SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser made history in Rio last summer and on Sunday he continued to write his story and become the No. 7 thrower in the world all-time.
Crouser put together another impressive series with five throws over 71 feet and three over 72. His winning mark came in the sixth round and the final throw of the competition after he was passed up by rival Joe Kovacs with a distance of 22.35 meters (73-4.00). Crouser responded with his back against the wall and a USATF Championships meet record performance of 22.65 meters (74-3.75).
That throw from Ryan Crouser ranks him as the No. 7 performer in world history, and the distance ranks as the No. 10 throw all-time.
"Joe came through with a really big throw on his last one and at least I was later in the order so I was able to counter,"Ryan Crouser told media after the competition. "It's something really special to throw your lifetime best when you definitely needed it."
With the win Ryan Crouser will join Team USA in London later this summer to compete at the IAAF World Championships. Kovacs and Ryan Whiting will join him in the shot put. Kovacs is the defending champion.
At the Jamaican National Championships it was 2017 NCAA champion Chrisann Gordon who punched her ticket to London in the 400 meters.
Gordon crushed her previous personal best with a time of 50.13 seconds in the final to take silver and earn her first spot on the Jamaican National Team in an individual event. Gordon helped her home country win silver at the Olympic Games last summer in the 4x400 relay and she also won gold in the event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships.
Gordon's previous best was 50.30, which she ran during the semifinals. Heading into the meet her best time of 50.39 from the semifinals of the NCAA Championships two weeks ago.
Freshman Rushelle Burton also will head to London in August with the Jamaican National Team. The Big 12 champion finished fourth in a very tight final of the 100 meter hurdles, clocking 12.70 seconds. The third-place finisher was just .01 ahead of her.
Burton qualified for the national team by way of an IAAF rule that allows defending world champions automatic entry to the meet. With Jamaica's Danielle Williams winning the world championship in 2015 and the Jamaican championship on Sunday, she has an automatic spot allowing Jamaica to take four entries to London this summer and giving Burton that fourth spot on the team.
Close calls would be a theme for Longhorns at the USATF Championships on Sunday with Ashley Spencer and Byron Robinson both finishing fourth in the 400 meter hurdles.
Spencer ran a new personal best 53.11 seconds and finished in fourth place. It was the fastest time ever to finish fourth place at any meet according to Track & Field News. Her time ranks her as the No. 9 American in history in what was one of the top races ever.
It was an historic event for the women's 400 meter hurdles as the USATF Championships final marked the first time in history three women have run sub-53 seconds in the same race and the first time that six women have run sub-54. All of the top six finishers posted personal bests and the top five all now rank in the top 10 in U.S. history.
The final of the men's 400 meter hurdles also was an impressive showing of speed.
Robinson finished fourth to narrowly miss making Team USA for the world championships as well. He clocked in with a new personal best 48.50 seconds. Robinson and all three runners ahead of him posted new PR times.
The IAAF World Championships are slated for August 4-13 from London.
Team USA Longhorns
Morolake Akinosun – Women's 100m Alternate (eligible for 4x100m Relay pool)
Michelle Carter – Women's Shot Put
Ryan Crouser – Men's Shot Put
Trey Hardee – Men's Decathlon
Byron Robinson – Men's 400m Hurdles Alternate
Ashley Spencer – Women's 400m Hurdles Alternate