Former Wildcat Phillips is USATF Athlete of Week

June 9, 2009

Former University of Kentucky standout Dwight Phillips was named Tuesday as USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week.

Dwight Phillips

Dwight Phillips

Phillips notched the eighth-best outdoor mark ever in the men’s long jump at Sunday’s Nike Prefontaine Classic, 28 feet, 8 1/4 inches, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Phillips, 31, arrived at UK in 1997. His 400-meter time of 46.80 that season still stands as the Wildcats’ freshman record. He also competed in 1998 before transferring to Arizona State, following Darryl Anderson when the UK sprints coach was hired there.

Since then, Phillips has become a two-time World Outdoor champion in the long jump, as well as the 2004 Olympic gold-medalist. Sunday’s mark ties Phillips with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for eighth on the all-time list of jumps, and fifth on the all-time list of performers. It was the longest jump in the world since Mike Powell’s world-record 29-4 1/2 in 1991.

Reese Hoffa

Reese Hoffa

Jenny Barringer

Jenny Barringer

Also at Eugene, Louisville native Reese Hoffa won the shot put with the world’s best performance of the season, 71 feet, 10 inches.

Colorado’s Jenny Barringer, the national record-holder in the steeplechase, became the third American ever to break four minutes in the women’s 1,500 meters. Her time at Eugene, 3:59.90, is a collegiate record.

100 – 9.94 Mike Rodgers (Nike) – Eugene, Ore., 6/7     U.S. leader
200 – 20.41 Thomas Hunter (unat) – Walnut, Calif., 6/6
400 – 45.48 Tavaris Tate (Mississippi HS) – Albuquerque, N.M., 6/6
800 – 1:45.86 Nick Symmonds (Oregon TC) – Eugene, 6/7
1500 – 3:37.19 Lopez Lomong (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader
Mile – 3:53.47 Lopez Lomong (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
3000 – 7:35.92 Bernard Lagat (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader
3000SC – 8:26.55 Josh McAdams (New Balance) – Eugene, 6/7
10,000 – 28:16.81 Jorge Torres (Reebok) – Eugene, 6/6
110H – 13.29 Dexter Faulk (Nike) – Turin, Italy, 6/4
400H – 48.38 Bershawn Jackson (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
HJ – 2.26/7-5 Jesse Williams (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
PV – 5.52/18-1.25 Mark Hollis (unat) – St. Polten, Austria, 6/6
LJ – 8.74/28-8.25 Dwight Phillips (NIke) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
TJ – 16.06/52-8.25 James Jenkins (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
SP – 21.89/71-10 Reese Hoffa (NYAC) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
DT – 64.69/212-3 Adam Kuehl (unat) – Chula Vista, Calif., 6/6
HT – 75.28/247-0 Jake Freeman (Iron Ball AC) – West Point, N.Y., 6/5
JT – 75.96/249-2 Adam Montague (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
Dec – 7466 Curtis Beach (New Mexico HS) – Albuquerque, N.M., 6/5     HIGH SCHOOL RECORD
100 – 11.13 Stephanie Durst (unat) – Hengelo, Holland, 6/1
200 – 22.41 Shalonda Solomon (Reebok) – Walnut, 6/6
400 – 49.86 Sanya Richards (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
800 – 2:00.18 Maggie Vessey (unat) – Eugene, 6/7
1500 – 3:59.90 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader/COLLEGIATE RECORD
3000SC – 9:40.02 Lisa Galaviz (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6
100H – 12.74 Michelle Perry (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
400H – 58.25 Jennifer Grossarth (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
PV – 4.45/14-7.25 Chelsea Johnson (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6
LJ – 6.74/22-1.5 Funmi Jimoh (Nike) – Hengelo, 6/1
TJ – 13.80/45-3.5 Crystal Manning (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
SP – 18.35/60-2.5 Michelle Carter (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
DT – 63.98/209-11 Stephanie Brown Trafton (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
HT – 70.68/231-11 Jessica Cosby (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
JT – 60.30/197-10 Kim Kreiner (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6     U.S. leader
Hept – 5619 Kasey Hill (unat) – Dallas, 6/7

Curtis follows blazing 5K with strong mile

May 8, 2009

Former Villanova standout Bobby Curtis, who dominated Kentucky high school track during his days at St. Xavier, is keeping busy at a variety of distances this season.

Bobby Curtis

Bobby Curtis

Thursday, at Minneapolis, Curtis placed third in the inaugural USA 1-Mile Road Championships.

Curtis, now based out of Ardmore, Pa., and Darren Brown hung with Jon Rankin as they broke from the pack at 1,200 meters, according to reports from USA Track & Field.

Also lurking, though, was David Torrence, who overtook Rankin to run the first sub-four road mile ever in Minnesota and earn a bonus of $10,000. First-place prize money, before the bonus, was $4,000.

Torrence, from Oakland, Calif., was timed in 3:59.3. Rankin took second in 4:01.7, followed by Curtis in 4:02.0. Brown was fourth in 4:08.0. John Richardson, the former Southeastern Conference champion for Kentucky, placed seventh in 4:10.1. 

