EUGENE, Ore. – Razorbacks Dorian Ulrey and Wallace Spearmon, Jr. earned spots on Team USA for the 2009 IAAF World Championships with top three finishes in their respective events on the final day of competition at the USA Championships, held at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Ulrey earned a bronze finish in the 1,500-meter finals. Making a move with less than 200 meters to go, Ulrey ran down Oregon Track Club runners Stephen Pifer and Will Leer to finish third behind race winner Lopez Lomong (3:41.68) and second-place finisher Leonel Manzano (3:41.82). Ulrey clocked a time of 3:42.84.
"I knew I had to do something big to make Team USA," Ulrey said. "I stuck to my race plan and it worked really well for me. Going to the World Championships is not something everyone can do. I’m just so happy and so thankful for this experience. With good health and fresh legs on my side, I exceeded all of my expectations."
"This has been a great season," Ulrey said. "I’m glad it’s not over. My plan was to finish up summer school and get ready for cross country season but that plan has changed. I wasn’t healthy at NCAAs (suffering from a stomach virus) and I’m so happy to be running at my best again and running healthy."
Ulrey’s season best of 3:39.93, clocked for a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, does not meet the World Championships "B" standard of 3:39.20. He still has a chance to meet the "B" standard and because the top two finishers have the "A" standard, Ulrey would travel to the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August should he attain a time of 3:39.20 or better.
Ulrey’s outstanding collegiate campaign has come to an end. In 2009, he won three individual SEC titles (1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters), was a four-time All-American (1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters, distance medley relay) and anchored the distance medley relay to a school-record time of 9:28.35 with his 3:54 mile.
Ulrey earned CoSIDA ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District and All-America honors with his 3.50 GPA as a sociology major. He was named the SEC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was the recipient of the SEC Sportsmanship Award.
Former Arkansas NCAA Champion and current school record holder Wallace Spearmon, Jr., punched his ticket for the 2009 IAAF World Championships. Running two 200-meter races on Sunday, he finished third in the finals with a time of 20.03. He clocked a semifinal time of 20.28 to advance to the finals.
"I had a pretty bad start," Spearmon said. "It was a really uncomfortable race for me. I’m not used to a race like that. I have a lot of work to do but I’m looking forward to doing it. I’m hungry again. I love track and field and racing again. Making Team USA for another World Championships is a great honor. I have some work to do before we get there."
For complete results and meet information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or USATF.org.