Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Decathlete sets world mark at U.S. Olympic trials; wife of Bucs tackle Brian Price barely misses hurdles final

EUGENE, Ore. — Second by second, the clock to the side of the track ticked away, daring Ashton Eaton to cross the finish line in a time that would put his name in the record books.

Eaton was every bit as relentless and stubborn as that clock Saturday. He set a personal best in the decathlon's exhausting 1,500-meter finale and is now the world-record holder in the event. Eaton finished with 9,039 points in the U.S. Olympic trials to beat the 11-year-old mark of the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle by 13 points.

"It's like living an entire lifetime in two days," said Eaton, who also overtook Dan O'Brien's U.S. record of 8,891 set in 1992.

Eaton, 24 and a former NCAA champion for Oregon, needed a time of 4 minutes, 16.37 seconds in the 1,500 to break the mark at the school's Hayward Field. He finished in 4:14.48.

Joining him in London is world champion Trey Hardee (8,383 points). Florida All-American Gray Horn was third (7,954).

In a development almost as shocking as Eaton's record, defending Olympic champion Bryan Clay missed his chance to defend when he had fouls on each of his three discus attempts for no points. He finished 12th.

Clay initially was disqualified right before the discus after missing a barrier in the 110 hurdles. His points for the event were reinstated on appeal.

"There was a lot of hope and expectation there," Clay said of his performance. "To see it all go out the window is pretty disappointing."

There was one big question mark when the day ended: Which three women made the team in the 100 meters?

Allyson Felix left the stadium thinking she'd lost the third spot to Jeneba Tarmoh by less than 0.0001 in the final. But after a lengthy review, officials declared the race a dead heat, then huddled to figure out how to break the tie. The United States cannot send more than three people for the race. USA Track and Field has no procedure to break a tie.

There were two photo-finish cameras, one on the outside of the track and one on the inside, USA Track and Field said. On one camera, the view was obscured by other athletes' torsos. On the other, running 3,000 frames per second, Felix and Tarmoh were viewed as a dead heat.

Carmelita Jeter, the 2011 world champion, won in 10.92 seconds. Tianna Madison was second in 10.96. Tarmoh and Felix were timed in 11.068.

UCF's Octavious Freeman of Lake Wales and Aurieyall Scott did not advance to the final.

Dawn Harper won the 100 hurdles for the chance to defend her gold medal. She goes to London with runnerup Kellie Wells and Lolo Jones.

Candice Davis Price, wife of Bucs defensive tackle Brian Price, missed making the final by .01 seconds. She was third in her heat behind Harper in 12.85. The top two in each of three semifinal heats and the next two fastest on time made the final.

In men's 100 qualifying, Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, won his heat in 9.90, the best preliminary time. Also advancing to today's semifinals were Tyson Gay, former Seminole and 2008 bronze medalist Walter Dix, Florida State's Maurice Mitchell and Florida's Jeff Demps.

In other events, Florida's three-time NCAA champion Tony McQuay made the men's 400 final, but former Gator and Lutz native Calvin Smith did not. Michelle Jenije, who just finished her Florida State career, advanced to the women's triple jump final. Florida All-American Dwight Barbiasz made the high jump final.

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Published: 04/23/18