The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Gay (9.75) & Gardener (10.85) Lead US Champs

Jun 22nd, 2013
7:40 am PDT

Tyson Gay transpWe’re halfway through the US Trials and those gusts of wind that have been howling through the stadium seem to be the winds of change as veterans have been dropping like flies in Des Moines.

Jeremy Wariner out in the first round. Ditto Angelo Taylor. Walter Dix a semifinal casualty. Doc Patton a DNS. Trell Kimmons won’t be leading off any 4×1’s this summer. The relay is the only way we’ll see Mike Rodgers in Moscow. Maggie Vessey out in the semis, along with Phoebe Wright. Lauryn Williams another semi casualty. Ditto Mary Wineberg. Sanya Richards Ross hanging on by a thread.

With so many former championship medalists out before the heart of the meet gets going, one might think we’re sending a weakened team to Moscow – and one would be completely wrong. While age and injury are taking their toll on many vets, the youth movement has been strong in Iowa and the remaining vets are running as if they’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth.

Nowhere were both of these facts any more evident than in the men and women’s 100 meters. In the women’s race no fewer than five women headed to the final with new PR’s! The final saw SEVEN women run 11.00 or faster lead by English Gardener (10.85), Octavious Freeman (10.87) and Alexandria Anderson (10.91)! A trio of young new stars ready to unleash themselves on the world. And the world should be worried because this is the best looking group of American women sprinters I’ve seen since the 90’s when Gwen Torrence & Gail Devers were leading a strong young group of talented women into battle.

Speaking of Devers, I’ll say right now I’ve had my doubts about Gardener, in part because I typically don’t have confidence in fast starters – too often they get reeled in. But Gardener is starting to look a lot like Devers, both in her excellent starts and running style. After a pair of 10.8’s and solid wins here in her semi and final, I’m looking forward to seeing her in Russia.

The men’s contingent will be lead by a pair of previous World champions that are running like 20 year olds instead of the 30 year olds that they are. Tyson Gay stormed to victory in a meet record 9.75 – his fastest since 2009 and the #10 time ever run. Gay is clearly past his injury woes and ready to once again challenge for the top of the podium. Finishing in second was Justin Gatlin in 9.89, maintaining his season of excellent times – and not too far off his Olympic gold winning time of 9.85 from Athens and just .10 off his bronze medal winning time in London. This despite nursing a slight injury. Between them they’ve been at the forefront of American sprinting since 2004 – and look as fresh to me as they did then. They’ll be joined by Charles Silmon who’s been looking like a veteran since the NCAA regional meet. Silmon showed poise in winning the NCAA title, and looked to be the most relaxed sprinter on the starting line not named Gatlin or Gay. So as with the women,  another nice trio of sprinters heading to Worlds.

With the majority of finals yet to be run over the next two days, I think the 100’s are a good window into what we’ll be seeing the rest of these championships – a small core of top flight veterans showing the way for a large contingent of young, hot athletes. For example, moving through in fine fashion we’ve seen Kori Carter, Georgianne Moline, Brianna Rollins, Ashley Spencer, David Verburg, Arman Hall, Justin Gaymon, and Mary Cain – with Cain looking like a cagey, savvy veteran. Some of the brightest new stars in the US. Look for these and others to feature prominently this weekend.

The young people are coming, and in two days time I think well be sending a young but talented team to Moscow. We’ll see if I’m right at the end of the weekend.

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11 Responses to “Gay (9.75) & Gardener (10.85) Lead US Champs”

  1. Brett says:

    You were bad-mouthing Gardner last week and you still don’t know how to spell her name. People should be having doubts about you.

    • CHill says:

      Let’s start with the fact that no one bad mouthed her .. I said I needed to see more from her against the best .. Sorry if you consider that bad mouthing .. But then most young people consider anything that isn’t praise negative ..

      As for her name I’ve seen it spelled both ways and sorry I chose the wrong one .. I guess we should have doubts about a lot of people .. Though the comment really made little sense ..

  2. Malik JA says:

    …and your comments on the Jamaica National Trials thus far?

