Olympic Trials Coverage: Clark gets final spot in men's 200 finals, Wells wins first 2 100H rounds

Make sure to follow your past Virginia high school track and field stars compete for spots on the US team in the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games at the 2008 US Olympic Trials being held at University of Oregon's historic Hayward field from June 27th to July 6th in Eugene. The trials will be broadcasted on the USA Network and NBC throughout the week.

USATF Start Lists & Results

Day Seven Highlights (Saturday, July 5th):

M-200 Semifinals: His semifinal heat was dominated up front by a trio of potential Olympic qualifiers in Wallace Spearmon (20.05), Walter Dix (20.09), and Rodney Martin (20.04), but Charles Clark took the fourth and final spot for Sunday's men 200 finals with a 20.48 clocking to hold off the remaining athletes in the race.

M-High Jump: Menchville grad Keith Moffatt cleared a height which was good enough to place him among the top finishers at the Olympic Trials, but did not have the "A" standard to allow him to make it on the US team for Beijing. Second through fifth place all cleared 7'5.25" with Moffatt in fifth place at the height, but the final and third spot on the Olympic team went to the sixth place finisher in Dustin Jonas, who had cleared the Olympic "A" standard in an earlier meet. If Moffatt had cleared the "A" standard previously, he would have made the Olympic team before Jonas as the first three finishers with "A" standards automatically qualify for the Olympics.

W-100H Quarterfinals: Kellie Wells won her second race of the day and is positioning herself well to make a run for a spot on the Olympic team. Wells won heat 1 of 3 in 12.82 clocking, while fellow Virginians Yvette Lewis and Virginia Johnson competed in the same semifinals race and will all be moving onto the semis as well as Lewis finished third at 12.97 and Johnson took fourth at 13.11.

M-110H Prelims: One of the country's greatest hurdlers of all-time may have just competed in his final track meet as Lake Braddock product Allen Johnson was unable to finish his preliminary heat as a recent injury flared it up again today. Johnson had made plans to retire earlier in the year and finish what has been an outstanding professional career including a Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and seven U.S. national titles after this summer. Johnson's longevity in the sport has been remarkable as he has been ranked among the top 10 hurdlers in the world in the 110 meter hurdles for a 14 consecutive year span from 1993 to 2007.

W-100H Prelims: Three Virginians are moving onto the quarterfinals in the women's 100 meter hurdles as James River alum Kellie Wells won her heat in 13.02, while Menchville alum Yvette Lewis finished third in the fastest race of the four prelims with a time of 12.93. Both Lewis and Virginia Johnson just missed making the Olympic team in earlier events in the Trials with fourth place finishes from Lewis in the triple jump and Johnson in the heptathlon. Johnson, formerly known as Virginia "Gigi" Miller of Gar-Field High, advanced onto the quarterfinals with her clocking of 13.09 to place third in her heat.

M-200 Quarterfinals: Charles Clark dropped his time a little more from the prelims and finished second once again in his heat to move onto another round as the Florida State sophomore clocked in at 20.55, which is the third fastest overall in the round. Clark's heat was won by Shawn Crawford, a 2004 Olympian, who has ran the fastest times in the first two rounds. Clark competes in his third round in the last 24 hours later today with the men's 200 semifinals and will be racing for a spot among the eight who will advance onto tomorrow's finals. The injury to Tyson Gay in the 200 quarterfinals has opened up the event for others to win as well as another of three spots. A winner of five high school state championships in 2006 at Bayside High School, Clark will need to finish in the top four in a tough semifinal heat which includes the likes of Walter Dix and Wallace Spearmon.

Day Six Highlights (Friday, July 4th):

W-5K Finals: Tasmin Fanning finished in the middle of the pack in the women's 5000 meter run. Not a bad showing at all for the former Western Albemarle distance runner and current star at Virginia Tech as she finished in ninth place with a time of 15:41.05 as 16 athletes competed in the women's 5K finals.

