Harrison dominated the 100m Hurdles in 2016. Photo Credit: Image of Sport

World Record (WR) holder in the women’s 100m Hurdles, Kendra Harrison bounced back from her disappointment at the 2016 US Track and Field Championships, to secure her first national outdoor title in a time of 12.60s on Saturday.

This is Harrison’s first competition since breaking her hand enroute her victory at the Doha Diamond League in May. Her win at the Hornet Stadium in Sacramento will be a huge relief for the 24-year old who missed out on a place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after finishing a distant 6th in the US Trials, despite coming in as the favourite.

Harrison already has a wildcard bye to the World Championships in London after winning the IAAF Diamond League Trophy in her event last year. Nevertheless, she has proven that her ill-fated outing last year was certainly an isolated event.

Rio Silver medallist Nia Ali was 2nd in 12.68s, while Christina Manning finished 3rd with a time of 12.70s. Dawn Harper was 4th in 12.78s. Jasmin Stowers, who raced to a World Lead (WL) of 12.47s in the semis, eventually finished in 8th position in the final, thus missing out on the trip to London.

Rio 2016 Bronze medallist Sam Kendricks extended his brilliant Diamond League form to the US Track and Field Championships as he soared to a WL of 5.91m in the Pole vault, before extending his distance to a Personal Best (PB) of 6.00m, becoming the first athlete in the world to clear that height in 2017.

He also becomes the 21st member of the exclusive 6m club. Andrew Irwin was 2nd with a clearance of 5.75m, while Chris Nilsen finished 3rd with 5.75m.

The men’s 400m final was a keenly contested affair, with seven guys running 44.80s or faster. This phenomenon has only played out on two occasions in the past: the final of the 2007 Osaka World Championships, and final of the Rio Olympics.

Texas A&M Senior Fred Kerley proved that his scorching WL and NCAA Record of 43.70s set in May was no fluke, as he destroyed the field to take victory at the US Trials in a time of 44.03s. Gil Roberts followed in 44.22s, while Baylor Sophomore Wil London III set a PB of 44.47s in 3rd.

Bryshon Nellum (44.50s), Tony McQuay (44.51s) and Michael Cherry (44.67s) placed 4th, 5th and 6th respectively, putting the US in a fantastic position to retain their world title in the 4x400m.

Quanera Hayes raced to a WL of 49.72s to secure her first US National outdoors crown, overtaking Shaunae Miller-Uibo on the women’s 400m world rankings. She was followed by Phyllis Francis (49.96s) and Kendall Ellis (50.00s).

Natasha Hastings (50.14s) and Shakima Wimbley (50.36s) finished 4th and 5th respectively, while Courtney Okolo placed 8th in 51.23s.

Reigning World and Olympic Champion in the women’s Long Jump, Tianna Bartoletta looks set to defend her title after dominating her event with a wind-aided mark of 7.05m. Former champion and fierce rival Brittney Reese was 2nd with 6.98m. Shakeela Saunders was 3rd with 6.92m.

Raven Saunders upstaged Olympic Champion Michelle Carter to win the women’s Shot put with a WL of 19.76m. Dani Bunch followed with a mark of 19.64m, while Carter secured her spot to London with her Season’s Best (SB) of 19.34m in 3rd place.

The men’s Javelin was dominated by Riley Dolezal with a mark of 81.77m, finishing ahead of Cyrus Hostetler (79.71m) and Michael Shuey (77.94m).

Mason Finley was the man to beat in the Discus throw as his distance of 63.03m was good enough for the win. Andrew Evans (62.57m) and Rodney Brown (60.87m) followed in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Harrison dominated the 100m Hurdles in 2016. Photo Credit: Image of Sport

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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