Trammell, Barber, Scott XL@ US Indoor Champs

60m Sprint and Hurdles world leads the highlight – USA Indoors, Day 3
Monday 27 February 2006

Boston, USA – Terrence Trammell and Me’Lisa Barber brought the AT&T USA Track & Field Indoor Championships to a climatic end at the Reggie Lewis Center at Roxbury Community College on Sunday, 26 February.

An outstanding 20-minute span of sprinting excellence by Terrence Trammell put the 27-year-old multiple Olympic and World medallist on to centre stage yesterday. Trammell ran a 2006 world leading time of 7.46 in the 60m Hurdles then followed it with a 6.53 runner-ups finish behind Leonard Scott’s own world leading 6.52 second victory in the 60 metres flat.

Me’Lisa Barber sprinting to victory ahead of Lauryn Williams - USA Indoors
(Kirby Lee)

Me’Lisa Barber won the women’s 60m in 7.06 to defeat World 100m champion Lauryn Williams (7.11) and Torri Edwards (7.12) in the finale of the three-day meeting that served as the qualifying competition for the USA team which will travel to the 11th IAAF World Indoor Championships, Moscow, Russia (10-12 March).

The victories netted Trammell and Barber the Visa Championship Series title and $25,000 USD each for the top male and female performances on the four-meet 2006 USATF Indoor circuit.

Double duty for Trammell

Milton Campbell on the way to a close 400m win - USA Indoors
(Kirby Lee)

Trammell just missed becoming the first athlete to win a hurdle-sprint double in the USA Indoor Championships. Trammell, who was World Indoor champion in 2001 led from the start to win the 60m Hurdles in 7.46 with Dominique Arnold (7.51) and Anwar Moore (7.52) following him home. The winner was embraced by Arnold as the time was displayed on the video board, and he then took a victory lap before jumping to the blocks 18 minutes later for the 60m final.

The race produced two of the top three fastest times in the world this season. Scott just edged Trammell by a hundredth in 6.52 to take the top spot, with Trammell equalling the previous world’s fastest of another American Johnnie Drake (18 Feb). Drake was sixth here yesterday (6.59).

The top five finishers were separated by four hundredths of a second. Jason Smoots was third in 6.55 and Marcus Brunson and Tyson Gay were fourth and fifth, both timed in 6.56.

“I just tried to carry my momentum from the hurdles to the dash,” said Trammell. “My focus was to keep the ball rolling and try to get all the way through the tape. All the celebration came when the work was done.”

“Two is what I do”

Trammell shunned any speculation about focusing on either the 60m or 60m hurdles in Moscow, saying without hesitation “Two is what I do.”

Like at this weekend’s Championships, Trammell will have to run six races in two days for his double quest at the World Indoor Championships. There are three rounds of the 60m on 10 March and three in the 60m Hurdles on 11 March.

“I knew if I was able to make it happen here, it won’t be quite as bad in Moscow because I can focus on one event each day. As far as preparation for running six rounds, I think this was the hard part.”

Star-studded women’s 60m final

The 60m final featured three of the four members of the U.S. gold-medal winning 4 x 100m relay from the 2005 World Championships with Barber, Angela Daible-Bowen and Lauryn Williams as well as Torri Edwards, the 2003 World 100m champion.

Running in adjacent lanes at the center of the straight, Williams, Barber and Edwards turned the eight-runner race into a three-runner battle. Edwards had the step out of the blocks on Barber and Williams but the two pulled even a third of the way through the race with Barber powering across the tape for the win in 7.06 seconds. She had run 7.05 in the semi-final stage.

“I knew that I was going to have to run fast in the final,” Barber said. “I never gave up because I knew it was going to be tough.I was thinking about having a clean start and the outcome was great.”

Close finish in 400m

The men’s 400m provided the closest finish with the winners of the two timed heat finals, Milton Campbell and LaShawn Merritt, separated by two thousandths, 46.167 to 46.169. Merritt was initially announced as the winner before a review of the photo-finish results system determined Campbell was the victor. As a goodwill gesture, Merritt presented Campbell with his medal on the awards podium.

The 2003 World Indoor champion Tyree Washington, who finished second to Campbell in the first heat, finished third overall in 46.18. Wallace Spearmon finished fourth overall in 46.67.

Joyous 21st Birthday for Richards

IAAF World Ranked number one for the women’s 400m, Sanya Richards, who turned 21 on Sunday, lowered her own American leading time of 51.76 for the distance in the preliminaries on Saturday to a stadium record of 51.26 in the final.

After the race, Richards was presented a birthday cake at the centre of the infield during a televised interview and gleefully blew out the candles. “I wanted to put up a good time today… I got off to a good start so that helped me relax and concentrate on my race.”

Khadevis Robinson also set a stadium record of 1:46.98 in the men’s 800m in a to spirited duel with 2003 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker (1:47.25) over the last 200m. It was the second title for Robinson, who also won in 1999.

Carruthers, Johnson successfully defend titles

Danielle Carruthers and Brian Johnson defended their national titles respectively in the women’s 60m hurdles and the men’s Long Jump.

Carruthers held off Damu Cherry, 7.93 to 7.95, in the women’s 60m Hurdles. Lolo Jones and Jenny Adams were third and fourth separated by five thousandths, 7.982 to 7.987. Olympic 100m Hurdles champion Joanna Hayes scratched from the final after suffering a cramp in her upper right hamstring in the semifinals. She was in apparent pain as she went over the penultimate barrier before grabbing the back of her leg and falling to the ground after crossing the finish.

In the men’s long jump, Johnson rallied with a sixth-round leap of 7.95m to overtake runner-up Joe Allen (7.82m). Bashir Ramzy finished third at 7.79m in the absence of World and Olympic champion Dwight Phillips.

Hurd back on top in the Women’s Triple Jump

Tiombe Hurd returned to the winner’s circle for her fourth national title in the women’s Triple Jump after missing the 2005 outdoor season because of a stress fracture in her right and takeoff foot. The American outdoor record holder suffered the injury during the 2005 indoor season and forced her to miss the majority of the outdoor season.

Despite only two legal marks on Sunday, Hurd bounded 13.89m to surpass her U.S. leader of 13.67m set in her first competition of 2006 in Birmingham, England, two weeks ago. “It was a familiar day for me. I fouled too many jumps,” Hurd said. “I am still a little rusty. I need a few more meets to get back to myself into form.”

In the women’s 3000m Race Walk, Joanne Dow won in 12:45.05 for her fourth title in five years, and her fifth win overall.

First-Time Winners

Kellie Suttle and Alice Schmidt notched-up their first national titles on Sunday. Suttle won the women’s Pole Vault with 4.55m on fewer misses over Jillian Shwartz. Jenn Struczynski was third on 4.50m.
Schmidt won the women’s 800m in 2:01.93 for her first victory on the professional circuit for the 2002 and 2003 NCAA outdoor champion from North Carolina.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF