EUGENE, Ore. – J-Mee Samuels, Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon were superb in the 100 meters on day two of the U.S. Olympic Trials as current and former members of Arkansas Razorback track and field compete at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
In the 100-meter qualifying rounds, Samuels finished fifth in his heat and 19th overall with a clocking of 10.17 (1.4 m/s wind). He advanced to the prelims based on time and was the third-fastest non-automatic qualifier.
Gay finished fourth in his heat after leading for 85 meters of the race. He misjudged the finish line and began to slow down. He was able to start up again and clocked an automatic-advancing time of 10.14.
Spearmon finished second in his heat and sixth overall to automatically advance to the next round. He clocked a time of 10.12.
Two hours later, in the quarterfinals, Gay set new American, U.S. Olympic Trials and Hayward Field Records with a legal-wind clocking of 9.77.
“After the first round, I was scared,” Gay said. “I almost started crying as soon as I crossed the line because I thought I didn’t make it. I was pretty nervous, but this round I ran through the line. I eased up a little bit. I had my arms in here so I wasn’t trying to exert too much energy.”
Gay’s 9.77 broke Maurice Greene’s American Record of 9.79 set in Athens in 1999, as well as Greene’s Olympic Trials Record of 9.91 from 2004 and Shawn Crawford’s Hayward Field Record of 9.88, set in 2004.
Samuels, competing in a loaded heat, finished seventh in his heat and 17th overall with another solid time of 10.09. He was the first athlete left out of the semifinals and marks the first time a sub-10.10 time did not advance. He will return to the track Friday, July 4, for the 200-meter qualifying rounds.
“I can’t complain with my time (in the quarterfinals),” Samuels said. “Everyone showed up and it’s an Olympic year. I was already disappointed going in because I was in a pretty stacked heat. I was chasing after them and trying to do what I needed to do to advance. I knew I was going to run fast in a heat with guys like that but they were going to run fast too. I’m ready to get some rest and regroup for the 200 meters.”
Spearmon, also in the mix of that tough, record-setting heat, finished sixth in the heat and 15th overall. He was the second-to-last athlete to advance to the semifinals with a clocking of 10.07.
“I know everyone else ran fast in that heat but it didn’t seem fair (to be in such a stacked heat),” Spearmon said. “I felt like I was running in the Olympic final right there. I ran a good time at 10.07 but I didn’t run a good race. I think I got too relaxed in between the rounds. It showed in my performance. I need to stay more focused in between the rounds.”
For complete results, an updated list of entries and a television schedule from the U.S. Olympic Trials, visit www.usatf.org. For information on the Razorbacks at the Olympic Trials, visit www.hogwired.com.