Jeneba Tarmoh left no doubt at the U.S. Championships on Sunday, two years after her famous tie with Allyson Felix at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
University of Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen and World bronze medalist Curtis Mitchell also won track titles in Sacramento, Calif., where on-track temperatures reportedly topped 120 degrees.
Tarmoh won the 200m in 22.06 seconds. Last year’s U.S. champion, Kimberlyn Duncan, was second in 22.1 with a 3.8 m/s tailwind.
“I really just tried to stay focused on my finish,” Tarmoh told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “My coach told me to stay relaxed. That’s exactly what I did.”
In 2012, Tarmoh and Felix tied for third in the 100m at the Olympic Trials, where three women make the Olympic Team in the event. There were no tiebreaker procedures in place, officials determined a runoff to decide the spot, and Tarmoh ceded it to Felix rather than run.
Tarmoh still made the Olympic Team in the 4x100m relay that won gold (Tarmoh ran in the first round to earn her medal but not the final). She went on to finish fifth in the 200m at the 2013 World Championships. Felix tore her hamstring and fell to the track in the same race.
Now, Tarmoh, at 24, is a U.S. champion for the first time. She owed her ability to focus at such a big meet to her experience.
“It’s very hard, but I think it’s practice, being a professional for probably three years now,” Tarmoh said. “It doesn’t happen in one year. It definitely takes time.”
The track and field season continues with the resumption of the Diamond League in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday. There, Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay will face off in the 100m in Gay’s return from a doping suspension.
In other events Sunday, University of Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen followed his NCAA Championship with the U.S. title in the 110m hurdles. Allen’s dip at the line earned him a victory over 2013 U.S. champion Ryan Wilson in a photo finish — 13.155 to 13.160 (video here).
Allen’s time, rounded up to 13.16, was the same mark he set to win the NCAA title in Eugene, Ore., two weeks ago.
Allen, a redshirt freshman at Oregon last year, caught two touchdowns in the school’s May spring game and was named MVP. Allen said football was his priority after he won the NCAA title.
In the men’s 200m, the heat slowed World bronze medalist Curtis Mitchell, but not until after he won the race.
Mitchell edged two-time Olympian Wallace Spearmon and grabbed his right hamstring shortly after crossing the finish line in 20.13, .09 faster than Spearmon.
“I’m fine, just hot conditions out here,” Mitchell said. “I’ll be OK.”
The 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson comfortably won the 1500m in 4:04.96. Mary Cain, a professional who graduated high school one week ago, was second in 4:06.34.
Bershawn Jackson, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, fell after the first hurdle in the 400m hurdles and was helped off the track. Johnny Dutch won his first U.S. title (in his seventh try) about 350m later in 48.93.
Duane Solomon, an Olympic and World finalist, quickly took the lead in the 800m and was not challenged down the stretch. He won by 1.67 in 1:44.3.
The 2012 World Junior champion Ajee’ Wilson captured the 800m in 1:58.7. World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez was fifth.
The 2013 NCAA champion Kori Carter won the 400m hurdles in 53.84, the second fastest time in the world this year. Only Jamaican Kaliese Spencer has run faster.
Inika McPherson outlasted three-time Olympian Chaunte Lowe and Olympic and World silver medalist Brigetta Barrett to win the high jump with a personal best 2m clearance.
Olympian Evan Jager won the 3000m steeplechase in 8:18.83.
Two-time reigning NCAA champion Sam Kendricks took the pole vault by clearing 5.75m.
Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood won her second straight U.S. discus title with a 65.96m throw. London teammate Sean Furey threw 81.1m to prevail in the javelin.
Jeff Henderson leaped 8.52m to win the long jump.