Shannon Rowbury, the Olympic Trials 1,500-meter champion, took the women’s mile in 4:33.4. Sara Hall was runner-up in 4:39.1, followed by Sara Vaughn in 4:41.3.

Just about two weeks before heading to Minnesota, on April 24, Curtis turned in a sensational 5,000-meter victory in the Brutus Hamilton Invitational at Berkeley, Calif.

Curtis, sponsored by Reebok, clocked 13:29.12. Ben St. Lawrence (New Balance) edged Jorge Torres (Reebok) for second, 13:30.18 to 13:30.65, followed closesly by Scott Baughs (adidas) in 13:30.85. Further back in the international field was former Lexington Catholic and University of Kentucky standout Thomas Morgan (ZAP Fitness), 18th in 14:31.16.

Morgan’s ZAP teammate, former UK runner Allison Grace, took seventh in the women’s 5K (16:12.50).

Spanning the globe

Reese Hoffa

Reese Hoffa

Danielle Carruthers

Danielle Carruthers

Louisville native Reese Hoffa was among several American winners Friday in the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix at Doha, Qatar.

Hoffa, the 2007 World Outdoor champion and a two-time Olympian, took the men’s shot put with the longest toss in the world this season, 71 feet. Poland’s Tomasz Majewski, gold-medalist at the Beijing Olympics, took second (69-7 1/2). Two-time Olympic silver-medalist Adam Nelson of the U.S. placed sixth (64-10).

Dannielle Carruthers, a former Indiana University standout and Kentucky high school champion out of Paducah Tilghman, placed third in the women’s 100-meter hurdles (12.73).

As for the other American winners:

* Brittney Reese, the NCAA and Olympic Trials champion out of Ole Miss, also won with a world-leading season-best — 22 feet, 11 1/4 inches in the women’s long jump. That also tops her all-time personal best of 22-9 3/4.

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix

* Allyson Felix, a two-time World Outdoor champion and two-time Olympic silver-medal winner at 200 meters, doubled the distance to win the 400 at Qatar. Her time of 50.75 is fastest in the world this season.

* Travis Padgett, the NCAA 100-meter runner-up last year, took the Qatar century in 10-flat. That ties Olympic teammate Walter Dix for the fastest time in the world this season. Dix clocked 10.00 on April 11.

* Olympic bronze-medalist David Oliver repeated as the Doha champion in the 110-meter hurdles, although not as quick as last year (12.95). Still, his time of 13.09 is best in the world this year, topping his previous mark of 13.19.

For more details and results, see

Cantwell’s silver prevents shot shutout of U.S.

August 15, 2008

BEIJING — Tomasz Majewski of Poland won the first gold medal of the Olympic track and field competition Friday night (a.m. EDT), taking the men’s shot put.

Majewski, fifth at last year’s World Championships, won with a personal-best of 70 feet, 7 inches.

Christian Cantwell popped 69-2 1/2 on the last of his six attempts to win the silver.

Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus to his second consecutive Olympic bronze with a put of 69-0 3/4, just a quarter-inch better than Dylan Armstrong, who established a Canadian record.

Louisville native Reese Hoffa, the reigning world champion, finished seventh at 67-4 1/4.

U.S. teammate Adam Nelson, silver-medalist at the last two Olympics as well as the 2007 Worlds, fouled on all three of his attempts.

Beautiful conditions for track &field night session

August 15, 2008

BEIJING — The first night session of the Beijing Olympics track and field competition is underway with the shot put portion of the women’s heptathlon. Team USA’s Hyleas Fountain brings a two-event lead of 2,251 points into the shot. Anna Bogdanova of Russia is second with 2,165.

Conditions are warm but otherwise ideal on what has been, by far, the best weather of these Games. With still a bit of sunlight, there is only blue sky visible from inside National Stadium (Bird’s Nest).

The first track and field medals of the Beijing Games will be in the men’s shot put, where Louisville native Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson and Christian Cantwell have a chance to give Team USA a sweep. Finals start at 9 p.m. (a.m. EDT).

Gay draws second heat in quarterfinals

August 15, 2008

BEIJING — Heat and lane assignments have been made for the quarterfinals of the Olympic men’s 100-meter dash, set for 9:52 p.m. local time (9:52 a.m. EDT).

Lexington’s Tyson Gay will run out of lane four in the second of five heats.

The top three finishers in each heat, plus the next-fastest time, will advance to Saturday’s 16-man semifinals.

Fifteen of the 40 quarterfinalists have sub-10-second personal bests.

Two of them will be in lanes five and six in Gay’s heat.

Gay is the reigning World Champion and is the American record-holder at 9.77 seconds.

Next to him will be Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasubi, fourth at last year’s Worlds, who has a personal best of 9.85.

Next to Fasuba will be LSU’s Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, who has run 9.93 this season.

