EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Olympic silver medalist Fred Kerley waves a peace sign to the crowd after winning the 100 meters at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday night.
Kerley crossed the line in 9.77 seconds, followed by Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell. All three have earned spots on Team USA for the World Outdoor Championships in Eugene next month.
“It’s about patience and practice, and doing what I have to do,” Kerley said after taking selfies with fans.
Coastal Carolina’s Melissa Jefferson, who finished eighth in the 100 at this year’s NCAA outdoor championships, edged out Aleia Hobbs for the women’s national title.
World record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser won the shot put at 75 feet 10 1/4 inches (23.12 meters). Joe Kovaks, already assured of a world championship spot as defending champion, finished second.
Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in track history, cleared the final 40 meters of her 400m semi-final but did not finish in the top three and had to wait to see how her time would hold. In the end, she reached the last Sunday.
“I just appreciate all the support and all the love,” she said.
The athletes were greeted by temperatures in the 80s and windy conditions at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. The top three finishers in each event will make the U.S. team at the world championships in athletics, the most prestigious international event outside of the Olympics.
Earlier in the evening, Kerley ran the 100 semi-finals with a world and personal best of 9.76 seconds. It was also a meeting record. Bromell clocked the second-fastest time in the semifinals, at 9.81.
Bromell won the 100m at the US Olympic Trials in Hayward last summer. He was expected to do well in Tokyo, but he failed to qualify for the Olympic final.
Christian Coleman was knocked out at the end of the race, but he already has a place at the world championships as defending champion in Doha in 2019.
Hobbs, who won the 2018 NCAA Outdoor 100 title as well as the national championship that year, posted the best time in the semifinals earlier in the day with a personal best 10.81.
But Jefferson, who just finished his junior year at Coastal Carolina, pushed to the finish to win the final in 10.69 (2.9 wind), ahead of Hobbs in 10.72. Twanisha Terry finished third to complete the world team.
“I did the job that I had to do at the NCAA. And I realized that you had to sacrifice for each other. If I had done well at the NCAA, I might not have been here right now,” Jefferson said. “So grateful.”
The field for the 100 was narrowed Thursday night in the first round when Sha’Carri Richardson failed to qualify.
Richardson was considered a favorite in the 100m after winning the event at the Olympic trials last year. But she was not part of the team sent to Tokyo because she tested positive for marijuana. She had run promising times leading to Nationals, but couldn’t get out of heats.
Richardson is also entered in the 200m, so she still has a chance to make the world championship team. The heats for this event take place on Saturday, with the final set for Sunday.
Sydney McLaughlin, world record holder and Olympic gold medalist in the 400 hurdles, easily qualified for Saturday’s final in the event. Her husband, former NFL player Andre Levrone Jr., was on hand to cheer her on.
“It’s been a great season, I feel good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” she said after finishing first in the semi-finals by a wide margin.
Vashti Cunningham, daughter of former NFL star Randall Cunningham, won the high jump, while world record holder Sandi Morris won the pole vault. Valarie Allman, who won gold at the Tokyo Games, won the discus. On the men’s side, Rayvon Gray of LSU won the long jump.
The world championships will also take place at Hayward Field, starting July 15.
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