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U.S. OLYMPIC TRACK TRIALS

Allyson Felix, Jeneba Tarmoh clock near-identical times in 200

The sprinters, who must resolve a tie for third in the 100, win their respective semifinal heats of the women's 200 in 22.30 seconds -- 22.297 for Felix and 22.298 for Tarmoh.

June 29, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Allyson Felix hits the straightaway in a win during a 200-meter heat on Friday at the U.S. Olypmic trials.
Allyson Felix hits the straightaway in a win during a 200-meter heat on Friday… (Paul Buck / EPA )

EUGENE, Ore. — Sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh continued down an eerily parallel path at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Friday, though their near-identical times in different semifinal heats of the women's 200 didn't cause the same headaches as their still-unresolved tie for third in the 100.

Felix and Tarmoh won their respective heats in 22.30 seconds — taken to thousandths of a second Felix was timed in 22.297 and Tarmoh in 22.298 — to advance to Saturday's final at Hayward Field. USA Track and Field officials have said the tie in the 100 must be resolved before the trials end and that they will announce the tiebreaking mechanism after the 200 final. A runoff is likely if neither withdraws.

Both train in Los Angeles with Bobby Kersee, who instructed them not to comment about their odd situation. Asked how Felix looked Friday, he offered a thumbs up as he walked her off the track.

Felix and Tarmoh appeared strong. So did trials 400-meter champion Sanya Richards-Ross in running the top semifinal time, 22.15. "I was thinking 22.3 so I was really pleased," she said. Also advancing were trials 100-meter champion Carmelita Jeter of Los Angeles and runner-up Tianna Madison.

The withdrawals of an injured Walter Dix and the 100-meter-focused Justin Gatlin diminished the men's 200 semifinals. Wallace Spearmon Jr. had the best time, a wind-aided 20.17 seconds. Darvis Patton, who qualified sixth at 20.40, said the event is "wide open." He added, "Anyone can make the team. You've got guys who got hungrier once they realized those guys weren't in the race."

Demus posts fastest 400 this year

World 400-meter hurdles champion Lashinda Demus of Palmdale advanced to Sunday's final with a semifinal time of 54.41 seconds, the fastest by an American woman his year. Turquoise Thompson of UCLA also advanced with a 55.73.

Demus said she won't worry about the rest of the field. "I found out that if you focus really on what you're going to do in a hurdle race you'll come out best, on top," she said.

In the men's 400-meter hurdles, Beijing Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor had the top semifinal time (48.77) and reached Sunday's final ahead of Bershawn Jackson (48.83) and Kerron Clement (49.04), the 2008 bronze and silver medalists.

Fountain leads heptathlon

Beijing heptathlon silver medalist Hyleas Fountain leads the trials competition after four events with 3,948 points. Sharon Day of Costa Mesa is second at 3,797, with Barbara Nwaba of UC Santa Barbara third at 3,736.

"For me it's all about competing and making sure I am in one of those top three spots," said Day, who made the Beijing Olympic team in the high jump and was 12th in qualifying.

Richardson in final of 110 hurdles

World 110-meter hurdles champion Jason Richardson, who trains at West Los Angeles College, reached Sunday's hurdles final after posting the top semifinal time, 13.125 seconds.

"I don't carry a wand but I'm still trying to create a little magic," he said, after proclaiming that he wears his world title like a Harry Potter cloak. "I just hope I run 13-flat or 12.9. I've got some tattoo ideas, but I've got to go under 13."

Etc.

Long jumper Janay DeLoach leaped a wind-aided 7.15 meters (23-5 1/2) to advance to Sunday's final.... In the men's 1,500, Matt Centrowitz (3:41.893) edged Leonel Manzano (3:41.898) to win the faster of two semifinals and qualify for Sunday's final. In the women's 1,500 semifinal, 2011 U.S. champion Morgan Uceny (4:08.90) and world champion Jenny Simpson (4:09.12) had the top times heading into Sunday's final.... Former Stanford standout Jillian Camarena-Williams won the shotput by moving up from fourth to first with a throw of 19.16 meters (62-10 1/2) in the third round.... Emma Coburn (9:32.78) of the University of Colorado won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, followed by Bridget Franek (9:35.62) and Shalaya Kipp (9:35.73).

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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