CARSON, Calif. – Matthew Wauters and Sarah Schwald both came up just short Saturday during the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Home Depot Center.
Wauters, an incoming sophomore at the University of Idaho, missed qualifying for the Pan American Junior Championships by two centimeters. In the U-19 junior meet, he threw the hammer a personal-best 205 feet, 10 inches, but finished a sliver behind John Freeman, who competed unattached. Wauters also placed fourth in the junior discus at 173-3.
Hammer winner Boldizsar Kocsor of UCLA (214-6) and Freeman advance to the July 28-31 Games in Windsor, Ontario.
Schwald, the former Rogers High athlete who competes for Nike, placed fourth in the open women’s 1,500-meter run. Her time of 4 minutes, 7.88 seconds, her fastest since 2002, was three-tenths of a second behind Amy Mortimer.
Winner Treniere Clement (4:06.73), runner-up Jennifer Toomey (4:07.39) and Mortimer qualified for the U.S. team for the Aug. 6-14 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
Also at the open meet, the young burst through to victory, and one of the greatest sprinters of the past decade pulled up lame on an emotional afternoon.
Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin endured a slap in the face to win the 100 meters in a stiff head wind and Maurice Greene went down with a hamstring injury 30 meters from the finish.
“Maurice Greene got out on me very well,” Gatlin said. “When he pulled up he smacked me in the face with his hand. If I didn’t lean back slightly, it would have been a dead-on hit on my nose.”
Another winner of Olympic gold, Jeremy Wariner, surged ahead of close friend Darold Williamson to win an exceedingly fast 400 in 44.20. Williamson, the NCAA champion and Wariner’s former Baylor teammate, was second in 44.62.
In the final event of the day, 24-year-old Erin Gilreath broke her American hammer record with a throw of 242-4. Lewis and Clark HS graduate Britney Henry, who attends the University of Oregon, fouled on all three of her attempts.
It was a big day for the emerging young stars of the sport.
Sanya Richards, 20, led three runners finishing in less than 50 seconds in the women’s 400. Richards’ winning time of 49.28 is the world’s fastest time this year by more than a half-second. She was followed by Dee Dee Trotter at 49.88 and Monique Henderson at 49.96.
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