Photo by Tim Fulton of ArmoryTrack.com

M-1500 Semis: Alan Webb will get a chance to make his second Olympic team in the 1500 after finishing in the top 6 in his semifinal heat to automatically advance onto Sunday's finals. Webb took charge and led much of the his heat taking the field through 62 at 400 meters and 2:05 at 800 meters. He made a surge to pick up the pace on the third lap but few runners were dropped after the slow first 800 meters and had to work hard to maintain his top 6 position in the final lap and ended up 5th with a time of 3:44.23. The final lap of his semifinals race indicated possibly that Webb's finishing speed is not all the way there right now and he might have to make the 1500 meter finals a fast race from the gun to thin out the field and secure his top three spot and ticket to Beijing.

W-1500 Semis: Sarah Bowman in her first Olympic Trials will be competing in the finals of the women's 1500 meter run on Sunday after securing the very final spot in her semifinal heat with a sixth place finishing time of 4:13.29. The top six finishers in each of the two semifinals advance onto the finals. Virginia's greatest high school middle distance female prep had to push in late with a strong finish as she did not move into sixth position until her final strides prior to the finish line as Mary Jane Reeves of the Oregon TC fell right before the line trying to hold off Bowman and others for the final spot in a dramatic finish for the last spot for the finals. The finals will be run at 4:05 PM PST on Sunday.

M-200 Prelims: Charles Clark rolled through his first round of the men's 200 with his Florida State teammate Walter Dix with a 20.76 clocking to finish second in his prelim heat behind teammate Dix at 20.66. Clark, a 2006 graduate of Bayside High School and two-time Nike Nationals champion in high school at 200 meters, has continued to improve at the collegiate level and will try to go as far as he can in a very deep group of American sprinters in the 200 meter dash at the Olympic Trials.

Day Five Highlights (Thursday, July 3rd):

Photo by Victah Sailer of Photorun.net

M-400 Finals - Lashawn Merritt may have said that he just wanted to first take care of business in qualifying for his first Olympic team, but the 2004 World Juniors champion certainly would by lying if he did not want to pick up an Olympic Trials title and more importantly a victory over his toughest competition in the pursuit of Olympic gold in Beijing in 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner. Running in lane six and one lane outside of Warner in lane five, Merritt got out to a great start in the first 200 meters and when the crowd expected Wariner to close the gap and move to the win in the final 100 meters, the Portsmouth, VA native kept pouring it on and pulled away from the Olympic champion in a winning time of 44.00. Merritt is the first champion from Virginia so far in the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene. His win over Wariner is the second of the season after defeating him in a June meet in Berlin. Their rivalry will resume in Beijing as the two favorites to win Olympic gold.

W-1500 Prelims - Former Fauquier High star distance runner Sarah Bowman will advance onto the semifinals of the women's 1500 meter run after finishing third in her prelim with a time of 4:17.48. Bowman, a junior at the University of Tennessee, is competing in her first Olympic Trials and earned an automatic qualifier with a 7 second PR at the NCAA Nationals in the 1500 of 4:07.50, which is equivalent to a 4:27 full mile. Also moving onto the semis is Dacia Barr, a former Virginia state high school champion in the 1000 and 800. Barr, who moved to Texas from Centreville High School prior to her junior year and now runs for the Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas, was one of the final qualifiers and last qualifier in her prelim as she finished one place ahead of another Virginia native Nikeya Green in her secton with a time of 4:19.51.

M-1500 Prelims - Alan Webb has had a quiet as well as shaky season leading up to Trials with a poor showing and DNF in two road races then two track meets prior to this week's 1500 rounds which definitely did not show the American mile record holder running anywhere close to his top form last summer. His training has been geared toward a late peak and performing his best at the Beijing Olympic Games after coming up short in end-of-season glory at the Osaka World Championships last summer. However, this week, he still needs to secure a spot on the US team with a top 3 finish at the Trials. He started off his meet on the right foot by winning his preliminary heat with the fastest qualifying time overall at 3:41.27 and looking much better than he did in his last race at Hayward Field in the Prefontaine Classic mile.

M-HJ Qualifying - Both former Virginia prepsters Keith Moffatt (Menchville) and Jerome Miller (Colonial Forge) cleared heights which will advance them onto the finals of the men's high jump. Miller cleared the opening qualifying height of 7-00.25, while Moffatt is positioned well as a contender for one of the 3 Olympic team spots as only one of eight athletes who was able to clear the opening height on his first attempt and also cleared 7-2.50.

