Another great day of competition wrapped up with some great performances. The best result of the day came from Florida's Jeff Demps, who set the national record in the 100m dash with his winning mark of 10.01 (wind-legal!). Demps started right next to Tyson Gay in the quarter-final race, getting off to a great start, but moved even better over the final 25 meters to place second in his heat and move on to the semi-finals tomorrow at 2:30 PDT.
U.S. Olympic Trials Coverage: Saturday Highlights
Men's 100m Dash
What a day it was for South Lake, Florida's Jeff Demps (pictured right, courtesy of Victor Sailor of PhotoRun.net). The University of Florida-bound senior broke the national record in the men's 100m dash quarter-final Saturday evening, blazing a 10.01, in the process of finishing second in his heat and advancing to tomorrow's semi-final.
Earlier in the day Demps ran 10.12, which ranked him U.S. #2 all-time in the event and broke the Florida state record. While many expected this kind of performance out of Demps, the 10.01 that came only a few hours later was certainly a surprise. Running with the poise of a professional, Demps started next to U.S. champion Tyson Gay in the quarter-finals. With a great start, Demps moved up in the field from 30m to 70m, then closed strong over the final 30m.
The crowd was simply inspired due to Gay's new U.S. record of 9.77, but anyone watching that race knew Demps would be close to breaking the U.S. high school record of 10.08, set by J-Mee Samuels. "I knew I could get the record," said Demps afterwards, "but I still have more to do here." Tomorrow Demps gets another chance to push the ten second barrier and make the final of the 100m dash, which is tomorrow evening.
Women's 800m Dash
A crowd favorite from the first time she stepped on the track, Laura Roesler (Fargo South, ND) gave it her all one more time Saturday. After a thrilling finish Friday evening, which saw the sophomore qualify for the semi-final in the 800m dash, Roesler toed the line hoping to qualify for the final.
A quick early pace of 28.6 sent Roesler to the back of the pack, something she did as well on Friday. However, despite the pack slowing a bit on the second 200m, which saw the leader come through in 60.2, this time Roesler didn't move up. Perhaps it was the back to back days of racing, or perhaps getting boxed in from 400m to 500m threw her off a a bit, but Roesler gave it all she had. The North Dakota native finished eighth place in her heat with a time of 2:06.82.
"This was so fun," Roesler said afterward, "I was excited to make it to the next round and this will help a lot in the future." Her excitement came through and the crowd rose on the final 100 meters, showing their support for all the Olympic hopefuls, but the loudest cheers were for Roesler. A crowd favorite and only a sophomore...quite an accomplishment.
Women's Javelin Throw
Fawn Miller (Lakeview, PA) seemed to be a hidden high school gem this week in the women's javelin. Miller, who many have overlooked this season due to the success' of Roxi Grizzle (KS) and Hannah Carson (AZ), finished an incredible 15th place overall in the event against the nation's very best. Miller threw a great series, including her most impressive toss of 154-05 on her second throw.