Saturday was the fourth day of the 2014 U.S.A. Track & Field Outdoor Championships that are being held for a third day at Hornet Stadium located on the campus of Sacramento State University. It was the warmest day of the meet and you can feel it out in the stands and on the field. The new track looks really great but the heat from the sun gives it a poly-foam odor. One competition was scratched from the meet and that was the women’s 200 Meter Dash that was scheduled for 12:20 P.M.
The morning’s opening event was the women’s 20 Kilometer Race Walk. This grueling competition pitted ten athletes in a twenty kilometer walk around Hornet Stadium. The streets were blocked off as the walkers raced around the perimeter of the complex. A winner was crowned at 1:35:54.37 and it was Maria Michta who won the gold, Miranda Melville finished with the silver (1:37:59.83) followed by Erin Gray (1:39.23.91) whose third place finished netter her the bronze.
The track & field portion of today’s championships began at 10:45 with the men’s master finals in the 400 Meter Hurdles. Darnell Gatling Sr. won the gold (1:01.61), Peter Grimes silver (1:01.95) and Kerry Sloan won the bronze (1:07.10). The Master’s women’s 100 Meter Dash finals were held at 10:53 and they were won by Joy Upshaw whose time of 13.25made her the gold medalist winner followed by La Shon Nedd-Johnson who won the silver (13.71) followed by Colleen Barney (13.73) netted the bronze. The women’s Hammer Throw Final was held at 11:00 and it was won by Amanda Bingson whose throw of 75.07 meters was good enough to win the gold.
Other highlights from day four were the men’s High Jump finals. Erik Kynard won the gold with a jump of 7 ft 8 1/2 inches followed by second place finalists Nick Ross and Dustin Jonas who tied for second with a jump of 7 ft 5 3/4 inches. The women’s Long Jump finals were held at 12:15 and Brittney Reese won the gold with a leap of 22 feet 8 1/2 inches. The women’s 400 Meter Dash finals were decided by Francena McCoroy’s finish of 49.48 giving her the gold. As the afternoon wore on the rising temperatures were factoring into the competition but the weather is not as bad in Sacramento as it could have been for this time of year.
1:56 P.M. was the start of four finals that would be decided before the day’s events were done. First was the women’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase (along distance run with several wooden hurdles thrown into the mix) which was decided at the 9:19.72 mark by Emma Coburn who won the gold followed by Ashley Higginson and Stephanie Garcia who finished with the silver and bronze respectfully. The men’s 1500 Meter Run Finals began at 2:14 and was won by Leo Manzano who’s gold finishing time of 3:38.63 was a few fractions of a second better than silver medal winner Pat Casey’s time (3:38.94). Lopez Lomong finished with the bronze at third (3:39.11).
The final two competitions of the day started at 2:42 and it was the finals in the men’s 400 Meter Dash. Gil Roberts managed to fend off a serious challenge from second place finalist Josh Mance by winning the gold with a time of 44.53. Mance came in second (44.89) and Klye Clemons finished in third (45.00). The final race of the day was the women’s 100 Meter Hurdles final. Dawn Harper-Nelson won the gold in the hurdles with a time of 12.55. She eeked out the win by beating runner up Queen Harrison by a micro fraction of a second (12.56). Lolo Jones finished in third with a time of 12.65.
Tomorrow’s meet will be the final one of the 2014 U.S.A. Track & Field Outdoor Championships. To purchase tickets for Sunday please visit https://tkt.xosn.com/HomePage.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=29300 and to learn more about the U.S.A. Track & Field check out http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2014/USATF-Outdoor-Championships....