Kaylin Whitney, fastest woman ever under 18, turns pro

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Kaylin Whitney, who ran the fastest-ever 100m and 200m sprints by an under-18 woman last year, announced she turned professional and signed with Nike on her 17th birthday Monday.

Whitney, a Clermont, Fla., native, ran 11.10 seconds in the 100m and 22.49 in the 200m on back-to-back days at the USA Track and Field Junior Championships last July 5-6.

She went on to take 100m bronze and 200m gold at the World Junior Championships at the same site — Eugene, Ore. — later that month.

It was reported in January that Whitney would not run high school track this spring, her junior season, and that she was focused on preparing to try to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics with a training group under retired Olympic and World 100m medalist Dennis Mitchell.

In 2016, Whitney hopes to become the youngest American to compete in Olympic track and field in 40 years.

In 2014, Whitney ranked ninth among U.S. women in the 100m and sixth among U.S. women in the 200m, according to IAAF lists.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic team is set to include the top three each from the Olympic trials in the individual 100m and 200m, plus extra 4x100m relay members (in 2012, the top six from the Olympic trials 100m made the London Olympic relay pool).

Whitney’s fastest 100m in 2014 was 11.10 seconds. The No. 3 U.S. woman ran it in 11.01. The No. 6 U.S. woman ran it in 11.04.

Whitney’s fastest 200m in 2014 was 22.49 seconds. The No. 3 U.S. woman ran it in 22.23.

Sanya Richards-Ross wants revenge in 2015, history in 2016

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)