Richards-Ross advances to London in second event with third-place 200m finish
June 30, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. -- Sanya Richards-Ross fulfilled her quest to represent the United States in both the 200m and the 400m at the London Olympic Games with a third-place finish in the 200m final on Saturday at Hayward Field.
In one of the most competitive and anticipated finals of the Trials, Richards-Ross crossed the finish line in 22.22 to qualify for the Olympics in two events for the first time in her career. She completed the feat after posting the fastest 400m time in the world this year to win the event last Sunday. Richards-Ross is the first U.S. woman to advance to the Olympics in the 200m and 400m since Valerie Brisco-Hooks accomplished the feat at the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
"I really wanted to be a part of this team in two events," Richards-Ross said. "I knew it was a fast race and I felt like I was running fast, but I felt like it was my sixth race of the championships. (The other 200m final competitors) didn't make it easy for me, but I'm happy I snuck in there and I'm looking forward to competing even better in London."
"Sanya is an amazing athlete having an exceptional year," Texas head coach Beverly Kearney said. "I think the most phenomenal thing about Sanya is her work ethic and her passion for what she does, in particular her passion for her performance. She is one of the toughest athletes I've ever had the blessing to coach. I'm really excited to see her journey continue."
Excitement surrounding the 200m had been building since the conclusion of the controversial 100m last weekend. The field of the 200m final featured seven of the top 10 200m runners in the world in 2012. Richards-Ross came into Saturday's race having posted two-straight personal bests in the event, including a 22.15 performance in Friday's semifinal, which were also the top two 200m times in the world this year.
"When we came in today, I could feel the energy, the buzz, about the women's 200 and I was so excited to be a part of that," Richards-Ross said. "I felt today that if I didn't execute well I could have been anywhere from one to eight. That's the type of race you want to be a part of and it's exciting to say the least to have come through that and to be one of the women on the team."
Richards-Ross will be joined in London by Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter. Top finisher Felix ran Saturday's final in a personal-best 21.69, a new meet record and the fourth-fastest 200m mark of all time for a female.
Former Longhorn Bianca Knight also competed in the deep 200m final field after posting the fifth-fastest qualifying time in yesterday's semifinals. She finished in seventh in 22.60.
Also competing for the Longhorns was rising junior Shanay Briscoe in the final of the high jump. She finished fourth after clearing a new career-best mark of 1.92m (6-03.50). In May, Briscoe capped off her sophomore campaign with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to Arizona's Brigetta Barrett and set a then-career-best jump of 1.90m (6-02.25). Coming into Saturday's final, she would have needed to finish in the top three as well as clear the Olympic A Standard of 1.95m (6-04.75) to earn a place on Team USA.
Briscoe missed twice at 1.89m but made it on her third attempt to move on in the top five. Joining her were Barrett, American record-holder Chaunte Lowe, Amy Acuff and high school sophomore Gabrielle Williams. After missing on her first two attempts at 1.92m, Briscoe cleared the bar cleanly to set her new personal record but was unable to better that mark.
The Longhorns were also represented on the third day of the Jamaican National Senior Championships, where former Longhorn Mardrea Hyman competed in the 3000m Steeplechase. She finished in second place in 10:10.06, short of the Olympic Standard mark she was seeking to qualify for London.
Results: Saturday, June 30
High Jump (finals)
Jamaica National Senior Championships
Texas Longhorns at the 2012 London Olympics