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June 23, 2017

2017 USATF Outdoor Championships: Results, Analysis and Recaps from Day 2

Hello Citwits, Ryan Sterner here to bring you live updates and results as I sit here trackside at Hornet Stadium for the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California.

It will be shown on television on Friday, June 23: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Then on Saturday, June 24: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC. It concludes Sunday, June 25: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC.

If you missed out on any of yesterday’s action, have no fear. I sat in the sun and blogged more than 4,000 words just for you.

A full list of entries can be found here:

Live results are located here.

Finally, it’s not too late to brush up on the drama that’s about to go down this weekend, featuring Molly Huddle and a whole lot more. Download The Citius Mag 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships Zine for an event-by-event preview, and get live updates throughout the meet through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Onto today’s action!

Paul Chelimo, an American Hero:

9:27pm: wowowowow. Chelimo with a new meet record in 13:08.72. 

He pulls Jenkins and Hill to the WC standard. That’s your team. I can’t tell you how impressive that run was by Paul Chelimo. If he didn’t take his foot off the gas to showboat the last 25 meters he would have solo’d, from the gun to the finish line, a 13:05. As it stands, he dogged it in to ham it up with the crowd, and still broke the meet record. What’s he going to do when he gets in a race with guys that are looking to not just break 13, but try to hit 12:50-12:55? It’s going to be scary, it’s going to be exciting.

9:22pm: For your consideration I’d like to present the Paul Chelimo Show. He’s the people’s champ. He’s likely the US champ. He’s an Olympic Silver Medalist. And he’s out there showing us what he’s got. I love it.

9:20pm: Paul Chelimo has 50m on the field. He is not taking his foot off the gas. He ran his slowest 400m split this last lap, still running it in 63.90. We need some sort of hero to go out there and try to make this a race. This is still very hilarious, though. Chelimo is the man.

9:18pm: Here’s another big update: Paul Chelimo still leads. he went through the mile in 4:10. I imagine if you went into this race with a race plan, and your name is not Chelimo, you are having a very bad time. Looks like Ben True and Erick Jenkins are leading the chase pack.

9:15pm: Hello everyone, big update: Paul Chelimo is about to detonate this field, because he took it out in 60 seconds. The crowd loves it. The press box loves it. The chase pack is probably mentally shitting its pants. Let’s sit back and see how this plays out.


men’s 5000m final

9:09pm: If you recall, I predicted it would go 1. Rowbury 2. Huddle 3. Houlihan. I had the team right, but not in the correct order so I will not be eating my shoe tonight. Sorry folks.

9:06pm: Into the bell lap it’s Huddle, Houlihan, Rowbury, Hall all in it. Huddle running tough as nails holding on to the lead through the final stretch. Houlihan makes her move and makes it hard. Rowbury in good position but not sure if she’s going to be able to cover. They leave Huddle in the dust and are going to duke it out to the finish. Houlihan is your champion, taking the scalp of the US record holder in Rowbury, and the 10k champ and former record holder in Huddle. 61 last lap for Houlihan.

9:03pm: Marianne Hall and Molly Huddle are now running 1-2. Huddle is coming off of her 10k victory last night and running against some women with very fresh legs. There are still at least 10 women still capable of winning this race, despite the pace being ratcheted down considerably over the last two kilometers.

9:00pm: The pace is starting to get a little hotter, and the field is thinning out. Houlihan moving up with Rowbury, but Rogers and Huddle still running shoulder to shoulder. 9:22.19 at the 3k.

8:57pm: The women continue to run evenly. No one has attempted to break the field yet. It’s Rogers and Huddle leading. Somewhere in the middle of the pack is Rowbury, biding her time. They hit that 2k in 6:17.

8:53pm: They go through the 1k in 3:08. They’re running 15:25 pace. Not that hot, but not that slow either. Still everyone in it, still early in the race. Rogers continues to lead.

8:52pm: Rogers, who is the US leader this year in the 5000m and who finished 4th in the 10,000m last night, jumps out to an early lead. Everyone essentially running single file behind her.

8:50pm: Time for me to speculate who will win this final. If i’m correct, which I won’t be, I will eat my shoe. You heard it here first. That’s a Ryan Sterner Guarantee.

  1. Shanon Rowbury
  2. Molly Huddle
  3. Shelby Houlihan

women’s 5000m final

8:42pm: Barowski of HOKA lead the women through 60.38 Barowski. After that things got interesting when Martinez took the lead, and looked great doing it, with Raevyn Rogers going with her. These are the no. 5 and no. 7 800m runners in the world this year duking it out. They went stride for stride down the home stretch with Martinez holding off Rogers, but just barely.

