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USATF Grand Prix marks stellar elite debut at new Hayward Field

EUGENE, Oregon — Three world-leading performances highlighted the first professional meet at the new Hayward Field as the USATF Grand Prix kicked off the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.


Reinforcing his status as the world’s top hammer thrower in 2021, Rudy Winkler moved to No. 2 on the all-time U.S. performer list with an 81.98m/268-11 on his final attempt, trailing only retired American Lance Deal’s 1996 record. Four other Americans threw farther than 75m/246-1 in a single competition for the first time ever, including lifetime bests for Daniel Haugh in third and Brock Eager in fourth.


Steeplechaser Isaac Updike had never previously broken 8:20, but the 2019 Toyota USATF Outdoors eighth-placer smashed that barrier with an 8:17.74 win that chopped almost eight seconds off his previous best, and took over the world lead for 2021. Just behind him Mason Ferlic also picked up a lifetime best with his 8:18.49, taking more than two seconds off his PR.


Putting her speed to work in impressive fashion, reigning Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas dominated a good field in the women’s 400m, winning in a world-leading 49.08. Lynna Irby, who won the NCAA title at the old Hayward Field in 2018, ran her third-fastest time ever with a 50.28 in second, and Jessica Beard had a 2021 best of 50.38 to finish third.


A matchup of the top two American women’s hammer throwers ever produced an upset of sorts. Brooke Andersen, who ranks second on the all-time U.S. performer list, hit 77.56m/254-5 in round three and then improved on both of her next two attempts to end up at 77.99m/255-10 and beat American record holder DeAnna Price, who had a best of 76.15m/249-10 in round five. It was Andersen’s first-ever win over Price, the 2019 world champion.


No one could catch Trayvon Bromell in the Nike men’s 100m after a tremendous start, and he was a convincing winner in 10.01 ahead of a fast-finishing Noah Lyles, who was second in 10.17. Bromell was also the fastest in the prelims, matching his final time of 10.01.


Unwinding to top speed after a mediocre first third of the Nike women’s 100m, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare pulled away from the field to win in 10.97, with Morolake Akinosun closing well to take the runner-up spot in a season-best 11.09.


Training partners Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin battled all the way in the men’s 400m, coming into the last straight shoulder-to-shoulder, but Norman had the better finish to win in 44.67, the third-fastest time in the world this year and .3 ahead of Benjamin. Justin Robinson was third in 45.55.


Former Wisconsin star Olli Hoare of Australia won the last 1,500m run at old Hayward Field in 2018 to capture the NCAA title, and he has only gotten better since then as shown by his runaway 3:33.54 victory. Hoare and Canada’s Justyn Knight controlled the pace for the final two circuits, and Hoare pulled away from Knight down the final stretch as Knight crossed the line in 3:35.85. World 800m champion Donavan Brazier moved up steadily through the race and placed third in 3:37.58, while high schooler Hobbs Kessler moved to No. 3 on the all-time prep performer list with his 3:40.46 in sixth. Only Alan Webb and Jim Ryun have ever run faster as high schoolers.


Triple jumper Donald Scott has won the last four U.S. titles, two indoor and two outdoor, and came away a winner again with a 16.89m/55-5 in round four, the best outdoor jump by an American this season. Multiple Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor ended up third at 16.52m/54-2.5.


Owner of the world’s fastest time in 2021 at 12.32, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico ran away from the field in the women’s 100m hurdles to clock 12.46, the second-fastest time in the world this year. Sydney McLaughlin recorded another lifetime best in fourth with a 12.87.


Slingshotting off the last bend in the men’s 800m, Kenya’s Michael Saruni sped past Isaiah Harris with 20m to go and won in 1:46.64. Harris was second in 1:46.92. A pair of Britons pulled away from a tightly-bunched pack in the women’s 800, and Adelle Tracey got the best of Jemma Reekie by .11 in 2:03.25. Raevyn Rogers was third in 2:03.89.


Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan took over the lead in the women’s 5,000m after the pacemaker dropped out just before the halfway point, and she was not challenged from there on the way to a 14:52.44 win. Running her best time since 2015, Rio Olympian Abbey Cooper clocked 15:13.27 in second, while Ednah Kurgat notched a lifetime best 15:18.35 in fourth.


Great Britain’s Laura Muir led all the way in the women’s 1,500m as the British record holder sprinted to a big lead by the 800m mark and held on to win by almost three seconds in 4:01.54. Helen Schlachtenhaufen outsprinted Cory McGee to finish as the top American in second in 4:04.36, with McGee at 4:05.00. Dani Jones had a lifetime best of 4:05.27 in fourth.

Josephus Lyles had a slight edge coming off the curve in the men’s 200m, but 2017 World Championships bronze medalist Jereem Richards of Trinidad pushed past him in the final 70 meters and won in 20.26. Lyles was second in 20.46.


Rain hampered the women’s shot put with a wet ring demanding caution, and Chase Ealey made the best adjustments and came away with an 18.93m/62-1.25 to win over Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist.


In other field event action, American record holder Tori Franklin used a 14.10m/46-3.25 in round four to win the women’s triple jump. Returning to the site of his pair of NCAA long jump/triple jump doubles, Marquis Dendy had a pair of matching 7.98m/26-2.25 leaps in rounds four and six to easily win the men’s long jump.


Heavily favored coming into the men’s javelin, reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada had three throws good enough to win, with a best of 82.72m/271-5 in the last round. Riley Dolezal took runner-up honors at 78.28m/256-10. Rachel McCoy went over 1.87m/6-1.5 on her third try to win the women’s high jump.


The next stop on the USATF Journey to Gold – Tokyo is the USATF Golden Games at Mt. SAC on May 9, live from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on NBC and Peacock Premium.


Fans can follow along with #JourneyToGold and #USATF on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

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