Although there are no Olympics or World Championships to qualify for this season, some current and former female athletes of Arizona and Arizona State made impressive showings this weekend at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Shelby Houlihan, the Arizona State junior who won the NCAA title in the 1,500 just weeks earlier in Eugene, Ore., finished seventh in the 800 with a personal best time of 2:01.12. The event was won by 20-year-old Ajee Wilson of Temple University, and former Arizona Wildcat Christina Rodgers was 13th.
Georganne Moline, formerly of the University of Arizona, placed second in the 400 hurdles to Kori Carter. Moline’s 54 seconds were the third-fastest in the world this season, while Nneya Henry, in between her sophomore and junior years in Tucson, placed 11th at 57.73 seconds.
Another decorated former Arizona track star, defending world and Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett was third in the high jump at 1.91 meters. The two-time national champion finished behind Inika McPherson (2 meters even) and Chaunte Lowe (1.94).
Also, the 2013 NCAA champion at ASU, Chelsea Cassulo, was 12th in the hammer throw at 61.53 meters, and former Sun Devil Amy Hastings was third in the 10,000 meters in 32:18.81. Former Arizona thrower Alyssa Hasslen was 18th in the shot put at 15.95 meters, while her former teammate Julie Labonte won her fourth consecutive Canadian national titles in the discus and shot put this weekend in Moncton, New Brunswick.
HEADLINING SOME OF THE OTHER EVENTS
Tianna Bartoletta (11.15 in the 100), Jeneba Tarmoh (22.06 in the 200) and Francena McCorory (49.48 in the 400) all won their first outdoor national titles in the sprints, two years after each won relay gold medals at the London Olympics.
Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, won her third national title in the 100-meter hurdles in 12.55 seconds, squeaking past Queen Harrison (12.56) and Lolo Jones (12.65).
Defending Olympic and three-time defending world champion Brittney Reese added her sixth national title in the long jump (6.92 meters) to her impressive trophy case.
Gia Lewis-Smallwood repeated her title in the women’s discus at 65.96 meters, just ahead of Liz Podominick (59.96).
Reigining Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr won the pole vault for the sixth time at a height of 4.60 meters, and Sharon Day-Monroe won her third heptathlon title in the past four years.