Day Four Highlights (Monday, June 30th):

M-400 Semis - Jeremy Wariner got the edge over Lashawn Merritt in their first of two encounters at the Olympic Trials with Wariner winning their semifinal heat in 44.66, while Merritt was close by in second at 44.76 as the top two finishers from last year's World Championships in Osaka are set to battle it out for the Olympic Trials title two days from now in the 400 meter dash finals.

W-400 Semis - A hopeful to make it to the finals and challenge for an Olympic team spot, Shareese Woods was disqualified in her heat for taking multiples step outside of her lane. She initially appeared to have qualified onto the finals with a time of 51.79 and finishing third in her semifinal heat. Nonetheless, the 2003 graduate of Prince George High School has come a long way since high school as the 2003 AAA State Outdoor Champion in 56.99.

W-5000 Semis - Shalane Flanagan, Lauren Fleshman, Molly Huddle, and Tasmin Fanning. Many know of the first three outside of Virginia in the US professional and elite ranks, but few have considered the former Western Albemarle runner Fanning in the same league with those same runners. She showed she belonged though in her 5000 meter semis running with those same names down to the final 100 meters and held on for a top six finish and automatic qualifier into the finals with a time of 15:37.73. The Virginia Tech All-American distance runner continued her stellar string of races at Hayward field as a 5K win in earlier meet in Eugene this spring was coupled with a photo opportunity with then campaigning Barack Obama at the same meet following her win.

W-Steeple Semis - Dawn Cromer (formerly Dawn Cleary), a 1988 grad of Woodbridge High and former UVA star, got her final and only opportunity at an Olympic spot in the steeplechase since this will be the first Olympic Games with the women's steeplchase. Unfortunately, Cromer was unable to make it to the finals as she finished 9th in her semifinals heat in 10:21.77 at the 3K distance. Cromer who has had a successful career at an elite level in the steeplechase since 2001 in the early beginnings of the event, but will now retire from competing an elite level and focus on a career in real estate.

W-800 Finals - She may have exceeded expectations by simply making it to the finals, but the third and final round for Hayfield grad Nikeya Green was too much for her to remain competitive with a hot early pace set by the leaders as she finished last in 12th place with a time of 2:07.05. Solid week in Eugene Trials though for the 2000 AAA 800 state champion to advance on from the previous two rounds.

Day Three Highlights (Sunday, June 29th):

Photo by Victah Sailer of Photorun.net

W-400H Finals - Two of the top three finishers as well as representatives for the United States at the upcoming Olympic Games will come from the state of Virginia. Sheena Tosta (formerly Sheena Johnson) will be making a return trip to the Olympics after finishing 4th in the 2004 Athen Games. Tosta, a graduate of Gar-Field High, finished third in the finals with a time of 54.62. Meanwhile, only two years removed from her high school days at Hermitage High, Queen Harrison can now call herself an Olympian after an unexpected runner-up performance of 54.60 at the Olympic Trials considering she had to withdraw from the NCAA Championships less than a month ago due to a hamstring injury. Harrison had an incredible finish as she leaped over a fallen hurdler in the final stretch, yet still managed to pass two other competitors to slip into second place in the race.

W-TJ Finals - Yvette Levis found herself at the end of the day finishing just short of making the Olympic team despite a valiant effort and solid meet at Hayward field as she placed fourth overall in the finals of the women's triple jump with a mark of 45'5". Lewis leaped 45'5" on two attempts to break a tie for fourth between herself and Amanda Thieschafer.

B-400 Quarterfinals - The result of Sunday's quarterfinals will pit the World's two best against each other prior to the finals in a Monday semifinal heat between 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner and Virginia's own Lashawn Merritt. Merritt ran the fastest time of all qualifiers in the 400 meter quarterfinals with a performance of 45.30. It will be interesting to see what strategy both will use in the semis considering their rivalry might compel them to try to test each other out prior to even the finals.

W-400 Quarterfinals - Another former Central Region athlete as Olympic aspirations and Prince George product Shareese Woods kept those dreams alive by advancing on from the quarterfinals of the 400 meter dash. Woods clocked in at a time of 51.60 to place second in her heat and finish overall as the 6th of 16 qualifiers for Monday's semifinals.

