U.S. TRACK & FIELD
Dwight Phillips won the long jump at the U.S. Track and Field Championships with a distance of 27.43 feet.
Castle alumnus Clay opts out of U.S. track championships
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Bryan Clay had a safety net coming into this week's U.S. Track and Field competition in Indianapolis.
As the defending world champion in the decathlon, Clay did not have to complete all 10 events; just finishing one would qualify the Castle High alumnus for the World Championships in Japan in two months.
Clay started off yesterday's competition by winning the 100 meters, but as the day wore on, he wore down.
After finishing 10th in the high jump -- the day's fourth event -- and seeing his top competition pass him in the point standings, Clay withdrew trailing Tom Pappas by 136 points (3,524-3,388).
It was the second consecutive year that Clay, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, had pulled out of the U.S. meet.
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INDIANAPOLIS » There wasn't a major health problem. It wasn't low blood sugar, the reason he withdrew from this event last year.
"There were some things that were a little off," reigning world decathlon champion Bryan Clay said after withdrawing from the U.S. Track and Field Championships for the second year in a row.
The Castle High graduate dropped out after four events yesterday, opting not to compete in the 400 meters, the last event of the opening day of the two-day decathlon. Clay only needed to complete one event to qualify for the World Championships in Japan in July.
"A little bit of knee pain, stuff like that," Clay said when asked about injuries. "It wasn't there today. My body wasn't feeling quite up to par.
"There were some things that were a little off. We were just coming to work out anyway here. It's probably better to go home and work out. We don't want to risk any injury."
Clay, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, cited just a few minor dings from the decathlon he completed at the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis, Austria, on May 27. At the 2006 U.S. Championships, Clay pulled out after seven events because of low blood sugar.
Tom Pappas, the 2003 world champion and defending U.S. champion, led after the first half of the 10-event competition with 4,394 points. He trailed Clay through the first three events -- 100 meters, long jump and shot put -- but passed Clay after the high jump.
Pappas had 3,524 points to Clay's 3,388 when Clay decided to withdraw.
The highlight of yesterday's competition was Tyson Gay slicing through a headwind for a 9.84-second clocking in the most one-sided 100-meter victory at this meet since electronic timing was instituted 32 years ago.
Gay broke the meet record in the second-fastest 100 ever run into a headwind. The only faster was Maurice Greene's 9.82 at the 2001 world championships in Edmonton. Gay ran into a wind of 1.12 miles per hour, Greene's was 0.45 mph.
"The best my body has felt in a long time," he said.
The time matched his personal best set a year ago, only that race had a tailwind.
"I was hoping to get the world record (9.77)," he said. "The wind conditions weren't too friendly. At the same time, that's basically my p.r. I know I'm ready to run fast."
Tyson Gay won the 100 yesterday in 9.84 seconds despite running into a 1.12 mph wind.
The former Arkansas sprinter's time was easily the world's fastest this year and the fastest ever run by an American in the United States.
Earlier this year, Gay had wind-aided runs of 9.76 and 9.79.
Gay, also entered in the 200, had what he called his best start ever, then sped away from the field in a breathtaking final 50 meters. LSU's Trindon Holliday was far back in second at 10.07, 0.23 seconds behind the winner. NCAA champion Walter Dix was third at 10.09.
Gay is still coached by former Arkansas assistant Lance Brauman, who is serving a prison sentence in Kansas for embezzlement, theft and mail fraud. Gay has a workout book from the coach and says the two talk regularly. Brauman has to make the call.
Gay was the 100 defending champion because last year's winner, Justin Gatlin, was stripped of the title for testing positive for steroids last April. The 24-year-old sprinter from Lexington, Ky., broke the meet record of 9.90 shared by Greene and Leroy Burrell.
Torri Edwards added another chapter to her triumphant comeback by winning the 100 meters at 11.02 seconds into a slight headwind.
Edwards faced a two-year suspension after testing positive for a banned stimulant at a meet in Martinique in 2004.
However, authorities accepted Edwards' explanation that she took glucose that unbeknownst to her was tainted with the stimulant. She still was suspended but was reinstated in November 2005, nine months early, by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the next three years -- the next two world championships and the Olympics," Edwards said. "I want to go out there and get the medals that were left behind."
Reigning world champion Lauryn Williams was second at 11.16, with Carmelita Jeter third at 11.17. Allyson Felix, the world 200 champion, was fourth but still will make the U.S. team for the world championships later this summer because Williams has an automatic spot as defending champion.
Bernard Lagat successfully defended his 5,000 title, running down Matt Tagenkamp over the final 100 meters to win in 13:30.73. Lagat also is the defending U.S. 1,500 champion, the first double-winner in those events in the meet's history.
American 400 record holder Sanya Richards, who ran under 50 seconds nine times last year, won her semifinal heat by a big margin in 50.02 seconds, fastest in the world this year.
Dwight Phillips won his third U.S. long jump title but first since 2004. Phillips is the event's two-time defending world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist.
Michael Tinsley's 48.02 in the semifinals of the 400 hurdles was the world's best in the event this year. Brad Walker, second at the 2005 worlds, won the pole vault clearing 18 feet, 8 1/4 inches.