Tracking the TrialsBlake RisnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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June 29, 2008
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Records tumbling at U.S. Olympic track trials

Hello from Eugene, Oregon - "Track Town, USA". The new surface at Hayward Field is fast. Today (Saturday), I witnessed an American record, a collegiate record and a high school record, all within a span of less than five minutes.Tyson Gay blistered the track with a new American record in the men's 100-meter dash, running 9.77 seconds - in a quarterfinal! The elite athletes usually take it easy during the preliminary rounds. Well, Gay almost took it too easy in the first round of four on Saturday. After building a comfortable lead at 70 meters, the 2007 World Champion began to slow to conserve energy. The talented field of runners almost made him pay as they quickly closed the gap and began to pass America's best sprinter. Fortunately, Gay moved on to the next round with a fourth-place finish. In the same 100 quarterfinal heat, Florida high schooler Jeff Demps ran 10.01 to break the national prep record of 10.08. One of several high school athletes competing at the trials, Demps seems to be fearless as he faces many of the world's best sprinters. Also in action in the 100 was the new collegiate record holder, Travis Padgett of Clemson University. Padgett ran 9.89 in another quarterfinal to break the old record of 9.90. In all, seven sprinters ran under 10 seconds in the men's 100 quarterfinals. Wow!The women's 100 team for the Beijing Olympics was determined Saturday afternoon as Muna Lee passed Torri Edwards at the finish to win the U.S. championship with a time of 10.85. Lauren Williams, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, placed third to claim the last spot on the team.In the field on Saturday, the world's four best men's shot putters waged a mammoth battle to determine the three that would represent the U.S. in Beijing. After the sixth round of throws was complete, Reese Hoffa, Christian Cantwell and Adam Nelson emerged victorious. Hoffa led the way with a giant effort measuring 72 feet, 614 inches.Finals scheduled for Sunday were numerous. In order, they are women's triple jump, men's pole vault, women's discus, men's long jump, men's and women's 400 hurdles and the men's 100 dash. For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, log on to www.eugene08.com.Tomorrow, my goal is to provide some insight as to what makes track and field fans a special breed. Who knows? Maybe one of the athletes will provide us with a special moment to help illustrate this point.Bryce and Bailey, I hope that you are having a good time with your grandmother and Bob. Be good!On a side note, this "Tracking the Trials" entry should appear in Monday's edition. The memorial for Steve Lundin is scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. My sympathies go out to the entire Lundin family. I will be thinking of Steve today.Blake RisnerGlenwood Springs High School track and field coach


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The Post Independent Updated Jun 30, 2008 01:53AM Published Jun 29, 2008 02:00AM Copyright 2008 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.