USA Championship, Day 4 Florida Highlights: Rollins American Record

Look at all of the Saturday highlights by Floridians competing in the USATF Junior and Senior National Championships in Iowa.


Brianna Rollins American Record 100 Hurdles

Miami Northwestern alumni Brianna Rollins has raced in 20 races this season.. and won every single one! Representing Clemson, she has already lowered the collegiate record in the 100 Hurdles with a 12.39 at the NCAA Championships last week. And now... well... how does AMERICAN RECORD sound?

After nipping a couple of hurdles, Rollins pulled away from the best in the biz, going 12.26 to smash the legendary Gail Devers 13-year-old high hurdles national record of 12.33. This came after a top seeded windy 12.30 in the semis. The finals were +1.2 wind, well under the limit. Rollins is now tied for the third fastest time in the history of the known universe.

Rollins said it was never really in her mind to go for the record, saying "I don’t ever think about times or records or anything. I just come out here and feel blessed." Instead she just focused on executing and securing her spot on the team. “I just came out here and tried to focus on my own lane. I was just so overwhelmed and so emotional, it’s just all amazing. I just thank God.”
This has been a truly breakthrough season for Rollins, who has dropped nearly four hundreths of a second from her times last year. She has gone from being a contender in the NCAA to a possible world champion--or even world record holder! The world record of 12.21 has stood since 1988.

Video Interview

Race Video

Timothy TJ Holmes of Lakewood Third in Junior 400 Hurdles, Makes Team USA

Lakewood's TJ Holmes continued his impressive season with a third place finish of 51.71 in the 400 Hurdles. He will soon be wearing the Team USA uniform at Pan Am Juniors in Columbia.


Cory McGee of University of Florida Surprises, Sneaks in for Third

After an incredibly slow first lap, the race went pretty strategic until the last lap. That was an all out kick with McGee closing in 58 seconds to beat out big names like Shannon Rowbury and Morgan Uceny.

Mcgee said of the race: "Once we went through the first 400 meters, I thought we are going so slow and I could win this. It was anyone’s race. This year, I have progressed a lot and overcome a lot of adversity. Racing seems easier this year. I have a lot more motivation the last lap."

McGee's time of 4:29.70 was a second behind second place high school junior Mary Cain--who has been gaining all of the media attention--and is a welcome of McGee to the elite scene, despite the relatively pedestrian times. McGee still has some work to do if she is going to make the world team even with the third place finish. She needs to meet at least the B Standard of 4:09.00 to qualify; her personal best is just north of 4:10 so it is within reach if she gets the right race.

The Florida Gator feels confident in her changes of getting there. "I believe that I am capable of doing it. I have been eager to be in a fast race all year. I am not sure of where or when."

Robin Reynolds Third in Junior 400

Miami Jackson alumna and University of Florida freshman Robin Reynolds will be making an appearance on another Team USA. In her young career she has already represented her nation a number of times including a world Youth Title in 2010. This time she will be headed to Pan Am Juniors in Columbia after a 52.13 third place performance today in Des Moines.  The time is a new personal best by 0.02 showing she is peaking for a nice season of summer track--her last as a junior level athlete.

Batman, Clement Make Team USA with Second and Third in 400H

Bershawn "Batman" Jackson got some great redemption. After a painful 2012 season where the former world champion finished in fourth place, missing out on a spot in the London Games, he ran a solid 48.09 effort. That earned him third place to secure a position on Team USA in Moscow. Perhaps a chance to earn another world title?

Batman said it wasn't really about a time, but just making sure he got that spot. “It is a great feeling," he said, "It was depressing  not making the Olympic team last year. I am a fighter and a warrior. I was not going to let the same thing happen twice."

He has seen little action so far this season due to nagging injuries, but hopefully he can solidier through those problems.

 “I have not raced much this year because I was injured. I put it all together in the finals, and that is when it counts. Before the race, my hamstring was nagging me, but I could not endure the pain I did last year."

Former Florida Gator Kerron Clement also made the team with a second place, 48.06.

"I’m really excited," Clement said after the race, "The plan was to just make the team. I changed my blocks in the finals. It was kind of risky, but I trust my coach. It panned out. I’m really excited it worked because, for the first two rounds, I’ve been chopping down my steps and coming up really fast on the the hurdle.”

Kerron is feeling good about his chances in Moscow, saying "the world is in trouble. I’ll leave it at that!"

