US Olympic qualifying: Bor, Army’s Keter top steeplechase
EUGENE – With Olympic silver medalist and American record holder Evan Jager missing the U.S. Olympic Trials with a calf injury, a fresh crop of U.S. steeplechasers looked to fill his spot in Tokyo and possibly on the medal stand.
Hillary Bor, one of just three Americans to run under 8:10 within the last Olympic cycle, brushed elbows with the U.S. Army’s Benard Keter in the final 400 meters to pull away from a chase pack of six men still in contention for just three qualifying spots for the Summer Games. Bor edged out Keter by just .47 seconds to win in 8:21.34.
Mason Ferlic and Daniel Michalski were side-by-side on the final water barrier. Ferlic’s long stride and his kick created enough space for him to close for third and make his first-ever Olympic team in 8:22.05.
Other notable news from Day 6
- The first event on the track for Friday’s afternoon session was the men’s 200 meters. 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton beat reigning world champion Noah Lyles and 400m world championship silver medalist Fred Kerley in the first heat with a 20.04 victory. All three advanced to the semifinals. Knighton’s time was not just the fastest of the day but also broke Lyles’s U.S. high school record, which had stood since the 2016 Olympic Trials.
- Reigning world champion Grant Holloway improved to 20–0 in all hurdle races for 2021 with an easy-looking 13.11 to win the first heat of the men’s 110m hurdles and posted the fastest time of the day. The semifinals and final will be held on Saturday.
- The women’s 800m semifinals had all the favorites advance to the final. The final is on Sunday at 4:52 p.m. PDT and will feature world championship silver medalist Raevyn Rogers, world championship bronze medalist and American record holder Ajee’ Wilson, NCAA record holder Athing Mu, 2014 world indoor championship gold medalist Chanelle Price and 2016 U.S. Olympian Kate Grace vying for just three spots to Tokyo.
- World record holder, reigning Olympic and world champion Dalilah Muhammad and world championship silver medalist Sydney McLaughlin safely advanced to the semifinal round of the women’s 400 meter hurdles on Saturday at 6:19 p.m. PDT. McLaughlin had the fastest time of the day with a 54.07.
- Kenny Selmon posted the fastest time of the day in the men’s 400m hurdles semifinals with a 48.51. World championship silver medalist Rai Benjamin jogged a 48.61 for the second-fastest time of the day in what he described as a 65% effort.
- The first two rounds of the men’s 1,500m at the Olympic Trials has been a test of the best kicks. In the first semifinal, Craig Engels topped a pack of six men separated by .22 seconds with a 3:38.56 win. Seven men from his section advanced to the finals. The second section was more conservative and led to a duel between a past and present Oregon star. Reigning Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz gave a quick look over and smiled toward NCAA champion Cole Hocker in the final 100 meters before crossing the finish line together in 3:42.96 and 3:43.00. U.S. high school record holder Hobbs Kessler, who signed a professional contract with Adidas on Wednesday, did not advance past the semifinal.
- Gabby Thomas posted the fastest women’s 200m time in the semifinals with a 21.94. 2016 Olympian Jenna Prandini and four-time (soon-to-be five-time) Olympian Allyson Felix also advanced with a 1-2 finish in 21.99 and 22.20 for their respective semifinal section.
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