Two American records fall at Tyson Invitational
FAYETTEVILLE - In front 4,397 screaming fans, American records for Galen Rupp and Shalonda Solomon Friday night highlighted the 2009 Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
The third stop of USA Track & Field's 2009 Indoor Visa Championship Series, the Tyson Invitational will be televised on February 15 from 5-7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.
2008 Olympian Galen Rupp broke the American Record in the men's 5,000m, running 13 minutes, 18.12 seconds in finishing second to Ethiopia's Bekana Daba (13:17.89WL). The previous American record of 13:20.55 was set by Doug Padilla in 1982, four years before Rupp was born. Rupp's performance also was a collegiate record, breaking Suleiman Nyambui's record of 13:20.4 from 1981 and Alberto Salazar's American Collegiate record of 13:22.6 from 1981.
Rupp ran a strategic race, sitting in fifth through the first 2km (5:23.35) and moving into second with 7.5 laps to go. He then moved into the lead with 2.5 laps left but couldn't hold it as Daba took the lead heading into the final lap and Rupp was unable to respond. Rupp's finish is the 11th fastest time ever and makes him the #9 performer of all time.
2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 200m champion Shalonda Solomon set an American record in the women's 300m, leading wire-to-wire, to finish in 36.45. The previous accepted American record of 36.67 was set in 2007 by Francena McCorory. Monica Hargrove was the runner-up in 36.85. For her efforts, Solomon was given the Team USA Athlete of the Meet award presented by Visa.
2008 NCAA Indoor champion and Collegiate record-holder Bianca Knight easily won the Tyson Foods women's 200m in a world-leading 22.88. Jamaica's Nickeshsa Anderson was the runner-up in 23.60 and 2008 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Natasha Hastings was third in 23.70. On the men's side, Chris Berry was the eventual winner in 20.67 with Michael Rodger the runner-up in 20.83 after Lionel Larry and Chris Lawson were disqualified for lane violations.
2008 Olympic silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski won the Nutrilite women's pole vault with a clearance of 4.63 meters/15 feet, 2.25 inches. She then had three good attempts at 4.83m/15-10, which would have been an American record, but was unable to clear the bar. 2000 Olympic gold medalist Stacy Dragila was the runner-up at 4.53m/14-10.25.
2008 Olympian Nick Symmonds went out in his usual style, sitting in the back of the pack for the first half of the Tyson Foods men's 800m. Moving up throughout the race, Symmonds took the lead with just under 200m to go and was scared at the end by a surging Khadevis Robinson, but was able to hold on for the win in 1:47.72 to Robinson's 1:47.76. Nothern Iowa's Tyler Mulder, who led for most of the race, was third in 1:48.53.
Two-time Olympic 110mH silver medalist Terrence Trammell brought Michael Rodgers undefeated streak to an end as he won the Puma men's 60m in 6.56, just edging out Rodgers who finished as the runner-up in 6.58. Ivory Williams was third in 6.59.
Four-time 2006 NCAA champion Xavier Carter shot out of the blocks in the men's 400m and was in the lead at the 200 mark. Florida's Calvin Smith came on strong at 300 with Michael Tinsley kicking at the end but Carter was able to hold them off for the win in 46.98 with Tinsley second (47.01) and Smith third (47.03).
In the Visa women's 60m, 2006 World Indoor champion Lisa Barber was first out of the blocks. Two-time Olympian Muna Lee surged halfway through to take the lead but was nipped at the tape by 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, who won in 7.20. 2008 NCAA Indoor 200m champion Bianca Knight took the runner-up position in 7.26 with Gloria Asumnu third in the same time. Barber was fourth and Lee fifth, both in 7.28.
The Visa men's shot put saw a battle between two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time World Outdoor medalist Adam Nelson and 2007 World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa. Nelson took the lead on his first throw (20.64m/67-8.75) and improved on his second (20.90m/68-7) and third attempts (21.01m/68-11.25) while Hoffa had a best of 20.62m/67-8 through three rounds. On the last throw, Hoffa was able to pull one out and win with a best heave of 21.06m/69-1.25, just 5cm ahead of runner-up Nelson. Russ Winger was third with 20.42m/67-0.
Winners in other events included Alex Becker of Canada in the women's 3,000m (9:23.78) and 2008 Olympic trials steeplechase champion Anna Willard in the women's mile (4:30.69). 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand won the Tyson Foods John McDonnell mile in 4:02.70 over Chris Lukezic (4:03.87). Penn State won the women's 4x400m relay (3:36.77) and Georgia won the men's 4x400m (3:07.96).
For complete results and quotes, visit www.usatf.org or www.visachampionshipseries.com.