Vets shine at Olympic track trials

EUGENE, Oregon – The eighth day of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials sizzled like the summer heat manifesting its way onto Hayward Field. Sha’Carri Richardson smoked the field in the semifinals of the women’s 200 to post a super-fast time of 21.92. 

Running in the first race of a three-heat battle to see who gets to represent Team USA at the Paris Olympics, Richardson wowed the crowd at Hayward Field with her fast time in the sprint race. Gabby Thomas then stole Richardson’s thunder by posting a 21.78 time in the third and final heat. 

Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman

“I was a little surprised,” Thomas said after running her 200 heat. “I know I’m in shape and ready to run, but it just felt like such a nice controlled run for me…I don’t know. I didn’t expect to run that fast, feeling that good. So it kind of excites me for tomorrow.”  

In terms of time markers, Thomas said she doesn’t get caught up in that when she enters a race.

“I try not to do that,” Thomas remarked. “I go into each race thinking, ‘I’m going to win.’ Win the race and that’s all that matters. And you can’t control the time.”  

Richardson is now on the clock with a serious threat to her potential sprint double at the Paris Olympics this summer. The women’s 200 showdown is just an appetizer for what the U.S. team could offer this summer. 

In the men’s 200, Noah Lyles put his stamp on what to expect with a blistering time of 19.6 in his 200 heat. Lyles, who had already secured his spot on Team USA with a win in the men’s 100 earlier in the trials, got some serious push from Christian Coleman, who finished second to Lyles in the same heat. 

After failing to make the team in the 100, Coleman finished his 200 stint in 19.89 seconds to advance to the finals. 

“I didn’t lose,” Coleman said. “I felt like I beat myself. So, it’s good and bad, pros and cons to that thing because I know I could have done better.”

Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman

Grant Holloway closed out a day of spectacular running by posting a world-leading 12.86 in the men’s 110 hurdles, solidifying his stature as a Paris favorite. The three-time world champion had to use everything he had, including a lean at the tape, to outlast Freddie Crittenden (12.93) and Daniel Roberts (12.96) to earn his national title. 

“I’m going to complain. I’ll take 12.8. My second 12.8 of my career,” Holloway said. “I think that’s my second-fastest time. The 12.92 was my third-fastest time, and then the 12.96 was like tied for my fourth. So, this whole weekend has been nothing but great for me. I’ve been in this zone, I’ve been in this funk…I’ve been in this thing where I’m just continuing to pump out 12.9s.”   

The men’s 110 hurdles was the only final of the evening, setting up what os come in the final two days of the trials. 

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