INDIANAPOLIS – Former University of Florida NCAA champion Kerron Clement narrowly missed out on his third consecutive national crown by taking second in the 400m hurdles with the world’s No. 2 time this year (47.80) on Saturday at the AT&T USA Outdoor National Championships.
Because he finished among the top three competitors, Clement will advance to the 2007 IAAF World Championships, which will be held Aug.
25-Sept. 2 in Osaka, Japan.
Former Gator NCAA champion Erin Gilreath took part in the hammer and finished fourth with a mark of 68.08m/223-4. In addition, Clement advanced to Sunday’s 200m semifinal along with former Gator greats Bernard Williams and Kyle Farmer.
Clement barely missed out on claiming his third-straight U.S. 400m hurdle title following his victories in 2005 and 2006. Two-time USA champion James Carter won the event in the world’s top time in 2007 after crossing the finish line in 47.72. Clement was right behind with the world’s No. 2 time (47.80). After the 10th and final hurdle, Clement trailed Carter by several meters, but nearly made up the difference with a strong surge to the line. Former Gator NCAA champion Rickey Harris also competed in the 400m hurdles and took eighth in 50.49.
Less than two hours after taking part in the 400m hurdles final, Clement returned to the track for the first round of the 200m and promptly advanced to Sunday’s semifinal. Clement took second in his heat with a mark of 21.01 – the seventh-fastest time of the day. Williams, the 2004 Olympic 200m silver medalist, also moved on after finishing fourth in his heat with the day’s 13th-fastest time. Farmer also advanced after running the 17th-best time of the afternoon in taking fifth in his heat
A two-time USA champion and the American record holder, Gilreath captured fourth in the hammer with a toss of 68.08m/223-4 – only five inches outside of third place and only seven inches from the No. 2 spot. Gilreath recorded her top mark on her third attempt and was in third place entering the sixth and final round of throws. Immediately prior to Gilreath’s final toss, Jessica Crosby moved into third with a mark of
68.21m/223-9. Gilreath then stepped into the circle for her last attempt, but she did not improve with a mark of 67.18m.
Former UF NCAA champion Josh Walker also competed on Saturday, but did not advance to the semifinals of the 110m hurdles. Walker had the misfortune of running in a heat with a significant headwind (-3.2) and he crossed the finish line in fifth (13.97) with the 22nd-fastest time of the day. A mark of 13.80 was needed to move on to Sunday’s semifinal.
Sunday’s action at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be broadcast live by NBC from 1-3 p.m. EST. In addition to the television coverage, live results are available at http://www.usatf.org.