SACRAMENTO, Calif. – University of Northern Iowa distance runner Hannah Truniger secured a spot on the United States team to compete in July’s Pan American Junior Championships.
Truniger took second in the U.S. track and field junior championships in the 5,000-meter run Friday. The top two finishers represent the U.S. in Lima, Peru, July 21-23.
Truniger finished in 17 minutes, 5.37 seconds. McKayla Cole, who graduated from Charles City at semester and redshirted her first season of collegiate track this past spring, placed third behind Truniger in 17:23.50.
Truniger was seeded third, and Cole had the 12th best time entering Friday’s race.
On Saturday, UNI sprinter Brandon Carnes qualified for the 200-meter dash semifinals of the U.S. track and field championships.
Carnes’ time of 20.77 advanced him into the next round of competition scheduled to take place 1 p.m. today. The 200 finals are also set for today with the top three finishers earning a place on the U.S. team at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Former UNI standout and current assistant coach Alex Wilson placed 10th in Saturday’s finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10 minutes, 0.58 seconds. Jeff Coover, another UNI assistant coach, was ninth in the pole vault as he cleared 18 feet, 0.5 inches.
Iowans Houlihan, Simpson post wins
Sioux City native Shelby Houlihan outkicked American record holders Shannon Rowbury and Molly Huddle to win the women’s 5,000 Friday at the U.S. track and field championships in 15 minutes, 13.87 seconds.
On Saturday, Webster City native Jenny Simpson edged Kate Grace at the finish line, 4:06.33 to 4:06.95 for first place in the 1,500. She’ll look to add to her accolades in that event at the world championships after winning bronze last summer in Rio.
Harrison wins first title
World-record holder Keni Harrison used a strong start to win her first U.S. outdoor track and field championship Saturday. Nia Ali, the silver medalist at the Rio de Janeiro Games, was second and Christina Manning took third.
“Everyone in this event is really strong,” said Harrison, who finished in 12.60 seconds to beat Ali by a 0.08 margin. “These girls are going to represent and get that sweep like last year (at the Olympics).”
In Rio, the 1-2-3 hurdles finish was led by Brianna Rollins, who received a one-year suspension in April for repeated failures to disclose her whereabouts to anti-doping officials. Rollins’ suspension is retroactive to Sept. 27, 2016, the date of her last missed whereabouts report. Also missing from the world team will be Kristi Castlin, the bronze medalist in Rio who wound up sixth in the final.
The highlights of Day 3 from nationals:
Pole vaulter Sam Kendricks became a member of the six-meter club (19 feet, 8 1/4 inches) in his win. He even waited through a roughly 20-minute delay while officials filled the water pit for the steeplechase.
Quanera Hayes won the 400 in a world-leading time of 49.72. ... Fred Kerley of Texas A&M held off Gil Roberts to capture the 400 title. ... The field events winners included: Raven Saunders (shot put), Tianna Bartoletta (long jump), Riley Dolezal (javelin) and Mason Finley (discus).
Gatlin wins 100
On Friday, Justin Gatlin showed the youngsters that age is just a number.
The 35-year-old Gatlin surged past up-and-comer Christian Coleman to win the 100 meters. At 21 and coming off an NCAA title, Coleman was the sprinter all set to usher in a new era. It will have to wait.
Gatlin finished in 9.95 seconds to edge Coleman by 0.03 seconds. Both are products of the University of Tennessee and both are now Nike-sponsored runners, with Coleman just signing a three-year deal. Christopher Belcher finished third.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story