Rodgers, Bartoletta take 100m titles at U.S. Championships

Mike Rodgers
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World and Olympic relay medalists Mike Rodgers and Tianna Bartoletta captured individual 100m titles at the U.S. Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday night.

Rodgers, part of the silver medal 4x100m relay team at the 2013 World Championships, clocked 10.09 seconds into a 1.7 m/s headwind. Ryan Bailey, who was fifth at the London Olympics, took second in 10.23.

Rodgers now looks forward to facing top U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay at the next Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday. Gatlin has run 9.86 this year. The American record holder Gay’s presence in Lausanne will be his return race from a yearlong doping suspension.

Bartoletta, fourth in the 2012 Olympic 100m running as Tianna Madison, prevailed in 11.15 seconds into a 2.1 m/s headwind in Friday’s final. Defending U.S. champion English Gardner stumbled out of the blocks and finished fourth.

“I really believe that track and field is a metaphor for life, and last year I got hurt,” Bartoletta, who dabbled in bobsledding after the London Olympics but didn’t make it to Sochi, told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN. “Just like a lot of people, there are setbacks, but you find out what you’re made of and what the people around you are made of, and you just keep pushing. I feel like that’s what made me a success so far this year and throughout the whole trajectory of my career.”

The fastest woman Friday withdrew from the final. Tori Bowie ran a personal best 10.91 in the semifinals (with a 2.0 m/s tailwind) and appeared to suffer a left leg injury.

The U.S. Championships continue Saturday with finals including the men’s and women’s 400m and women’s 100m hurdles.

[WATCH LIVEU.S. Championships, Saturday at 4 p.m. ET]

In other Friday events, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee won the decathlon with 8,599 points, the highest total in the world this year.

Hardee, set back by injuries last year, had not completed a decathlon since the London Games until posting 8,518 points in Gotzis, Austria, four weeks ago.

He won the 2009 and 2011 World Championships before Ashton Eaton took over as the world’s greatest athlete. Eaton is focusing on the 400m hurdles this year and expected to return to decathlons in 2015.

“I haven’t lost a step, I’m still in it,” said Hardee, 30. “I’m going to love it [the decathlon] ’til I die.”

Olympic champion Jenn Suhr won the U.S. pole vault title for the eighth time, matching 2000 Olympic champion Stacy Dragila‘s record number of titles in the event.

Will Claye beat Christian Taylor in the triple jump, reversing their one-two finish from the London Olympics. Claye leaped a personal best 17.75m on his final jump, having already topped Taylor’s 17.37m. Claye, in a backwards hat, climbed into the stands immediately after his final jump and began hugging and kissing spectators.

Bernard Lagat recorded his seventh U.S. 5000m title, passing Andrew Bumbalough with 100m to go and crossing in 13:31.41. Molly Huddle captured her second 5000m title in 15:01.56.

Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross matched the fastest 400m time in the world this year, 50.03, to reach Saturday’s final. Richards-Ross, plagued by toe problems last year, chopped 1.16 seconds off her previous best time of 2014.

“To be back, close to my old self, I feel so blessed,” said Richards-Ross, who won the Olympic title in 49.55.

World champion LaShawn Merritt scratched out of the 400m semifinals, leaving Gil Roberts as the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final.

World champion Brianna Rollins, 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson and three-time Olympian Lolo Jones were among 16 qualifiers into the 100m hurdles semifinals Saturday.

The 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson and 2013 Worlds finalist Mary Cain, 18, advanced to Sunday’s 1500m final.

Olympic and World silver medalist Michael Tinsley shockingly failed to advance out of the first round of the 400m hurdles.

USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule