BEIJING, CHINA - On a beautiful, sunny morning in Beijing the U.S. team got off to a great start in the IAAF World Championships. American record holder and medal favorite Evan Jager of Bowerman Track Club led all three U.S. steeplers into Monday’s final, the first time that has ever happened at these championships. Jager’s BTC teammate Dan Huling had the fastest time, 8:25.34, of the American trio.
The U.S. women continued the momentum in the first round of the 1500 meters, as all four moved on to the semifinals tomorrow. Lauren Johnson of OTC Elite was part of a tightly-packed group of nine runners at the finish, and placed seventh in 4:05.79. Johnson was the fastest of the six time qualifiers, and 11 th fastest overall. Just ahead of her was Nike Oregon’s Shannon Rowbury in 4:05.66. Jenny Simpson qualified easily in 4:10.91.
Results were nearly as good in the men’s 800 qualifying, as Clayton Murphy and Erik Sowinski made it through. Cas Loxsom, however, faltered down the stretch and ended up sixth in his heat. OTC Elite’s Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia won his heat in 1:47.87 to move into the semis.
Oregon alum Brianne Theisen-Eaton, competing for her native Canada, had mixed results in the first two events of the heptathlon. She bolted to a personal best of 12.98 in the 100 meter hurdles – the third-fastest time of the day – as husband Ashton Eaton cheered her on. In the high jump, however, Theisen-Eaton could only manage 5-10¾, well short of her best of 6-1½.
The evening session will feature the finals of women’s shot put and the men’s 10,000 meters, with Galen Rupp, Hassan Mead and Mo Farah.