FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorback distance runner Dorian Ulrey clocked a time of 3:38.86 in Saturday’s preliminary heat of the men’s 1,500 meters at the 2009 IAAF World Championships to advance to the semifinal round. In other action, involving former Razorbacks, Tyson Gay won both of his qualifying heats to advance to the semifinals of the men’s 100 meters and Amy Yoder Begley finished sixth in the women’s 10,000-meter final."I’m extremely pleased and impressed with Dorian’s race today to move on to the semifinals," Arkansas men’s track & field head coach Chris Bucknam said. "It was a rough race and he got banged around a bit, but he kept his composure to qualify for Monday. That was an outstanding effort."Running in the fastest heat of the qualifying round, Ulrey finished eighth in his group with the second-fastest run of his career to advance on time. All four time qualifiers for Monday’s semifinal came out of that fourth heat. Ulrey, the soon-to-be senior at Arkansas, was one of four Americans to qualify for the next round of the 1,500 meters.Ulrey will be in the first semifinal Monday along with USA teammate and 2009 national champion Lopez Lomong. The top five runners in each heat, plus the next two fastest times, will qualify for the 1,500-meter final. Ulrey has a personal-best time of 3:35.23 which he ran at the IAAF Golden Gala in Rome in July to earn the World Championship "A"-standard time.
"It was a very tactical race," Ulrey said. "Knowing that everyone else qualified gave me reason to believe. That’s why we are here, to make it through the rounds. It shows that Americans are coming back in the distances. I’m happy to be part of that group."Gay was the top qualifier in the opening round of the men’s 100 meters with a time of 10.16 in his first race toward defending his world title from 2007. In the quarterfinal round, he clocked a time of 9.98 to win his heat and advance to the next round. Gay was one of two athletes-Asafa Powell of Jamaica was the other-to run under 10 seconds in the quarterfinals."I haven’t been doing any starts," Gay said. "I felt real good knowing I ran this race and I haven’t even gotten out of the blocks yet."In Sunday’s first semifinal, Gay will be in lane five and will be joined, among others, by Powell, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson and USA teammate Monzavous Edwards. The top four in each semifinal will advance to the finals to be run Sunday evening.Following her trip to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Yoder Begley was the highest-finishing American in Saturday’s 10,000-meter final with a personal-best time of 31:13.78. She bettered her previous best set in winning the 2009 national title in June in a time of 31:22.69. Yoder Begley’s time is the fastest run by an American woman this year."It was slow going, but I knew that at anytime (the lead group) was going to make that jump," Yoder Begley said. "I wasn’t confident enough to make that jump and I wish I was. I was afraid to die by going with them. It’s still a PR, and I was sixth. I wanted to be in the top eight, so I’m happy with that."In addition to Gay running in the final day of the men’s 100 meters, Sunday’s action will include former Razorback and defending world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in the opening rounds of the women’s 100 meters. Campbell-Brown will begin her world championships in lane three of heat six. For more information, visit www.iaaf.org or ArkansasRazorbacks.com.