Fred Kerley and Melissa Jefferson win the 100m at Trials

Fred Kerley and Melissa Jefferson win the 100m at Trials

He speaks little, but he runs fast and well. The Texan Fred Kerley (27) flew over the 100m of these Trials, showing over the laps all his confidence and power. The bronze medalist of the 2019 Worlds in the 400m, passed over shorter distances with certain success since he is Olympic vice-champion in the 100m, had started Thursday by establishing in series the best world performance of the year in 9 ”83. This Friday, in the semi-finals, he did even better, setting a new personal best at the same time as a new sprint of 9”76 (+1.4 m/s), making him the sixth performer of all the times, up to his compatriots Trayvon Bromell and Christian Coleman.

In the final, Fred Kerley again produced a strong impression of control and power to win in 9”77 (+1.8 m/s) ahead of Marvin Bracy-Williams (9”85) and Trayvon Bromell (9 ”88), two sparring partners in Jacksonville under Rana Reider. “Something special is going to happen in three weeks at the Worlds, ensures the winner of the day, who will also line up in the 200m. Special I tell you! I train well, regularly, and I listen to my body. The speed comes at the right time, when everyone is collapsing, I pass. I don’t know if I sent a message to others here, I just know what I need to do to get where I want to go. » As for Christian Coleman, he did not take part in the final to save himself for the 200m but the 100m world champion benefits from automatic qualification for this event at the Eugene Worlds. (July 15-24). All finalists ran in less than 10 seconds.

The Melissa Jefferson Surprise

The day after the unexpected elimination of favorite Sha’Carri Richardson from the playoffs, the 100m semi-finals were initially so fast that it took 10”96 to climb on time in the final (Brittany Brown even ahead of Teahna Daniels, 10”96 too, for… a thousandth). Best time of the day (10”81) before the last act, Aleia Hobbs started with good chances but she could not do better than second in the Final in 10”72, beaten by the surprising Melissa Jefferson (10′ ’69, +2.9m/s).

The 21-year-old student from Coastal Carolina (South Carolina) finished remarkably well and will therefore represent the United States at the Worlds with Hobbs and Twanisha Terry, 3rd in 10”74. “To see such a time is crazy, she smiled after her run. I thought I would be able to do it one day, but from there to succeeding here… I’m used to chaining races quickly, that’s a lot in university. So between the semi and the final, barely an hour, I just did a little massage and followed my usual routine. »

University champion in the 60m this winter, Jefferson finished eighth in the 100m final of the NCAA Championships two weeks ago, already in Eugene. And in the semi-finals this Friday, she brought her personal best to 10”82. Here she is as a possible outsider for the Worlds? “We can see things like that, I wanted to join the selection for these Worlds, and not just in relay, she continues. You have to have confidence, and this victory will give it to me. »

Even if the conditions were too windy for the times to be approved, note that six athletes ran this final in less than 10”90.

Crouser, a peak of regularity

The world record holder in weight (23.37 m, already last year in Eugene during the Trials) Ryan Crouser has not gone far from further pushing back the limits of his discipline. Winner with 23.12m, best world performance of the year and fourth all time…behind three other of his jets, he was amazingly consistent, with only one attempt not measured. Others ? 22.42m; 23.01m; 23.11m and 22.98m. What provoke each time the murmurs of admiration of the public of Hayward Field, far from being filled in spite of the quality of the program. Second, Joe Kovacs threw at 22.87m and third is Josh Awotunde (21.51m).

On the discus, Olympic champion Valarie Allman unsurprisingly dominated the competition with a best throw of 66.92m, ahead of Laulauga Tausaga-Collins (64.49m) and Rachel Dincoff (62.14m).

Pole vault world vice-champion Sandi Morris won the national title with 4.82m, the best world performance of the year, ahead of Alina Mc Donald (4.65m) and Katie Nageotte (4.65m). ). Success at the height of Vashti Cunningham with 1.93m, Rachel Glenn and Rachel McCoy completing the podium with 1.90m each.

Winner last year of the Trials in both length and height, JuVaughn Harrison was not as inspired on Friday. He had to settle for 7.86 m (11th place), while the title was won by Rayvon Gray (8.19 m, + 0.6 m/s) ahead of Steffin Mc Carter (8.15 m, – 0.4 m/s) and Jeremiah Davis (8.11 m, + 2 m/s). Below the minima for the Worlds (8.22 m).

In the 400m, Allyson Felix, 4th in his semi-final in 51”32, qualified on time for the final, a good scenario for his 21st and last appearance at the United States Championships, at 36 years old.

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