Simone Biles

Simone Biles goes wire to wire at Secret Classic

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Simone Biles cemented her favorite status for the P&G Championships by running away with the Secret Classic all-around title Saturday, her first meet since winning the World Championships all-around in October.

Biles, 17, scored 61.7 points at the tune-up meet in Hoffman Estates, Ill., beating 2012 Olympian and reigning World all-around silver medalist Kyla Ross by 1.65.

“I just came in here with a positive mind, and I’ve been out for a while, so I just tried to hit all four and have fun with it,” Biles said on Universal Sports. “I hope [U.S. National Team coordinator Martha Karolyi] was smiling.”

Biles led the field with a 15.8 on floor exercise and a 15.9 on vault, where she landed an Amanar (Ross performed a double twisting Yurchenko, one-half less twist than an Amanar). Biles also scored a 14.75 on uneven bars and closed with a 15.25 on balance beam, matching Ross for the highest score on that apparatus.

Biles was slated to compete in the American Cup in March and the Pacific Rim Championships in April, but pulled out of both meets due to a shoulder aggravation. She also had ankle surgery after the World Championships.

Biles and Ross will be the headliners at the P&G Championships, Aug. 21-24 in Pittsburgh. The team for October’s World Championships in Nanning, China, will be named later this summer.

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Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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