    • CHill says:

      Ooo .. Headed out the for to get sing things done before the Trials resume .. Bolt is Bolt .. He’s at his best in championships and had little challenge .. I’m sure you’re asking about Powell .. After 10 years his compatriots have caught up .. And his best competitors days now go back to around ’08 …

      Stewart was no surprise, not with SAFP and VCB out .. More later gotta go

  3. Waynebo says:

    Man, oh man…tyson gay looked REALLY good! If he gets to the start in Moscow healthy, I’m picking him to win over Bolt this year. Of course, he will need to nail his start – which he didn’t today. I said on this page earlier, I just believe this is his year. He has not faced Bolt fully fit and injury-free since 2008. No doubt, Bolt will bring his A-Game cause he always does, but my money is officially on Tyson. Should be a great race. I just hope the weather is good. I’m also glad to see him running the 200m.

    Brianna Rollins… WOW! That WR (12.21) is seriously in jeopardy and Sally Pearson isn’t looking so invincible anymore – especially since Rollins just bettered her PR.

    We are witnessing the official changing of the guard in the women’s sprints. The young runners were dominant.

    Once again – just like at indoor nationals – the women’s 1500m was irritating to watch. I understand “tactical”, but they just look timid and scared to lay it on the line. Not to mention stupid. Why would you adopt that race strategy if you don’t have the speed to close in 57 sec? I just don’t get it!! They know Cain has a beast of a kick and they did the exact same thing they did at indoors – and got the exact same result. Drives me crazy and it isn’t even fun to watch. I HATE the “tactical” approach in the middle distances.

    The men’s 1500 was at least more fun to watch. But I have to ask, does EVERYBODY really think they can sit back and kick there way to victory? Doesn’t anybody look at the competition and say “I can’t out kick all of these guys and close in 51 sec. so I’m going out harder”? SMH…

    • CHill says:

      I’m almost afraid to say anything about Tyson cause I don’t want to jinx him, but he looked like his old self .. I think he can win in Moscow, but not with that start … He won’t run Bolt down like that .,

      I think Rollins can go 12.15 – this year .. She just looks that good ..

      50 meters into the women’s 1500 I knew Cain was going to Moscow … The race was set up ideally for her .. You’d have thought they would have learned after indoors …

      Man I can’t tell you what goes on in distance runners heads .. I’ve always thought the goal of racing was fastest to the finish wins!!! These people act like they’re in a velodrome !!!

  4. Aurelio Feldman says:

    I believe that the run for gold in the men´s 100 will be a 2 horse race between Bolt and Gay and it will be a great race. Right now I think is the best chance to see Bolt lose. I don´t know why, but I think Blake won´t be a factor at the WC.
    Don´t get me wrong, I am a Bolt fan and I know that he peaks in the big races, but Gay is looking better than ever and if he stays healthy I believe it will be the closest championship final in years. Right now Gatlin is my pick for bronze in the WC.

    • CHill says:

      Bolt and Gay haven’t raced healthy since New York “08 … Bolt won in the first 20 meters and the margin never changed ..

      That said, I agree a two man race .. I don’t think Blake has time to get to where those two will be in Moscow – much like Tyson last year .. Blake will make the final and run 9.8 low .. I’ll be surprised if he is 9.7 high .. But Gay and Bolt will be 9.6’s and possible dip into 9.5 – only they will be there ..

      This should be a Ben v Carl type of race, only closer … But first man to thirty meters wins .. Same for Bronze ..

  5. Aurelio Feldman says:

    I really don´t understand how Gay´s first 20 meters got so bad nowadays. Is it possible that his trobles starting are because of the injuries in past years? Because if he gets a good start, does not to be a great but a good one, I think that he can go 9.5 and if he goes that fast Bolt must be on his best or he will lose. If he gets a great start in the form he is right now he would break the WR.

    • Anderson says:

      You should look back over the years. Tyson has never been a great starter. Very inconsistent. And this wasn’t even one of his worst. (see his Shanghai 2009 PB)

    • CHill says:

      Tyson’s always been a poor starter .. Occasionally he gets a decent one .. But he’s usually behind .. And it’s not reaction time it’s mechanics ..

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