American record holder Tyson Gay and Tori Bowie captured 100m titles at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night.
Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross failed to qualify for the 400m final (race video here), meaning she will not run in the World Championships in Beijing in August.
In the 100m, Gay clocked 9.87 seconds for his biggest victory since returning from a doping ban last year and his first World Championships berth since 2009 (race video here).
“It means everything,” Gay told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN. “Just being able to come back from a mistake, show the world that you can make up for the mistake.”
“I think this is the most meaningful USA championship I’ve ever won,” Gay said later on USATF.TV. “I feel like this is the most, I wouldn’t say love, or respect that I’ve ever gotten. I’ve had so many people giving me high-fives, saying we love you, so glad to have you back, you’re a breath of fresh air.”
The U.S. men’s 100m team at Worlds will include Gay, Justin Gatlin (who didn’t run the 100m on Friday but has a bye as the 2014 Diamond League champion) and Trayvon Bromell, who finished second to Gay in 9.96, and Mike Rodgers, third in 9.97.
The Baylor rising junior Bromell’s college coach said before the meet, “if he goes big up there this weekend, which by all accounts he probably will, it’s going to be difficult for him to come back,” according to the Waco Tribune.
Bromell, 19, said Friday he does not have immediate plans to turn professional.
“Only way I’m going to come out is if I get what I’m worth,” Bromell said on USATF.TV. “I’m not like the average athlete that jumps when they see a dollar sign. … I don’t want to seem like I’m asking too much or anything, but I don’t want to be that person that gets gypped over and not get what they should get. I feel like if I’m not getting what I deserve, I’m going to stay in school because I guarantee my degree will get me what I’m worth.”
On Thursday, Bromell ran the fastest wind-legal 100m of the U.S. Championships, a 9.84 in the first round.
“He’s the future,” Gay said of Bromell, who called Gay his idol. “When I was in the back room, talking to some guys, it was just a new era. I’m not familiar with a lot of faces.”
Bowie took the women’s 100m final in 10.81 seconds (race video here), tying for third fastest in the world this year behind Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
The soft-spoken Bowie, primarily a long jumper until spring 2014, qualified for her first Worlds team.
“It’s a huge step,” Bowie, the fastest woman in the world in 2014 in 10.80, told Johnson on NBCSN. “It’s kind of like a dream come true almost. Oh my gosh, I worked so hard to get to this level. Honestly, I would’ve been content to just get top three, but I’ll take first place any day.”
Bowie is joined on the U.S. women’s 100m team for Worlds by 2013 U.S. champion English Gardner, who was second in 10.86, and University of Oregon rising junior Jasmine Todd, who was third in 10.92.
The 2011 World champion Carmelita Jeter finished seventh, failing to make the U.S. team, and fell to the track after the race. The 35-year-old said she believes she tore her left quadriceps, according to Lewis Johnson.
Jeter suffered a right quad injury in May 2013 and went 10 months between races in 2013 and 2014.
Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee won the decathlon with 8,725 points to join Olympic and World champion Ashton Eaton on the Worlds team. Eaton had a bye and didn’t compete in the decathlon at Nationals.
Hardee’s point total was his highest since he won the 2009 World Championship.
In the women’s 400m, Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix and 2014 U.S. champion Francena McCorory led the qualifiers into Saturday’s final. Richards-Ross was fifth in her semifinal, failing to make the final.
World gold and silver medalists LaShawn Merritt and Tony McQuay were among the qualifiers into Saturday’s men’s 400m final, while 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner failed to advance out of the semifinals Friday.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, World champion Brianna Rollins and Summer and Winter Olympian Lolo Jones, along with the world’s two fastest women this year, Sharika Nelvis and Jasmin Stowers, advanced to Saturday’s semifinals. Rollins has a bye onto the Worlds team and will be joined in Beijing by the top three women from the final.
Diamond League champion Jenny Simpson led the qualifiers into Sunday’s 1500m final, though Simpson has a bye into Worlds. She’s joined in the final by Shannon Rowbury and Mary Cain, among others.
Brenda Martinez, Ajee’ Wilson and Alysia Montano, who finished three-four-six at the 2013 Worlds, all qualified into Sunday’s 800m final.
World silver medalist Nick Symmonds and Olympic fourth-place finisher Duane Solomon made Sunday’s men’s 800m final.
The U.S. Championships continue Saturday (NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra, 4-6 p.m. ET) highlighted by the men’s and women’s 400m finals.