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Upsets and Breakthroughs on Final Day of USA Outdoor Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - The final day of the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field was filled with numerous upsets and breakthrough performances as Ryan Wilson won the men’s 110m hurdles to make his first international team, Riley Dolezal unleashed a monstrous personal best in the men’s javelin, and Dalilah Muhammad took half a second off of her best to win the women’s 400m hurdles.

Long one of the world’s top-ranked 110m hurdlers, Wilson (Westerville, Ohio) made his first international team with a 13.08 win to turn back former American record holder David Oliver (Denver, Colo.) and Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt (Atlanta, Ga.). Oliver finished well to clock 13.11, with Merritt edging reigning World champion Jason Richardson (Cedar Hill, Texas) 13.23-13.24 for third. Richardson has the automatic by for Moscow, so the U.S. will send a squad four-deep to the World championships.

Dolezal (Stanley, N.D.) hit the World Championship A standard on the nose in the fourth stanza with a winning mark of 83.50m/273-11, improving his pre-meet PR by over 30 feet. The 27-year-old Dolezal, who competed for North Dakota State, recorded his previous career best of 74.22/243-6 to win the Drake Relays here in Des Moines during April. Sam Humphreys (Laredo, Texas), the 2012 Olympic Trials and 2013 NCAA winner, finished second with a 83.14m/272-9 after briefly holding the lead with an opening throw of 81.82m/268-5 in flight two. In third place was Sean Furey (San Diego, Calif), who broke a tie with Barry Krammes (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) with a better second mark as both had a 77.36m/253-10. Furey bettered Krammes by 10 feet on their second best marks. Donlezal with the A and Humphreys with the B are guaranteed spots on the World team, while Krammes will have to chase the A standard to make the squad.

2007 World Youth champion Dalilah Muhammad (Bayside, N.Y.) sliced a half-second off her previous personal best to claim her first national title in the women’s 400m hurdles, running strongly through the final three barriers to finish at 53.83 and edge Olympic fifth-placer Georganne Moline (Phoenix, Ariz.), who grabbed second at 53.88. Last year’s Trials seventh-place finisher Christine Spence (Lee's Summit, Mo.) ran her second-fastest time ever to take third at 54.56. The top three women will join reigning World champion Lashinda Demus in Moscow.

LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan (Katy, Texas) became the first collegian since UCLA’s Evelyn Ashford in 1978 to do the double in the women’s 200m, adding the U.S. title to her NCAA win two weeks ago with a windy 21.80 that powered her past reigning Olympic champion Allyson Felix (Los Angeles). Felix had a slowish start and recovered well to clock 21.85 for second, with Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.)  taking third in 22.15, .01 ahead of Texas A&M’s Kamaria Brown. Duncan, Felix and Tarmoh have the IAAF A standard and will represent Team USA at the World championships.

Duane Solomon (Los Angeles, Calif.) led from the gun and created a lead that five-time consecutive 800m champion Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.) was not able to match. With Solomon out front, Symmonds unleashed his signature kick on the backstretch to move from 8th to 4th. Symmonds battled his way through the field to move to second, but was unable to catch Solomon who rossed the line in 1:43.27. Symmonds was the runner-up in 1:43.70. Former 400m hurdler, and World junior silver medalist Brandon Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished third in 1:43.97 to make his first international championship in the 800m.

Alysia Montano (Canyon Country, Calif.) bolted to the lead from the start of the women’s 800m final and quickly created a 15 meter lead over the rest of the field. Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) led the chase pack and began to close the gap with 250 meters remaining. Coming down the homestretch, Martinez was quickly closing on Montano, but it was Montano who crossed the line first in 1:58.67 to win her fifth USA Outdoor title. Martinez was second in 1:58.78, with 19-year-old Ajee Wilson (Neptune, N.J.) third in 1:59.55 to attain the IAAF A standard. The top three women will represent Team USA in Moscow.

World indoor champion Ryan Whiting (Harrisburg, Pa.) set the bar high early in the men’s shot put competition, lofting the ball 22.11m/72-6.5 in the third round for a lead he would not relinquish. Reigning world champ Reese Hoffa (Atlanta, Ga.), who has a wildcard berth for Moscow, had his best effort in the fourth round with a toss of 21.34m/70-0.25 to place second, and unheralded Zack Lloyd (Redding, Calif.) claimed his first international team spot with a lifetime-best of 21.09m/69-2.5 in the final round to finish third. 2008 NCAA champion Cory Martin (Bloomington, Ind.) will also make the trip to Moscow after placing fourth at 20.67m/67-9.75.

Double American record holder and reigning Olympic champion Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, N.Y.) had an early miss at her opening height of 4.55m/14-11 and took two attempts to make 4.70m/15-5, but that was enough to give her her seventh outdoor national title and 14th overall. Suhr took three attempts at an outdoor American record of 4.93m/16-2, but was unable to clear the bar. Kylie Hutson (Terre Haute, Ind.) and Becky Holliday (Penryn, Calif.) will join Suhr on the Worlds squad, with Hutson second at 4.60m/15-1 and Holliday third at 4.55m/14-11. Suhr and Hutson have the IAAF A standard, and Holliday has the B standard to round out the Team USA squad for Moscow.

Reigning 1500m world champion Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colo.) moved up in distance to the 5,000m to win her third USA Outdoor national title. Simpson now owns U.S. titles at five different distances - 1500m indoor, mile indoor, 3,000m indoor, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m. Simpson ran with the lead pack throughout the race and moved into the lead clearly with 100 meters to go to cross the line in 15:33.77. 5,000m American record holder Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) took second in 15:35.45, with yesterday’s 4th placer in the 1500m Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) taking third in 15:37.27 ahead of 4th placer Kim Conley (Santa Rosa, Calif.)  in 15:37.80. Simpson has an automatic bye in the 1500m, Huddle has the A standard, Rowbury has the B standard and Conley has the A standard. If Simpson elects not to run the 5,000m at the World Championships, Huddle, Rowbury and Conley will represent the U.S. team.

2007 world champion Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.) blasted off the curve in the men’s 200 and was never really challenged as he recorded the fastest time in the world this year with a 19.74 that confirmed him as a medal threat in Moscow. Olympic semi-finalist Isiah Young (Junction City, Kan.) of Ole Miss, the NCAA runner-up two weeks ago, knocked .34 off his lifetime best to clock 19.86 in second, and former Texas A&M start Curtis Mitchell (Daytona Beach, Fla.) also matched his PR with his 19.99 in third.

American record holder Evan Jager (Portland, Ore.) repeated his success from the 2012 Olympic Trials as he ran to the win in the 3,000m steeplechase. Jager moved into the lead with three laps remaining and crossed the line in 8:20.67 to set a new Drake Stadium record. Dan Huling (Columbus, Ohio) finished second to make his third World Championship team. Former Indiana standout De’Sean Turner (Indianapolis, Ind.) took third in 8:25.56 to attain the IAAF A standard and claim the final spot for the U.S. in Moscow.

Gia Lewis-Smallwood (Champaign, Ill.)  is enjoying the best year of her career as recorded the third farthest throw of her life on her first attempt, a 65.13m/213-8 effort that clinched her second World Championships berth. Unheralded Whitney Ashley (Moreno Valley, Calif.), who won the NCAA title for San Diego State in 2012 here, also nabbed her first spot on an international team with a 61.19m/200-9 in second, and last year’s Olympic Trials fifth-placer Liz Podominick (Lakeville, Minn.) will make it a U.S. trio in Moscow after finishing third at 60.69m/199-1.

In his first meet as a professional, Olympic high jump silver medalist Erik Kynard (Toledo, Ohio) cleared 2.28m/7-5.75 on his first attempt to win his first U.S. title, with Dusty Jonas (LaVernia, Texas) taking second based on clearing that height on his second attempt. Ronnie Black (Newport News, Va.) of Virginia Tech and Montez Blair (Erial, N.J.) tied for third at 2.25m/7-4.5, and Blair won the administrative jump-off at 2.20m/7-2.5 to gain the ability to chase a qualifying mark for Moscow.

Oh what a tangled web the men’s long jump weaved. Coming into the competition, only Marquis Dendy (Middleton, Del.) had the A standard, with Dwight Phillips (Atlanta, Ga.) assured a spot on the Moscow team by virtue of his wildcard. Dendy opened as the leader with an 8.10m/26-7 in the first round before Ron Taylor (Mesa, Ariz.) moved ahead in round two with a windy 8.13m/26-8.25. Last year’s Trials surprise, George Kitchens (Hephzibah, Ga.), uncorked a windy 8.23m/27-0 effort in the third stanza to take the lead for good, and the scramble for the placings began in earnest. Stillman’s Jeff Henderson (North Little Rock, Ark.) popped a lifetime-best 8.22/26-11.75 in round five to grab second, and after Ohio State’s Mike Hartfield (Manchester, Conn.) leaped 8.13m/26-8.25 on his final try, Taylor responded with an 8.14m/26-8.5 to snatch the third spot with an opportunity to chase the Moscow A.

After opening with a pedestrian pace, the men’s 5,000m turned into a 1600m meter race for the win as Ben True (Hanover, N.H.) surged to the front. True’s move started the race in earnest and he held his position for more than 800m with Bernard Lagat (Tuscon, Ariz.) and Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) trailing close behind. Rupp made his move to the front at the bell lap, but 38-year-old Lagat stormed down the homestretch to win his ninth national title in 14:54.16. Rupp finished second in 14:54.91, while former North Carolina State standout Ryan Hill (Hickory, N.C.) finished third in 14:55.16. Hill can chase the IAAF B standard for the opportunity to join Lagat and Rupp in Moscow.

Weather delays caused both race walk to be run together, starting simultaneously at 11:17 a.m. In the men’s 20,000m race walk, Tim Seaman (Long Island, N.Y.) crossed the finish line first at 1:30.13. It is Seaman’s 21st national title, and his first at the USA Outdoor Championships since 2009. The race for second came down to the finals laps, where 2012 Olympian John Nunn (Evansville, Ind.) nudged out Patrick Stroupe (Fayette, Mo.) for second in at 1:31:01.64. Stroupe picked up bronze in 1:31:08.73. Seaman will compete in the 20 km race walk in Moscow as he has the needed B standard, while Nunn previously qualified to compete in the 50 km distance.

Molly Josephs (Garden City, N.Y.) completed the course in 54:18.27. Brenda McCollum (Wichita, Kan.) placed second and Monika Farmer rounded out the top three. While not on the podium, Abby Dunn finished fourth and Brittany Collins came in fifth. The top five finishers from today will represent the USA in the USA-Canada Junior Dual Meet in Boston on August 18th.

Athlete quote from today's compeition are available here

Today’s events, seen in-stadium by a crowd of 10,003, were broadcast on Universal Sports, NBC Sports Network, NBC and as part of more than 50 hours of webcasting and nine hours of national television broadcasts. 2013 marks USATF’s most aggressive national media distribution of a national championship to date. 

The USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships conclude the 2013 USATF Championship Series. The meet also selects the athletes that will represent Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18.

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