Feb. 27, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- While the Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols were in action at the SEC Indoor Championships over the weekend, several Big Orange standouts were competing and doing extremely well in the USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. As top-two finishers in their events, a handful earned berths on Team USA for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, March 9-11.
Competing at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Tianna Madison (women's 60m dash), Aries Merritt (men's 60m hurdles) and Erica Moore (women's 800m run) all came out winners on Sunday night. Runners-up included Jackie Areson (women's 3000m run), Justin Gatlin (men's 60m dash) and Phoebe Wright (women's 800m run). All made the USA World Championships Team for their efforts.
Other former UT athletes in action at the meet were Garland Porter (men's weight throw) and DeeDee Trotter (women's 400m dash), who were third-place finishers, and Rubin Williams (men's 60m dash), who placed 11th.
Here are event recaps provided by USA Track & Field, with quotes from winning UT products.
Nike Women's 60m Dash
Tianna Madison continued her dominance in the 60m this year by claiming the USA Indoor title and equaling her world-leading time of 7.02. Madison now owns the three fastest times in the world this year and currently sits fifth all-time in American history. Barbara Pierre placed second in 7.06 and Lakya Brookins was third in 7.14.
Madison's Comments: "I'm happy. It always feels good to execute after I've trained hard all fall. I will be in Istanbul representing Team USA, and it will be an honor to do it. The long jump has been my baby for a long time; since middle school."
Nike Men's 60m Hurdles
Aries Merritt survived a pair of false starts by Dexter Faulk, who ran under protest following his first false start, to win the men's 60m hurdles in a time of 7.43. Merritt bested a stellar field that included Kevin Craddock, who placed second in 7.46, two-time World Indoor gold medalist Terrence Trammell and American outdoor record holder David Oliver.
Merritt's Comments: "It is what it is with the false starts happening, but you have to stay focused and do what you have to do. Every time you run is not going to be perfect. There are going to be distractions, but you just have to race."
Women's 800m Run
Erica Moore left little doubt in pulling away to win the women's 800m by nearly two full seconds. Moore's winning time of 2:01.08 was well ahead of Phoebe Wright (2:03.07) and Latavia Thomas (2:04.50). The time for Moore is a season best and the top American readout this indoor season.
Moore's Comments: "It was great. Even coming out of the curve I wasn't sure if I was going to take it, I thought I'd have to fight for it. I kept rolling in the third lap and wanted to keep the pace honest, and I was able to bring it home."
BMW Men's 60m Dash
Trell Kimmons ran the third fastest American time ever and a world-leading time of 6.45 to claim a national title in the 60m. It was a personal best time for Kimmons as well as for runner-up Justin Gatlin (6.51). This was Kimmons' first ever USA Championship title. Rubin Williams was 11th overall, running 6.71 in the semifinals and not advancing to the final.
Women's 3000m Run
After Shayla Houlihan lead the first portion of the race, it looked like a repeat of last year's race, as Jenny Simpson and Sara Hall took the lead in the women's 3000m. Simpson took the lead with a little more than six laps remaining and never looked back to win her second consecutive USA Indoor 3000m title. While it looked like Hall would take the runner-up spot in this race for the fourth time, Jackie Areson passed her on the last lap to take second in 9:20.61. Hall finished a little more than a second behind in 9:21.87.
Women's 400m Dash
Today was a big day for Sanya Richards-Ross who not only celebrated her birthday and anniversary, but also won the USA indoor title in the women's 400m. Richards-Ross set a meet record of 50.71 to win by nearly a second over runner-up Natasha Hastings (51.66). Chasing the American record from the gun, Richards-Ross narrowly missed Francena McCorory's all-time American best of 50.54 she ran in 2010. Richards-Ross ran the third fastest time in American history and now owns the two fastest times in the world this year. DeeDee Trotter, who placed second in prelims at 52.12, wound up third in the final in 51.68.
Men's Weight Throw
A.G. Kruger won his seventh USA Indoor title in the men's weight throw with a lob of 24.57m/80-7.5. Kruger sat in second behind Michael Mai for much of the competition before gaining the lead on his fifth attempt. Mai finished second with 23.91m/78-5.5, and Garland Porter took the third spot on the podium with a throw of 23.37m/76-9.25.