Video Interview with Bershawn

45.03Video Interview with Kerron Clement


Gators Tony McQuay and Arman Hall Go 2-3 in Senior 400

The Gators just kept on and kept on. When it came to the senior 400 meters, they added two more Team USA qualifiers. Former Gator Tony McQuay took second place with a 44.74 behind world #2 Lashawn Merritt.

Despite still being quite young, for McQuay it's just another day at the office. "I have been here before, this is like my fourth or third go-round. My first world team was in 2011 when I won USAs. I have been here before on the big stage. All I had to do was come out here and stay focused and compete."

While McQuay is already the seasoned vet, for another (current) Florida Gator this is all a first. 19-year-old Arman Hall made his first Senior Team USA with a big 45.01 for third place. Hall felt good about his race and entered with some confidence after a strong showing in the semis.

"I was all the way in Lane 2, so I just went out as hard as I could and kept the momentum going down the backstretch. At 200, I said ‘Let’s give it everything I have left so I can make this team.’ In the semifinals I ran 44.8, so that gave me enough confidence to come through."

Hall has represented the United States on the junior stage--including a world championship that earned him a cover of Track & Field News--but stepping out into the senior circuit and making his debut team is a pretty big deal!

"I’m ecstatic," he said, "I’ve always watched the Trials, and I’ve always watched the Worlds and now I get to compete in it. I can’t wait to go to Moscow and just run for my country. I’m just so happy to be a part of this country and help out as much as I can."

James Harris of FSU matched a personal best in a fifth place 45.23 behind the Gator. And Andrew Jackson alum Torrin Lawrence, who graduated last year from the University of Georgia, was eighth in the finals with a 46.02. This came after a 45.39 outing in the semifinals.

Video Interview with Arman

Video Interview with Tony

Sanya Richards-Ross Falls Short on 400m Comeback

Battling back from a nagging toe injury that resulted in surgery and only three weeks back on the track, the Olympic gold medalist failed to qualify. She placed sixth with a 51.92.

On her effort: “I gave it my best today. Three weeks on the track and, to be in the finals of the women’s 400 and finish sixth, I’m proud. Today I ran in my [racing flats], my toe was bothering me so bad and the spikes just kept making it worse and worse. Toward the end I was hoping I was going to reel some more people in, but it just wasn’t there today. I really wanted to make the team. It’s funny, you’d think after being in the sport for 11 years you’d get tired of it, but it’s so exhilarating. I love representing Team USA.”

Dee Dee Trotter Opts to Run 200, Qualifies for Semi-Finals

Current Florida resident, Dee Dee Trotter, moves on to tomorrow's finals. She ran a new all-conditions personal best 22.54 (aided) today. Dee Dee addresses why she opted for the 200 over her signature 400.

Video Interview


UCF's Aurieyall Scott Moves on to Sunday's 200 Semi-Finals

UCF junior Aurieyall Scott advanced to Sunday's semifinals with a 22.46 auto-qualifier, entering tomorow's round as the sixth seed.

Juan Paul Green Represent USA at Pan Am Juniors After Runner-Up Finish

Former Miami Carol City standout Juan Paul Green took his talents to the midwest after high school and decided to run for the University of Illinois. The freshman had a successful campain for the Illinis and continued that at the USA Junior Championships this weekend in Des Moine. Green finished second behind Marcus Chambers of Washington in the junior mens 400 meter. His time of 46.64 was just shy of his personal best of 46.18 at the NCAA Championships. He will represent the USA at the Pan Am Junior Championships August 23-25th in Medelin, Columbia.


Other Floridians

  • Tristie Johnson of Bethune-Cookman 23.83 in the Senior 200 Prelims.
  • Recent FSU transfer Otniel Teixeira finished 10th in the Junior  Men1500m with a 3:56.55.
  • UCF alum Jacquelyn Coward was ninth in the 100 Hurdles semis, grabbing the last spot into the finals with a 12.69.  Coward finished in eigth place 13.07 in the finals.
  • Loreal Smith was 10th in the 100 Hurdles Semis with a 12.82.
  • Tyson Gay, coming off an incredible 9.75 100m yesterday, decided to go after the 200 as well. The Florida resident will be the third seed into the semis with a 20.14. Dedric Dukes of UF also qualified for the semis (10th, 20.34) as did FSU alum Maurice Mitchell (12th, 20.38). Justin Gatlin and Walter Dix did not start.
  • Former Seminoles Brandon Byram, Maurice Mitchell and Charles Clark all advanced to Sunday’s semifinal round in the 200 meter dash. Byram, a multi-time All-American for the Seminoles who completed his eligibility in 2011, got things going by winning heat 3 in 20.21, which was the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the preliminary rounds.