8:32pm: 400m in 59.71 and they’re all bunched up and ready to go. Roesler makes her move with 350 to go. Wilson leading and Lipsey and Richards giving chase. Ajee Wilson finishes in a very easy looking 1:58.94, which is a world number 7. Roesler closes hard to snag the last spot in the final.

women’s 800m semi final

8:21pm: WOW. Very little happened in the second heat until the last 75 meters. Jock was in 7th or 6th coming into the homestretch and closed very hard. As the field went with him, Brazier found himself boxed in and had to make a very savvy move to split the guy on the rail and a dude on his shoulder. He slipped into third to get a place in the final. The race up front was fairly clean, as BYU and Alvarado and Brooks Boy Drew Windle went 1-2.

8:15pm: Heat 1: Sowinski wins this one wire to wire. He opened in 52.28 with everyone in tow Not the fastest. Not the slowest. But everyone was still in it. Sowinski started running away from the field down the backstretch. With 100m to go it looked like Murphy may get boxed in and end up somewhere in 5th. He made a good move with about 10 meters to go to secure a 2nd place finish and a spot in the final.

men’s 800m semi finals

8:11pm: We have a bit of a break, so I’d like to share some interviews from the mixed zone.




8:08pm: Justin Gatlin uses his old man strength to outrun Christian Coleman at the line. Chrisopher Belcher, a newly signed Nike athlete, will make his first world team. My predictions were wrong yet again.


Welp. Looks like it’s just been issued to the field. We all get a green card from the official and everyone is feeling fresh and fine and probably just a little on the edge of their seat.

7:58pm: I made some predictions about this earlier. Lets revisit them:Christian Coleman, Ronnie Baker, Justin Gatlin. Baker has already been eliminated, so you can see the thin veil of “track blogger” already starting to deteriorate. We’ll see how the rest of my picks play out.

Men’s 100m final

7:56pm: If you were following along with my predictions, you’ll notice that I guessed very wrong. Tori Bowie ran away from the field starting at the 50m mark, and then two Ducks Washington and Stevens, stole the 2nd and 3rd place spot. A great race.

7:47PM: It’s time for everyone’s favorite game, Let an Idiot Pick the Winner. Only three women get to go to London with team USA on their jerseys. Those three ladies in perfect order are Tori Bowie, Morolake Akinosun, and Aleia Hobbs. Allyson Felix will go home disappointed. Now time to sit back and see how I do.

The women’s 100m final.

7:41pm: A good looking and more evenly contested heat than the first, heat 2 was won by LSU standout Michael Cherry. Nellum ran strong throughout with Kyle Collins and Wil London III (!!) rounding out the auto qulifiers. I’m no track official, but I would have liked to see this semi-final seeded a little more evenly. Mylik Kerley ran .2 seconds faster than the winner of this heat, and we won’t see him in the final.

7:35pm: This was a very fast heat. Fred Kerley came on hard the last 100m, and the world no.5 Gil Roberts gave chase. Tony McQuay and Michael Norman Jr. (!) made up the rest of the auto qualifiers. It’s too bad that we won’t see both Kerley boys in the final, as Mylik missed out by only .03 seconds.

7:30pm: We have a short break before our next event, which is the men’s 400m dash.

In the first heat we have some fun storylines: Patrick Leeper is running on blades (it feels taboo to talk about Oscar Pistorius, because he’s a murderer and whatnot. But it’s nice to see Leeper getting this opportunity, and have us nearly not bat an eye because of the path that Pistorius blazed for him. Either way, it’s very inspirational stuff).

There are also the Brothers Kerley in this heat. Mylik and Fred have to be the fastest brothers in track and field. Would be fun to see both of them in the final.

The 2nd heat isn’t as exciting, but we do have college boy Michael Cherry, and veteran man Bryshon Nellum, who yesterday ran the 11th fastest time in the world this year.

7:19pmHeat 2: The number 2, number 5 and number 7 runners in the world are in this heat. Wimbley (no.5), Hayes (no.2), Hastings (no.7), and Courtney Okolo (world no.11) are your top four.

Phyllis Francis is the winner of this race, sneaking in front of Kendall Ellis.

The fourth place spot was taken by Jessica Beard, which is a name that I haven’t heard in a while. She’s a three-time world medalist in the 4x400m, and it looks like she has plenty in the tank after running her way into the final.


Heat 1

7:15pm women’s 400m semi finals

7:11pm: The mens decathlon has concluded, and Trey Hardee and Devon Williams went out there and essentially ran a 6 minute mile. Trey stopped before the finish line, looked at the crowd and waved. He’s a real ham. Despite losing by what I estimate is about a million seconds, he still takes home the National Title. He’s 33 years old.

