Zach Ziemek

Noah Lyles takes next step to stardom as youngest U.S. 100m champion in 34 years

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Incredible, Noah Lyles.

Lyles, wearing red “The Incredibles” socks, won the U.S. 100m title in 9.88 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year, at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines on Friday night.

Lyles overtook Ronnie Baker in the final strides to win by .02 and become the youngest man to take the sprint crown since Sam Graddy in 1984. Nationals were held a week before Olympic Trials won by Carl Lewis in 1984. Essentially, Lyles is the youngest U.S. 100m champ since Lewis in 1981.

What’s more incredible is that Lyles is primarily a 200m runner, having finished fourth in that event at the 2016 Olympic Trials as an 18-year-old. Lyles is joint fastest in the world in the 200m this year and has not lost an outdoor 200m since the trials (he missed 2017 Nationals, and thus 2017 Worlds, with a hamstring tear).

“I wanted to prove myself as a 100m runner,” Lyles, who turned pro after Olympic Trials and skipped NCAA track, told Lewis Johnson on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. “I’ve kind of been cheatin’ on my 200m. It’s time to go back to my baby.”

NCAA champion Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 100m in 10.91 seconds, beating Ashley Henderson by .05 and Olympian Jenna Prandini by .07.

Hobbs, 22, was seventh in her senior nationals debut last year. She entered Des Moines with the four fastest times among Americans this year, ranked No. 3 in the world behind Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighotegunor.

The U.S.’ established 100m stars — world gold and silver medalists Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman and world champion Tori Bowie — are not racing at nationals. This is the only year in the four-year cycle without an Olympics or world outdoor championships.

USATF Outdoors continue Saturday on NBC (4-6 p.m. ET) and NBC Sports Gold (11 a.m.-6 p.m.), highlighted by 400m, 1500m and 100m hurdles finals.

USATF Outdoors: TV Schedule | Results | Women’s Preview | Men’s Preview

Earlier Friday, Olympic champion Christian Taylor fouled and passed out of the triple jump after three jumps, shortly after finishing fifth in his 400m semifinal to miss Saturday’s final by one spot.

Olympian Zach Ziemek became the first man other than Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee to win the U.S. decathlon title since 2010. Ziemek, who finished third, third and second the last three years, scored 8,294 points to win by 275 over Solomon Simmons.

Favorites Kendall Ellis, Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley advanced to Saturday’s women’s 400m final. Olympic silver medalist Allyson Felix and 2017 World champion Phyllis Francis chose not to race the 400m in Des Moines. Eighteen-year-old pro Sydney McLaughlin, fastest in the world this year in the 400m hurdles, entered the 400m but scratched before Thursday’s first round after feeling tightness in her quad in warm-up.

World bronze medalist Ajee’ Wilson and Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy highlighted the qualifiers into Sunday’s 800m finals.

MORE: Lyles, Norman, green teens at Olympic Trials, now stars at USATF Champs

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Decathlon: Eaton on pace to repeat gold; Can he beat his world record?

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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Reigning gold medalist Ashton Eaton looks set to repeat as Olympic decathlon champion.

Perhaps the only question is whether he’ll best his own world record.

Eaton, 28, enters the last two events — javelin throw and 1500m run — with a 174-point lead on second-place Damian Warner of Canada.


Javelin throw — 5:35 p.m. EDT

1500m runEvening session

Eaton’s 7,217 points are on pace to break his world record of 9,045.

Kai Kazmirek of Germany is third with 6,976. Americans Jeremy Taiwo (6,803) and Zach Ziemek (6,006) are 5th and 18th heading into the javelin throw.

Decathlon: Ashton Eaton leads after two events; Shot put next

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

American decathlete Ashton Eaton is the heavy favorite to come out on top of his second-straight Olympic decathlon, and he’s off to a decent start at fulfilling that promise.

Two events into the race for gold, Eaton leads Canada’s Damien Warner by 30 points. Third place is Germany’s Kai Kazmirek, 138 points back of Eaton.

WATCH: Completed events replay & LIVE

The American star ran the second-fastest time in the 100m dash before topping the field in the long jump.

Canadian Damien Warner is considered to be the prime threat to Eaton’s throne, and he ran the best 100m dash to lead things off. Fellow American Zach Ziemek finished third in the heat and the event.

Eaton flew past the field in his long jump group, landing a 7.90 and 7.94. Germany’s Kai Kazmirek, Belgium’s Thomas van der Plaetsen, and Canada’s Damian Warner were close.

Ziemek is eight after two events, while USA’s Jeremy Taiwo is 15th.

The shot put is next, followed by high jump.