FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas soon-to-be senior Dorian Ulrey competed in the semifinals of the 1,500 meters and Veronica Campbell-Brown took fourth in the 100-meter finals on day three of competition at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin on Monday.
"This experience was awesome," Ulrey said. "I tried to stay relaxed before the race. It was a lot of fun to be here. I was running with guys I thought I would only see you on TV, never in person and in the same race. I learned a lot from this trip and will take a lot of confidence away from this experience. I rank sub-3:40 twice in two days and advanced to the semifinals. I couldn’t ask for much more."
Ulrey’s triumphant season has come to an end. Competing in the second heat of the 1,500-meter semifinals, he quickly got boxed in and was unable to hold a decent position in the front of the pack. He dropped back in order to secure a stable spot but was unable to go with the leaders with 200 meters to go. He finished 12th in his heat with a time of 3:39.33. Ulrey was one of four Americans to advance to the semifinals.
"A wall, lactic acid and fatigue all hit me at 1,200 meters," Ulrey said."I’ve been here for so long, I am more used to this time schedule than any other time schedule. I felt good during the race. I tried to mix it up. I had my noise up in there the first three laps. Those guys took off, and my full year of racing caught up to me. I couldn’t be happier to end my season at the semis of the World Championships."
"Dorian ran a really respectable race today," Bucknam said. "To make it to the semifinals of the World Championships, especially for someone who has been running and competing since January, that is a tremendous task. It’s unfortunate he got boxed him and wasn’t able to let loose like he wanted to. He’ll learn a lot from these races."
In 2009, Ulrey 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 anchor. He was named the SEC Indoor and NCAA Indoor South Central Region Runner of the Year and led Arkansas to SEC Indoor and Outdoor team titles and top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
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.
He holds a season- and a career-best time of 3:35.23, the No. 2 clocking on Arkansas’ all-time list, clocked at the IAAF Golden Gala in Rome in July. Ulrey earned a spot on Team USA with a bronze finish at the 2009 USA Championships. He solidified his spot by achieving the World Championships "A" standard in Rome.
Campbell-Brown earned a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter finals. After clocking a semifinal time of 11.00 and finishing second in her heat, she responded with a season-best time of 10.95 to take fourth, just shy of a medal. She was just off her personal best of 10.85.
Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay put on a remarkable display of speed and power in the men’s 100-meter final on Sunday. In the most anticipated event at these Championships, Bolt, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 meters and 200 meters from Jamaica, grabbed the lead early in the race and held it throughout before crossing the finishing line first and lowering his own world record from 9.69 seconds to a hard to imagine 9.58.
Gay, whose reaction time was slightly better than Bolt’s (0.144 to 0.146), shattered his American record when he crossed the finish line in 9.71. Gay’s previous American record was set at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene when he finished in 9.77.
"It felt pretty good," Gay said. "I’m really happy Usain Bolt broke the record. I know that may sound strange. I knew it was humanly possible for someone to run that fast. Unfortunately, it wasn’t me. I’m very happy with the race. I did my best the best way I could. I still know I have a lot more left in the tank. My groin is barely hanging on. In the final, I just tried to block everything down and give it my all because there wasn’t that much left."
Gay ran a semifinal time of 9.93 and won his heat to advance to the finals. Campbell-Brown advanced to the semifinals of the 100 meters after clocking a qualifying time of 11.34 and a quarterfinals time of 10.99 on Sunday. She won both her qualifying and quarterfinal heats.
On Tuesday, the qualifying and quarterfinal rounds of the men’s 200 meters and the prelim rounds of the women’s 1,500 meters will be contested. Razorback athletes scheduled to compete include Christin Wurth-Thomas and Wallace Spearmon, Jr. Gay, competing all season with an injured groin, will not compete in the 200 meters at the World Championships and instead will focus on preparing for a possible appearance in Team USA’s 4×100-meter relay.
NBC, Versus to broadcast meet
The 2009 World Championships will be broadcast in the United States daily on NBC and Versus. The broadcast schedule is as follows. All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings.
August 18: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Versus
August 19: 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 20: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 21: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 22: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 23: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. NBC
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, visit: www.usatf.org.