DES MOINES, Iowa (Sporting Alert) – Brianna Rollins signed off Saturday’s third day of action at the U.S. Track & Field Championships with a sizzling 12.26 seconds (+1.2 m/s) to win the women’s 100-meter hurdles – flashing to a new American record at Drake Stadium.
Rollins had looked very impressive in the early rounds, but her winning time in the final came as a surprised to everyone, including the runner herself.
“I just came out here and tried to focus on my own lane. I was just so overwhelmed and so emotional, it’s just all amazing. I just thank God,” she said.
Rollins’ performance, which is just outside the world record of 12.21, is the third fastest time ever, but she says it wasn’t something she was thinking about.
“I didn’t,” the hurdler said when asked if she was thinking about breaking the American record. “I don’t ever think about times or records or anything.
“I just come out here and feel blessed.”
Finishing second to Rollins was Queen Harrison, who ran 12.43, while third went to Nia Ali in 12.48.
Lolo Jones stopped the clock at 12.55 for fifth place.
LaShawn Merritt delivered another solid run to win the men’s 400m title, running 44.21 to finish ahead of former national champion Tony McQuay (44.74) and Arman Hall (45.01).
“I wanted to come in and execute my race,” Merritt said. “That is what I did. I was confident from my race yesterday. I came in and ran my own race.”
Natasha Hastings raced away with the women’s title and did delivered a sub-50 seconds timing, just as I had predicted on Saturday, prior to the race.
She clocked 49.94 to beat Francena McCorory, who ran a personal best of 50.01 for second. The important third place position went to Illinois’s NCAA champion Ashley Spencer (50.58).
“I knew it was going to be a tight race, and a great race, I couldn’t focus on anything else,” said Hastings after the tough victory.
“I had to focus on myself, on my race plan. All the things I have been working for. This is actually my first victory in the open 400 all season.”
But it was a very disappointing championships for Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who finished 6th and failed to make the team for the open event.
Michael Tinsley showed that he saved his best race for the finals of the men’s 400m hurdles after running a world-leading 47.96 to beat Kerron Clement (48.06) and Bershawn Jackson (48.09) to the title.
Elsewhere on Saturday, 17-year-old Mary Cain ran 4:28.76 to take second in the women’s 1500m and earned a place on the American team to Moscow. The event was won by Treniere Moser, who just outpaced Cain in the closing metres to take the win in 4:28.62.
Michelle Carter, in the meantime, won the women’s Shot Put event with an American record of 20.24m, a mark she established in the fifth round of the competition.
“It felt good (to get the record), Carter said. “We’ve been training for a peak this time of year. This is like a small one and then we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve been working really hard trying to put everything together and get ready for Russia.”
The first round of the men’s and women’s 200m also went off with Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix amongst the qualifiers for the semifinals.