Also in the heat are Andrew Hinds of Barbados (10.16 PB), Daniel Grueso of Colombia (10.24), Martial Mbandjock of France (10.06), Jose Carolos Moreira of Brazil (10.16) and Simone Collio of Italy (10.14).

World record-holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica will run in the fourth heat, which includes Team USA’s Darvis Patton and 2004 Olympic silver-medalist Francis Obikwelu of Portugal.

The final heat includes former world champion Asafa Powell of Jamaica, Team USA’s Walter Dix and 2007 Worlds runner-up Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Barbuda.

Also on tap tonight is the first round of the men’s 1,500 meters. Heat three includes Lexington’s David Freeman, the former University of Kentucky standout, who will represent Puerto Rico out of lane one. That race is scheduled to go off at 7:28 p.m. (a.m. EDT).

Louisville native Reese Hoffa, the world champion, will compete in finals of the men’s shot put at 9 p.m. (a.m. EDT).

Tyson Gay impressive in return from leg injury; Hoffa moves on to finals of men’s shot put

August 14, 2008

BEIJING – Tyson Gay passed his first-round qualifying test Friday morning in the men’s 100-meter dash at Olympic Stadium, familiarly known as The Bird’s Nest.

Gay, testing his left hamstring for the first time in competition since straining it at last month’s U.S. Trials, won his heat in 10.22 seconds.

Co-favorite Jamaican standouts Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell easily won their heats, as did countryman Michael Frater.

The top three finishers in each of 10 heats, plus the next 10 fastest finishers, advanced to the quarterfinals (Friday night Beijing, Friday morning U.S.).

Gay, the reigning world champion at 100 and 200 meters, set an American record of 9.77 at the U.S. Trials, and later ran the fastest 100 of all time, a wind-aided 9.68. But he made it through only one round of the 200 before tumbling to the track early in his quarterfinals heat.

“A little sluggish,” Gay said after Friday’s race, “but my body’s awake now.”

The Lexingtonian out of Lafayette High School said his hamstring “felt fine.”

Second and third in Gay’s heat, both time in 10.29, were Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria and Jose Carlos Moreira of Brazil.

Bolt, the world record-holder at 9.72, got things going in the first heat. Barely breaking a sweat, Bolt loped easily to a win in 10.20. Runner-up Daniel Bailey clocked 10.24.

Powell, who had the world record (9.74) until Bolt bettered it May 31, was a little more business-like in his approach to the second heat, then eased the last 20 meters. His heat victory came in 10.16, followed by 2004 Olympics finalist Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis in 10.17.

Louisville native Reese Hoffa was first to automatically qualify for finals of the men’s shot put, popping 66 feet, 11½ inches on his only attempt. Teammates Adam Nelson (67-5 ½) and Christian Cantwell (67-2 ¼) also advanced.

Powell prevails in London 100; Felix fourth in 200

July 26, 2008

While Lexington’s Tyson Gay pulled out of the 100 meters in order to nurse his sore hamstring, plenty of other Beijing-bound athletes put on a show Friday at the Aviva London Super Grand Prix.

Former world record-holder Asafa Powell, fresh off a win over fellow Jamaican and current (pending ratification) record-holder Usain Bolt, prevailed in the 100.

After a 10.06 qualifying win, Powell zipped a 9.94 finals, trailed by Marc Burns of Trinidad and Tobago (9.97). Jamaica’s Michael Frater took third (10.00), a hundredth ahead of Burns’ countryman Richard Thompson.

Olympic Trials winner and two-time World Outdoor champion Allyson Felix had a bad start and finished a stunning fourth in the women’s 200 (22.70). Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson won (22.70), ahead of Bianca Knight (22.79).

Felix will come back Saturday in the 100 vs. Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, among others.

Other notables included World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa. The defending meet champion and Louisville native topped two-time Olympic silver-medalist Adam Nelson in the shot put, 69-4 to 69-1.5. Tomasz Majewski of Poland took third (68-9.75), with Christian Cantwell (67-4) giving the U.S. a 1-2-4 finish.

David Oliver, just as he did in the Olympic Trials, snared the 110-meter hurdles (13.20), leading a U.S. sweep of the top four spots. Anwar Moore (13.52), Antwon Hicks (13.58 ) and Aries Merritt (13.61) followed Oliver. World record-holder Dayron Robles of Cuba was missing, apparently because he didn’t apply for a visa.

Kenya’s Shadrick Korir nipped Great Britain’s Andrew Baddeley in the mile, 3:54.68 to 3:54.76. Bernard Lagat, who will run the 1,500 and 5,000 for the U.S., was third in 3:55.20, only the second defeat of the season for the world champion. Australia’s Craig Mottram, last with 150 meters left, came on strong to bag fourth in 3:55.40.

The women’s 1,500 went to Britain’s Lisa Dobriskey (4:08.97).

Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva, the world record-holder and reigning Olympic gold-medalist, defeated American record-holder Jenn Stuczynski in the women’s pole vault, 16-2 to 15-9 1/4.

Roisin McGettigan of Ireland set a stadium record in the women’s steeplechase (9:33.76).