7:05pm: Jim Ryun is here signing autographs. He got a standing ovation from the crowd, as it’s the 50th anniversary of his American Record.

6:54pm: Final heat. Paul has pointed out that among the seven men in this race, three of them have the suffix “JR.” If you know how many men in the United States have their father’s name, please let me know.

Stigler, Futch and Grant are you auto qualifiers. It’s noteworthy that none of the JR’s in the field made it through to the semi final and that seems like a darn shame. Just kidding, looks like one of them did. He got a little q.

Heat 4

6:50pm: This heat had a clear top three, and thus was not that exciting. Quincy Downing is number 2 in the world right now and cruised through, with Tinsley and TJ Holmes as company. Boys are having fun out there.

6:45pm: The only person I’m going to concentrate on in this heat is Curtis Beach because what is he doing here?

This was a very close race. Johnny Dutch won outright, but the race for the two remaining auto qualifying spots. Curtis Beach and Kerron Clement took it to the line and Clement ended up outleaning him. Is this a new career leaf for Beach? Also it should be noted that the athlete from BYU looked to be about 8 feet tall.

6:40pm: The men are running with a bit more purpose, as the stakes are a little higher. First heat was taken by Byron Robinson in 48.91. The seasoned veteran Bershawn Jackson looking good in 2nd place.

Heat 1

Here’s a reasonable field. We have four heats of seven athletes, and only 16 of them are going to make it to the next round. Looks like a bunch of names I recognize are in here. Household names like Johnny Dutch, Michael Tinsley, Bershawn Jackson, world no.2 Quincy Downing, world no.5 Eric Futch. And a few people that standout, mostly because they’re surprise, like decathlete Curtis Beach.

6:34pm men’s 400m hurdles

6:27pm: The final heat is highlighted by Sydney McLaughlin. As long as you run faster than 58 seconds, you’ll make the semi final, which everyone in that final heat did. The loser of this game of musical chairs was Markeeta Thomas of Clemson. She’s young, and resilient, and she’ll bounce back.

6:23pm: Georganne Moline took the race out early and didn’t give up the lead. Ashley Spencer and Turquoise Thompson rounded out the top 3. They all look like they could run much faster if they wanted to. Which they will have the opportunity to do tomorrow.

6:18pm: With that being said, I find the 400m hurdles to be one of the most impressive events in track and field.

Kori Carter out of lane 6 is running very fast early on. Olympic champ Muhammad is running a fantastic curve and comes out in the lead. Feels like very little effort was put forth in this heat, maybe due to the fact that 94% of the women in this race will make it to the semi final.

6:16pm: Hello everyone, I’m here to give you a very stupid update. This is the first round of the women’s 400m hurdles. Tomorrow is the semi-finals, and then Sunday is the finals. The problem here is that there are 17 women in this opening round. 16 of these women will qualify for the semi-final. IDK. Something seems fishy or inefficient or stupid or all three. Why didn’t they just round out the fields and take at least 8 women in each heat, so we could justify this use of time and facility.

Heat 1

6:10PM women’s 400m hurdles

6:06pm: All five guys are there at the line, and I was afraid that someone might take a tumble. The top five all run 8:32 and are separated by less than 4/10ths of a second. This one goes faster than the first heat, and we should have a good number qualify from this heat on time. Brian Schrader is the last to qualify with a time of 8:32.94

6:05pm: Did Bayer go too early? Bor takes the lead at the bell. It also looks like he’s sporting a shaved head.

6:03pm: Bayer is still in the lead. Bor in 2nd. Kebenei in 3rd. They have two laps to go with about 6:18 on the clock. If anyone wants to qualify on time, they’re going to want to run a little faster than this.

6:00pm: Due to some technical issues, my last update didn’t save. I’ll try to quickly recap what you missed. Andy Bayer, a great runner, is in this heat and he has taken an early lead. Nobody has fallen, no one has stumbled. I can’t tell if Bayer still has long hair.

It should also be noted that Brian Shrader is in this heat. This is his first year running the steeple. He’s a great runner, and I will be impressed if he carries this success over to the steeplechase.

Heat 2 

5:54pm: They all keep it very conservative, the top four all even splitting the last two laps. Jager takes it, along with Jordan and Ferlic (a Minnesota boy). Cabral and Travis Mahoney round out the auto qualifiers.

5:53pm: Two laps to go and this feels like child’s play for Jager. He’s looking around trying to assess how hard he’ll have to try in the final moments of this race.

5:51pm: Jager to the lead. We don’t expect him to give this up, but everyone is still in the race.

