This is the eighth column from our new intern, Olivia Miller. She was asked to provide RunBlogRun with a view of the Trials from her eyes. Olivia has done that and more. If you have comments on her columns, send me a note to RunblogRun@gmail.com.

Moments From Day 8: Women’s 100m hurdles, 200m and Men’s 110m hurdles, by Olivia Miller 

 

Women’s 100m hurdles qualifiers 

 

Nia Ali

Nia Ali, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, by Kevin Morris

 

The gun went off. Everyone ran except Nia Ali. The number of scratches in the 100m hurdles meant that everyone who finished the race would advance to the semifinals. It was a competition for lane positioning. In a tactical move, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist chose to just jog the race rather than exert more energy and risk injury. Almost two years ago at Hayward Field during the World Championships, Ali fell after catching her foot on the ninth barrier, losing her chance to defend her world title. She’s leaving nothing to chance coming into the semis.

 

Lolo Jones 

You might have seen a familiar face in the first heat of the women’s semifinals. Lolo Jones is back. Jones first competed in the trials in 2004 and has been to three Olympics, two for the 100m hurdles and one for bobsled. She is one of few Americans to have competed in both the summer and winter games.

She finished with a time of 14.86. The gap between her and the other women grew noticeably after the first two barriers—she was racing with caution. Despite her time, she will still be competing in the semifinals.

In the mixed zone, Jones was emotional about her performance.

“It was a huge victory for me to be on that front line and get through all ten hurdles.”

Jones hadn’t raced over ten hurdles in weeks due to a hamstring injury.

“That was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my career. And I know it sounds insane, but I would’ve taken a bobsled crash any day over that.”

 

Women’s 200m semi-final 

 

In the first heat of the women’s 200m semifinal, Sha’Carri Richardson ran a 21.92, tying her personal best. But Gabby Thomas was not to be outdone. For Thomas, there is something special about Hayward Field; she’s run her two fastest times there. So it was only natural that the Tokyo Olympian ran a world-leading time of 21.78 to close out the last heat of the women’s 200m semifinals.

Earlier in the week, Thomas scratched from the women’s 400m to focus on the 200m, a move that paid off.

She admitted that it didn’t feel that fast in the mixed zone.

“I didn’t expect to run that fast, but I feel that good, so it kind of excites me for tomorrow.”

Thomas is confident.

“I feel like I’m in a special place this year. I should expect to make the team and continue to peak at the Paris Olympics as well.”

 

Men’s 110 m hurdles finals 

 

Grant Holloway returned with a meet record and a world-leading time of 12.86. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that this was a historical race—it was the first time ever that three men have run a sub-13 in the 110m hurdles. Freddie Crittenden snagged second with a personal best of 12.93, and Daniel Roberts placed third with 12.96.

For Crittenden, it’s been a long road. In both 2016 and 2021, he was eliminated during the trial semifinals. Without a sponsor, Crittenden worked at a nonprofit until May to support himself.

In the mixed zone, he talked about being unsponsored.

“I graduated college in 2017. I missed out on a couple teams and fourth-place finishes, which left me in a space where shoe companies and sponsors are like, ‘Eh, we don’t want to bet on this guy.’ So, a day in the life has been waking up in the morning, train, go home, eat lunch, go to work somewhere.”

Crittenden was ecstatic after his second-place finish.

“This will be one of the defining moments of—not even my career, but my life.”

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