Fear and Loathing from Eugene, Day 3 Delivered, Exciting Women’s hammer, Record setting Men’s pole vault, Surprising Men’s Steeplechase, Noah Lyles Delivers in the 100 meters!, by Larry Eder

Photos by Chuck Aragon 

Women’s Hammer Throw

The Olympic Trials is full of brutal honesty. Brooke Anderson, the World leader in 2024 in the hammer throw, had three fouls and she will not go to Paris.

Annette Echikuwoke threw 74.68m, or 245 feet in the hammer throw, and that was the massive winning throw!

DeAnna Price, 2019 World Champ, responded to Annette’s big throw with an oh so close 74.49m throw, 244 feet, six inches. DeAnna improved into round 3 in 74.52 meters.

Taking third was Erin Reese, with 71.21m, or 233 feet, seven inches. Erin does not have the Olympic qualifier.

Men’s Pole Vault

Sam Kendricks is back, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist was not allowed to compete in Tokyo 2021 due to testing positive for COVID. His treatment there, the isolation, has left a scar. There were many stories in the media noting that Sam might not compete in Paris if he made the team, he might not participate.

What changed it for Sam? It was his father, who is also his coach.

Sam Kendricks came into the Trials with a 5.90m clearance, used that and the energy from his pole vault competitors to win. After the competition, Sam told me that “ I will compete in Paris, and this competition was about the 15 men in the final. He did not want to go, unless at least one of his fellow competitors from Tokyo would be going to Paris.

His wish came true.

Sam Kendricks is methodical. He made clearances at 5.47m, 5.62m, 5.72m, 5.82m, 5.87m, all on first attempts. It took two attempts at 5.92m, to guarantee his win.

Chris Nielsen had a challenging series, clearing 5.47m, on first attempts, but clearing 5.62m, 5.72m on second and then, first attempts at 5.82m and 5.87. He had three misses at 5.92m.

The newbie, Jacob Wooten, who was praised by Sam and Chris, had two attempts at 5.47m, two attempts at 5.72m, and cleared 5.82m and 5.87m on first attempts.

I caught up with Sam Kendricks after his event and will post his video. Know that Sam is very happy to be going to Paris, he has some tough issues still with Tokyo, but his Dad, his family, his friends and the Trials all helped him get through it.

Men’s Javelin

The Javelin is one of the most ancient of our sport events. Javelins are made with 3 pieces of metal and the traditions of the event are fun to explore.

Curtis Thompson, our best thrower, hit 83.04m, a seasonal best, gave him the win. He will represent US in Paris. Capers Williamson, 79.75m and Donavon Banks, 79.19m,
Took silver and bronze, but not sure if they will make the cut via Rankings either.

Women’s 400 meters

Kendall Ellis had some drama prior to the finals, where she was stuck in a Port A Potty. That added drama and Kendall Ellis, who many have believed to be a truly talented 400 meter
Runner, showed her stuff, running 49.46 PB. Aaliyah Butler, 49.71 Pb, and Alexis Holmes, 49.78 PB all showed it when it counts.

The Womens’ 4x400m relay team should be amazing. Adding Sydney McLaughlin to the mix (48.75 at NYCGP ) and possibly, Athing Mu, the US team could go crazy town, like 3:16?

Men’s Steeplechase

Kenneth Rooks hit the barrier in 2023, yet went on to a PB and race well in Budapest. This time around, Kenneth did not hit a barrier, one of 27 challenges in the 3000m steeplechase, again , one of our more traditional events. He won in a tactical race, of 8:21.92, with Matthew Wilkinson running 8:23.00 for second. Both should make the Paris sojourn due to their World Rankings.
BYU surprise kid, James Corrigan, ran 8:26.78 needs an 8:20, so, a special event is being run Saturday night, June 29, in Philadelphia for James to catch the wave. If he does not, US record holder, two time Olympian, Evan Jager, who finished 4th in 8:28.73 will go to Paris!

Men’s 100 meters

12,000 people came to see the men’s 100 meters, and 5.2 million watched on TV (the largest audience in 12 years for track and field on NBC!).

The semi finals brought all of them to the show.

Christian Coleman had the best start, and he led through fifty meters. After that, Kenny Bednarek and Fred Kerley went by, but Noah Lyles flew by all, winning in 9.83, equalling his very best ever.
Kenny Bednarek took silver in PB 9.87, and Fred Kerley took bronze in 9.88, a seasonal best.

The sad part was that Christian Coleman, who had made a very 100m team from 2017-2023, finished 4th. 

I spoke to BBC Live sports on Monday about the magnificent 100 meters by Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles, and they also wanted to know about Quincy Wilson and his amazing 400 meter racing! Check out the broadcast (20 minutes in) here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct5w3h