5:50pm: Songs with “Jump” in the title continue here in Hornets Stadium. Also, I took a little bathroom break after the 100m heats and noticed a good number of bees buzzing around a trashcan. I wanted to yell “get outta here bees! This is Hornets stadium!”

5:48pm (again): We have an early casualty in Dan Huling. He dropped out after the first water barrier.

5:48PM: Mike Hardy decides to take the early lead and has three steps on the field. Cabral is leading the rest of the folks through. A man named Michael Jordan is also in this heat. He has a great name.

Heat 1


5:45pm men’s steeplechase prelim

5:43pm: They’re playing Van Halen’s 1984 hit “JUMP” as the women’s high jump commences.

Chaunte Lowe is dancing as they announce her name and everyone loves it. Including me.

5:40pm women’s high jump

Heat 2

Justin Gatlin wins that heat. He nods to the crowd as the announcer lets everyone know he won a gold medal in 2004. That was 13 years ago. Sean McLean and Christopher Belcher essentially tie, but McLean gets bumped. The cameras show that he finished .006 seconds behind Belcher and is the first one to miss the final.

Heat 1

Coleman has shed his Tennessee uniform and exchanged it for a Nike kit. He’s getting paid, everyone, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Before the gun goes off let’s speculate who will make the team tonight: Christian Coleman, Ronnie Baker, Justin Gatlin.

Now that that’s out of the way: Christian Coleman runs away from this first heat of semis. Audible gasps from the crowd as they witness the spectacle of speed. Also looks like my predictions have already laid an egg, as Ronnie Baker struggles and fails to qualify for the final, despite running relatively well in the opening rounds.


5:31pm men’s 100m semi-finals

5:24pm: The infield seems like a large waste of space and a missed opportunity for some track and field fun. Since the field events like the spear toss and the frisbee throw are being contested on a different field, why not use the infield as some sort of spectator carnival or set up some grandstands there? Give the long jump a few seats, or turn the high jump pit into an amphitheater. Heck! Set up a beer garden and a few huge TVs! Golly! Why not just let some schmucks park their RVs there and unfold some lawn chairs on the roofs. IDK. If the USATF is reading this, or the Hornet’ Stadium Facility Manager, please feel free to use any of my ideas.

Heat 2

Crowd acknowledges English Gardner. The Sacramento crowd is attempting to prove their track savviness by letting the athletes know they know who they are.

Tori Bowie sheds the numbers from her hips because she was running so fast.

5:19pm: Just kidding everyone, it’s just the top four from each heat to the final. No one is getting in on time, because in the semi-finals we play for keeps.

Heat 1

This looked fast. Top three advance, and the top three in this heat are Akinosun, Washington and crowd favorite Felix. College stand out Aleia Hobbs only .01 seconds behind, she could sneak in on time. She’s also ran 10.85 this year, so she could be dangerous.

5:16pm women’s 100m semi finals

5:13pm: Currently playing in the stadium

5:09pm: A glimpse into the life of a professional blogger: they’re serving us one meal a day, promptly delivered at 3pm. We arrived to the track today at 4pm, and thus missed our chance to eat the complimentary boxed lunch. Don’t cry for us, though, because there is still free bottled water, and a swamp cooler blowing 73 degree on us. Safe to say that Paul and Ryan really are living large.

Heat 4

This is the last heat. I just did a little bit of mental math and calculated that we’re taking 16 athletes into the semis, and there are 25 athletes in this opening round.

Keni Harrison runs a word lead into a 1.4m/s headwind. She runs, obviously, the fastest time of the opening round.

Heat 3

Another house keeping item: I’m updating from the top today. We heard some bellyaching that I was updating at the bottom, providing a top down chronological order, but apparently everyone likes it the other way around. Tweet at us if this is awful.

Anyway. Third heat on the track.

Nelvis way out front, Harrison and DeLoach follow. They were running into a headwind, folks.

Heat 2

While these women settle into the blocks, lets get a quick weather update: It’s 102 degrees outside and it feels hotter than yesterday.

Nia Ali and Jasmin Stowers lead the way this heat, both running faster than Manning from last heat. A lot of women dipping under 13 seconds here, and one tragic spill by Dior Hall over the penultimate hurdle.

Heat 1

Manning takes it from the gun, looking smooth and strong. There were only six women in that heat and the top three automatically qualify, so you had some pretty good odds of making it to the next round.

4:50pm women’s 100m hurdles

4:49pm: We were just treated to an American alternative rock and roll rendition of the National Anthem brought to us by Sacramento native and the trumpet player for Cake. Despite some audio issues inside the stadium the crowd, currently cooking in the hot hot sun, appreciated it greatly. Onto the action.

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