Indianapolis, Ind. – Razorback sophomore J-Mee Samuels punched his ticket to the World Championships on day two of competition at the AT&T USA Championships at Indianapolis’ Michael A. Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI.
Samuels finished fifth in the 100-meter dash finals with a time of 10.22. His fifth-place finish also earns him a spot in the relay pool on Team USA that will travel to the World Championships in Osaka, Japan in late August.
“I was waiting for a false start but I was also trying to react to the gun on my own and not worry about anyone else”, Samuels said. “I ran a 10.2 again which I am disappointed about but the fifth-place finish, I can’t complain. I’m going to Osaka (for the World Championships). That’s what I wanted and that’s what I got. I can continue to get ready for next (collegiate) season.”
Tyson Gay, also punching his ticket to the World Championships, won the 100 meters with a clocking of 9.84, a new meet record. Gay will lead the American 100-meter charge that will include LSU’s Trindon Holliday and Florida State’s Walter Dix, who finished second and third, respectively.
“I’m pretty happy with my race because I thought my start was good”, Gay said. “This is the best my body has felt in a long time. I am happy with the race as a whole. I may have been a little anxious with my drive because I got a better start than I was expecting.”
If Holliday or Dix were to pull out of the World Championships, Samuels would move up to third or fourth on the depth chart and could earn an automatic spot on a relay team.
Samuels automatically advanced to the finals after finishing fourth in his semifinal heat with a time of 10.35 earlier in the evening on Friday.
“I’m so excited for (J-Mee) because it sets him up so well for next season,” assistant coach Kyle White said. “(The finals) showed how he runs when he runs relaxed, when he doesn’t have a care in the world. He had some pressure on him early in the season but tonight was the J-Mee he knew was there and I knew was there. He’s going to stay in shape this summer and he’s going to get some great running experience.”
“This has been a great meet so far,” Razorback head coach John McDonnell said. “It’s a nice way to end the season with so many Arkansas guys going to the World Championships and the meet isn’t over yet. Tyson (Gay) winning the 100 meters and J-Mee (Samuels) finishing fifth and making the World Championships team, it’s fantastic. We really couldn’t have asked for more today.”
Daniel Lincoln finished second in his heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a clocking of 8:33.72. The American record holder sat in second for three laps and, with 1,000 meters to go, he moved into first place. He held the lead spot until the home stretch when he was passed by eventual heat winner Steve Slattery. Slattery’s winning time clocked in at 8:33.65.
“Coming into the race I was very nervous about what my (sore) hamstring might do because it kind of snuck up on me during training,” Lincoln said. “It didn’t bother me at all today and I can still get some work on it tonight. I’ll be ready for the finals Sunday. It’ll be really good for me to get a win and that’s what I am going for.”
Said Ahmed finished fourth in his heat of the 1,500 meters and advanced to Sunday’s finals based on his time of 3:39.78.
A two-time All-American at Arkansas, Seth Summerside finished 10th in the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:48.84.
Michael Chinchar finished fifth in his heat of the junior 1,500-meter prelims. His time of 3:52.17 was good enough to advance him to Saturday’s finals. He will be joining the Razorbacks this fall as freshman.
For complete results, schedule and details of the AT&T USA Championships, visit www.usatf.org.