020 Olympian Adelaide Aquilla was second at 19.45 meters followed by Jessica Woodard at 19.40, a personal best. Tokyo silver medalist Raven Saunders threw a season best 18.95 but just missed out on the world championships, finishing fourth.
Rai Benjamin cleared the final hurdle and got so far off the field that he was able to stretch out his arms in celebration after comfortably winning his third straight U.S. title in the men’s 400-meter hurdles.
The reigning world and Olympic silver medalist in this event, Benjamin won in a world record 47.04 seconds. Trevor Bassitt was second in 47.47, followed by Khallifeh Rosser in 47.65. Bassitt and Rosser posted personal bests.
“I knew it was going to be fast today, so I wanted to make sure I got out there enough to get enough when I got home,” Benjamin said. “That was my goal today.”
The rematch between Benjamin and Norway’s Karsten Warholm will be one of the most anticipated races in the world championships. Warholm, reigning world champion and Olympic champion, is the only man in history to have run faster than Benjamin.
Daniel Roberts won the other hurdles event on Sunday, winning the men’s 110-metre event in a season-best 13.03 seconds. Trey Cunningham was second in 13.08, followed by Devon Allen in 13.09.
Allen, a runner-up in the event at the last two Olympics, was a wide receiver for the University of Oregon before quitting the sport to focus on hurdles. He has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for this fall, but he will first seek a world title on his college track. Allen holds the world best time this year at 12.84. No other male high hurdler this season has broken the 13-second mark in 2022.
Don’t count Emma Coburn yet.
After unusual difficulties in Tokyo and a slow start to the season, the 31-
showed she’s still the world’s best in the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase, posting a season-best 9:10.63 on Sunday.
After winning the Olympic bronze medal in 2016, Coburn won the world title the following year and won the silver medal at the 2019 world championships. Again considered a favorite for medals at the Tokyo Games, Coburn was off to the start, crossing the finish line in 14th place. However, she was later disqualified for going out of bounds.
When it really mattered this weekend, however, she was back to her best. The Colorado native pulled a wide gap in the stretch to win her 10th US title – and the eighth in a row. BYU’s defending NCAA champion Courtney Wayment was second in 9:12.10, followed by Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Courtney Frerichs with a season-best 9:16.18.
Three women finished within a second of each other in the 5,000m, which opened the day. Elise Cranny held off her Olympic teammate Karissa Schweizer, 15:49.15 to 15:49.32. Emily Infeld, a 2016 Olympian and former world championship medalist in the 10km, was third in 15:49.42. Schweizer already qualified for the world championships as the US 10k champion last month.
Tokyo Olympic teammates Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid also finished 1-2 in the men’s 5k. Fisher broke away from the field with four laps to go and won a meet-best 13:03.86, followed by Kincaid with a season-best 13:06.70. Abdihamid Nur took third place in 13:08.63. 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Paul Chelimo finished 11th.
Olympian Bryce Hoppel led much of the men’s 800 meters and won the US title with a season best time of 1:44.60. Jonah Koech, a member of the US Army’s World Class Athlete Program, was second in a personal best time of 1:44.74, followed by Texas A&M runner Brandon Miller at 1:45.19.
Two-time Olympian Clayton Murphy, a bronze medalist in 2016, narrowly missed out on the world championship team, finishing 0.03 behind Miller.
In the men’s triple jump, Olympian Donald Scott won his third U.S. title with a season-best 17.07 meters, which held off longtime stalwart Will Claye, who jumped a season-best 16. .93. Claye, 31, has won a medal in the triple jump at each of the past three Olympics as well as four world championships.
Claye’s teammate, Christian Taylor, a two-time Olympic champion and four-time world champion, often kept Claye from reaching the top spot on the podium.
Taylor missed a chance to win another Olympic title last year when he ruptured his Achilles tendon before the Games. Now well into his comeback this year, Taylor finished fifth on Sunday, but he has a bye to the world championships and the defending champion.
Shelby McEwen won the men’s high jump clearing 2.33 metres, equaling his personal best and meeting the world championship standard. Fellow Olympian JuVaughn Harrison is also heading to the world championships after clearing a season best 2.30 metres. Both reached the final last summer in Tokyo.
In the women’s 200 meters, defending NCAA champion Abby Steiner of Kentucky won with a record time of 21.77, which was also a personal best. She edged out Tamara Clark (21.92) and Olympian Jenna Prandini (22.01) to complete the Olympic team.
Ethan Dabbs, the NCAA finalist representing the University of Virginia, won the men’s javelin on his final throw at 81.29 yards. However, he does not yet have the standard of the world championships.