Day Two Highlights (Saturday, June 28th):

W-400H Semis: The state of Virginia will be well represented in the finals with two qualifiers among the eight total. Sheena Johnson will be the favorite to become the 2008 Olympic Trials champion as she rolled through two rounds as one of the fastest qualifier in both as her 54.95 in the semis was the second fastest behind Tiffany Ross-Williams. Johnson won the 2004 Olympic Trials in a meet record time of 52.95. Meanwhile, Queen Harrison appears to be in the hunt with several others for that third and final spot in the finals after a 56.04 performance in semis moves her on as the sixth qualifier. The finals will be run at 4:02 PM on Sunday.

M-400H Semis: Terry Thornton had a disappointing showing in the semifinals after running one of the fastest times in Friday's prelims of the 400 meter hurdles. The 2003 grad of Petersburg ran a time of 49.90, which placed him 14th overall out of 16 in the semis. The competition definitely stepped up in the next round with 8 athletes clocking times under 49 seconds in the semifinals.

W-Heptathlon: Sheena Johnson was not the only former Gar-Field athlete competing at a high level at the Trials. Virginia "GiGi" Miller Johnson had a great finish in the multi-event in her bid to make her first Olympic team. The 2006 USA Outdoor champion ran the second fastest time in the final leg of the heptathlon in the 800 meter run in a personal best time of 2:15, but came up painfully short in the final scoring by 10 points from securing the third and final spot on the Olympic team with 6247 points (all-time best) for fourth place.

W-800 Semis: Nikeya Green has given herself a shot to become a Olympian after surviving two rounds of the 800 meter run. Green ran a time of 2:03.90 to place third in her semifinal heat, which made her the sixth best qualifier of eight for Monday's finals to be run at 8:15 PM.

Day One Highlights (Friday, June 27th):

W-400H Prelims - Sheena Johnson (now married as Sheena Tosta) from Gar-Field and Queen Harrison from Hermitage posted two of the three fastest times in the prelims with Tosta as the fastest qualifier to the semis at 56.07. Virginia Tech sophomore Harrison advanced on with the third fastest qualifier at 57.14. USATF quote from Tosta (Johnson): "It went well today. My goal was just to win the heat and advance. My time was right were I thought it would be."

M-400H Prelims - Terry Thornton, who ran the hurdles at both Petersburg High and Hampton University, qualified for the semifinals of the 400 meter hurdles with the second fastest time in the prelims at 49.54. USATF quote from Thornton: "I think I ran a nice smooth race. I was expecting to come in and be in the top-three though. Really, there are a lot of good runners." Former Centreville star Rickey Harris ran a time of 50.56 and failed to advance onto the semis.

W-TJ Qualifying Flights - 2004 Olympic Trials champion Tiombe Hurd, a West Potomac product, failed to qualify for the finals in a difficult try to make the US team at the age of 35 with the 19th best mark in the qualifying flights at 43'6". However, both Yvette Lewis from Menchville High and Tomika Ferguson from Appomattox High will both move onto the triple jump finals as Lewis is within striking distance with a fifth best mark of 45'6.50". Ferguson, who also starred at UVA, had a best jump of 44'2.50" as the 12th and final qualifier.

W-800 Prelims - Hayfield alum Nikeya Green was the 11th fastest of 16 qualifiers for Friday's semis of the 800 meter run with a performance of 2:04.87 as the former Wake Forest athlete finished 4th in her preliminary race. Also competing in the women's 800 from Virginia but failing to advance was Petersburg's Nicole Cook at a time of 2:06.38 after making a strong comeback from a child birth this past year.

W-10K - Juggling time as the head women's cross country coach at William & Mary, Lake Braddock alum Kathy Newberry competed in the final event of day one at the Olympic Trials with a 23rd place effort of 34:34.20 in the 10K.

Olympic Trials TV Schedule

All times are Eastern; subject to change; check local listings

Date Times Network
June 28 12:00-1:00 a.m. USA
June 28 8:00-9:00 p.m. NBC
June 29 7:00-8:00 p.m. NBC
June 30 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 3 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 4 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 5 5:00-6:00 p.m. NBC
July 6 7:00-9:00 p.m. NBC