EUGENE, Ore. — How is it determined that an Olympic trials competition should be postponed because of weather? Sometimes, apparently, the process resembles a student council election. At least that is what happened with the women’s pole vault on Friday afternoon. As downpours doused Hayward Field all day, most of the events simply went on as planned. With the pole vault, however, the safety concerns that go along with a group of athletes flying several stories in the air made the issue more delicate. In most instances, postponements of an event are handled by the meet’s competition committee and a unilateral decision is handed down. On Friday, however, a more democratic approach was used. With the athletes and their coaches gathered in the check-in tent, organizers initially said preliminary rounds of competition would be moved to Saturday with the finals going on as scheduled Sunday. This prompted an uproar from most of the coaches present who Continue reading
Just a few hours of sleep removed from one of the best first-day performances ever by an American decathlete, Ashton Eaton returned to the track Saturday for the 110-meter hurdles. Eaton was once again grouped with defending Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay, running in the last of four sections. After a false start forced the runners to return to the blocks, Eaton barely beat out Trey Hardee, finishing in 13.70. Eaton jumped out to an early lead but Hardee closed the gap over the last 50 meters, finishing barely behind Eaton in 13.71. The win earned Eaton 973 points, bringing his overall total to 5,742. That gave him a 324-point lead over Hardee entering a stretch of three straight field events. Following a long layoff, Eaton resumed competition with the pole vault. He continued his career outing by clearing the bar at 5.20 meters on his first attempt, equaling his personal-best mark. After missing on his first two attempts at 5.30, Eaton set a new PR by clearing the bar on his first attempt. more
|1||Ashton Eaton||Nike / Oregon TC Elite||5.30m||17-4 ½||1004|
|2||Gray Horn||Unattached||5.00m||16-4 ¾||910|
|3||Trey Hardee||Nike||5.00m||16-4 ¾||910|
|3||Kevin Lazas||Arkansas||5.00m||16-4 ¾||910|
|5||Chris Helwick||Unattached||4.90m||16-0 ¾||880|
|6||Joe Detmer||Unattached||4.90m||16-0 ¾||880|
|7||Bryan Clay||Asics||4.80m||15-9||849 Continue reading|
Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius again missed South Africa’s qualifying time for the Olympic Games, almost a second off the mark in winning a 400-metre race in Belgium.Pistorius won the EAP meeting in Nivelles in 46.20 seconds, almost a full second off the 45.30 mark he needs to get automatic qualification for the games, according to the meet’s results.He has at least one more chance to qualify at the African Championships in Benin next week. Without running the qualifying time in his favoured individual distance, Pistorius could also make the Olympics if he is included in South Africa’s 4×400 relay team. more
Bruce Jenner, 1972 Decathlon
On winning the gold medal…
“When I won in 70s it was very inspirational to a lot of people. I was a part of the baby boomer generation; they grew up with me.”
On Olympic Trials…
“I know how difficult the trials are. Anything can happen. I hope all their dreams can come true. It is not the case for all of themr, only three can go, but still you want them to have their dreams fulfilled.”
On rooming with Steve Prefontaine…
“He was bigger than life. (Entering the field) There was nothing going on, but the crowd exploaded and it was because Pre walked in. We need personalities like that.” more
German pole vaulter Malte Mohr threw down the gauntlet to France’s European Athletics Championships favourite Renaud Lavillenie when he cleared a world leading mark of 5.91m at a meeting in Ingolstadt on Friday. The 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships bronze medallist went over the personal best height with his second attempt before unsuccessfully attempting a German record height of 6.01m.
“I am very satisfied with this achievement because I did not expect it today,” said Mohr.
“Last week, after the German Championships, I had an intense week of training. To make matters worse, I was stuck in a long traffic jam on the way to Ingolstadt. I only had an hour to prepare and I usually need two,” he added.
Mohr will be looking for some redemption in Helsinki as he failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds at the last European Athletics Championships in Barcelona two years ago.
North Carolina –The word quit just doesn’t exist in Ethan Smith’s vocabulary.Even with a gushing nose and bruised toe—injuries he sustained in the first few jumps at the 2012 New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet—the Cedar Ridge rising senior still managed to snag third place in the emerging elite category of the high school national track meet, finishing in the top 10 overall.“I felt really good,” Ethan Smith said. “It was nice to be back where we had states, and it was really good. Everything came together really good, and I went out there and got it done.”Though he didn’t quite hit his personal record of 15 feet, 3 inches—which he set when he won the North Carolina 2A track championship in May—he still cleared 15 feet, 2 inches, only the second time he has jumped higher than 15 feet. more
–EUGENE, Ore. — Mark Hollis often finds it hard not to scoff at vacation travelers who complain about having to fit sandals, bathing suits and tanning oil into a suitcase while still keeping its weight less than 50 pounds.He sometimes wonders how they would respond if he proposed a switch: their teeming Tumi in exchange for his bag, a rugged duffel that holds cargo worth nearly $8,000, stretches 17 feet long and could easily be used to transport stilts.But Hollis is not in the circus. Nor is he carrying diving boards, a collection of giraffe sweaters or a streetlight (though he has, on occasion, told an inquisitor that the bag holds a sail for a boat “in case my car runs out of gas”).Rather, Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating. Continue reading
Pole vault competition at the U.S Olympic Trials for University of South Dakota athletes Bethany Buell and Emily Grove has been postponed until Sunday because of rain. As a result of the rain, the preliminary round of competition has been eliminated in the pole vault, meaning all athletes will compete in the final round, which is set for 4:25 p.m. Central time on Sunday in Eugene, Ore. more
New Jersey–Chelsea Vaughan found herself in a familiar position at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.The Southern Regional senior was down to her third and final attempt to win the pole vault, the same situation she faced at this year’s indoor MOC.And just as she did to win the indoor pole vault title, Vaughan came through in a big-pressure moment by clearing 12-0 on her final attempt to claim her first outdoor pole vault championship.“I was the last person and it was my last jump,” Vaughan said. “I had one attempt left and I knew if I made it then I won, and if I didn’t we would have a jump-off, and I just knew I had to make it.” more
QUICK Q&A: LEE BARES, LAKEVILLEMinnesota SOUTH
Bares just completed his junior year by winning the pole vault competition at the Class 2A track and field meet for the second consecutive year. Here is a closer look at Bares:
The best movie I’ve seen in the past year? “Avengers.”
Three songs I never skip on my iPod are … “Mean” by Taylor Swift; “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band; “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada.
Three words or phrases my friends or teammates might use to describe me? Enthusiastic; leader; role model.
How did you get started pole vaulting? Mr. [Chris] Rousemiller explained to me in middle school that I am built for pole vaulting. He said, “Lee, you are strong, you are fast, and you have a screw loose. I think you will be a great vaulter.”
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Sanya Richards-Ross stepped over a puddle, ran hard for a few more steps, then jogged to the finish line for an easy win.A routine result Friday at the rain-drenched Olympic trials that left one of America’s biggest track stars with nothing to complain about.Well, almost nothing.”Other than it messing up my hair, it’s OK,” she said.Richards-Ross ran her qualifying heat in the rain-drenched 400 meters in 51.69 seconds, winning by 0.55 seconds even though she jogged to the finish.Meet organizers scrubbed women’s pole vault preliminaries, meaning all 29 athletes, including 2008 Olympic silver medalist Jenn Suhr, will move to finals Sunday. more
You could say he was dominant.Ashton Eaton kicked off his campaign for Olympic gold in the decathlon on Friday by posting a lifetime best, first-day score of 4,728 points — 17 ahead of the American-record pace. He won four of five day-one events, beginning with back-t0-back world decathlon records in the first two events: the 100-meter dash and long jump.“What you’re seeing is basically just a culmination of everyone that supported me and got me to this point,” Eaton said. “And me fiercely trying to not let them down.”Running alongside defending Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay, Eaton exploded off the line in the 100 meters, finishing in a decathlon world-best 10.21 to set the tone for the rest of his afternoon.He kept his momentum going in the long jump, soaring to another personal best with an 8.23-meter jump on his first attempt. That effort set a decathlon world record and scored 1,120 points to bring his two-event total to 2,164 — the highest score ever through two events. more
Joe Sanford still tells aspiring pole-vaulters the story of Alexandra Acker’s first experience in the sport. Acker was 13 years old but already had the aggressive, powerful run that serves as the foundation to the nation’s best vaulters.”Her knees were high. Her foot strike was right below her knee,” Sanford recalled. “It was an accelerating cadence as she went from the back of the run to the (vault) box. If you can run in the pole vault, then you’ve got a good shot at being pretty good. She did it naturally.”Sanford, her coach at McDowell Senior High School, knew a decade ago that Acker could reach great heights, even as she struggled to surpass the 12-foot plateau and find her passion for vaulting.”She was talented right from the start,” Sanford said.Acker arrived Tuesday at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., site of the U.S. Olympic Trials’ track and field competition. She expected the surreal feeling that comes with living a dream would fade when she saw the country’s top female performers. more
ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League selected Oral Roberts track and field athlete Jack Whitt (Norman, Okla.) and Southern Utah track and field athlete Cameron Levins (Black Creek, British Columbia) as the Male Athletes of the Month and South Dakota track and field athlete Bethany Buell (St. Louis, Mo.) as the Female Athlete of the Month for May/June.
Whitt collects his third career Male Athlete of the Month award after winning the 2012 NCAA pole vault title and earning his second-straight first team All-America honor and Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year award. The junior won the national title with a school-record height of 18’6.5″ (5.65m), four inches higher than the second place competitor. Whitt won his third consecutive league pole vault title at the league championship meet. more