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EUGENE, Ore. – With his performance during Saturday’s long jump competition at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, former Tiger All-American Jeremy Hicks put himself in position to compete for Team USA at this summer’s IAAF World Championships after claiming the bronze medal with his wind-aided jump of 26 feet, 7 inches for third place.


Hicks, the 2010 U.S. Indoor champion, moved into second place in the competition after jumping a series best of 26-7w on his third attempt, trailing only jumps of 26-10 ½w by Florida junior Will Claye and 26-9 by Texas sophomore Marquise Goodwin heading into the final round of jumps.


Hicks would go on to win the bronze medal with that performance, while Goodwin captured the gold over Claye with his winning jump of 27-4w in the fourth round.


In order to earn a spot on Team USA that will head to Daegu, South Korea, later this summer for the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Hicks must meet the “A” qualifying standard of 26-11 during a sanctioned competition by the Aug. 8 deadline for acceptable marks into the meet.


Dwight Phillips is the defending World Champion and is automatically qualified to compete at the World Championships. While Goodwin has only met the “B” qualifying standard with his seasonal-best mark of 26-9 ¾ he will also compete as the U.S. Outdoor champion. Claye has already met the “A” standard in the 2011 season with his best mark of 27-2 ½ as he is also qualified for the World Championships.


That means Hicks must also meet the “A” qualifying standard of 26-11 by the Aug. 8 deadline if he hopes to compete at the World Championships as the bronze medalist at this year’s USA Outdoor meet.


Hicks was not the only Tiger long jumper to compete Saturday as senior All-America Zedric Thomas was the eighth-place finisher after posting a series-best wind-aided mark of 26-0 ¼ on his third jump during an exciting prelim. Thomas posted a top wind-legal mark Saturday of 25-11 ½ on his second attempt.


Thomas has enjoyed an outstanding weekend of competition at the USA Outdoor Championships after he earned a fifth-place finish in the triple jump on Thursday with a top wind-aided mark of 55-2 ¾.


In Saturday’s semifinals, former Tiger hurdler Ryan Fontenot matched a personal record in the 110-meter hurdles as he finished in fifth place in the second semifinal heat with a time of 13.48 seconds. That equals his lifetime PR that he set during the 2010 outdoor season. Fontenot finished in 13th place overall with the men’s semifinals as he came up short of earning a spot in the eight-man final.


A trio of Lady Tigers followed with an appearance for the first round of qualifying of the women’s senior 100-meter hurdles as 2008 Olympian and the defending U.S. Outdoor champion Lolo Jones and freshman All-American Jasmin Stowers each advanced to the semifinal round from the same qualifying heat.


Jones won the second semifinal heat with her wind-aided time of 12.73 (+2.5) for the fourth-fastest on the afternoon, while Stowers followed in fourth place in the same heat as her time of 13.10w secured the final qualifying spot for the semifinal round with an 18th-place finish overall.


Lady Tiger senior Tenaya Jones also made her first career appearance at the USA Outdoor Championship on Saturday as her time of 13.41 earned a sixth-place finish in the fourth qualifying heat.


LSU sophomore and reigning NCAA champion Kimberlyn Duncan is certainly among the favorites vying for a spot on Team USA in the 200-meter dash as she entered Saturday’s competition as the 2011 outdoor world leader in the event with her seasonal best wind-legal time of 22.24 recorded in winning the national title in the event at the NCAA Championships on June 11.


Duncan certainly made her presence known early in the competition as she cruised to a victory in the first preliminary heat with a wind-legal time of 22.54 (+1.1). Her time held up as the fourth-fastest Saturday as she easily advanced to the semifinal round that will be held Sunday afternoon.


Duncan actually finished ahead of former Lady Tiger star Stephanie Durst in the first heat as Durst earned a second-place finish in the heat with her semifinal qualifying time of 22.81.


One former Tiger sprint star will also compete in the men’s semifinals of the 200-meter dash, with Xavier Carter taking second place in the third prelim heat with the 10th-fastest time of the day at 20.53w.


Two Lady Tigers came away from Saturday’s competition at Hayward Field as medalist while competing as part of the 2011 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships as freshman Karen Henning won a silver medal in the women’s junior hammer throw and Class of 2011 recruit Samantha Levin captured the bronze medal in the women’s junior 800-meter run with two outstanding performances.


Henning set a new personal record in the hammer throw with her series-best mark of 184-5 on her second throw of the afternoon as she eclipsed her previous best of 183-2 entering the competition. She also threw 184-4 on her fifth throw of the series for her best performance to date as a Lady Tiger.


A native of Kings Park, N.Y., Henning finished exactly seven feet behind the 2011 U.S. Junior Champion in Atlanta’s Shelby Ashe, who took home the gold medal with her winning throw of 191-5.


While emerging as one of the nation’s premier young talents in the 800-meter run this year, Levin secured the U.S. Junior bronze medal during Saturday’s championship action as she ran the second-fastest time of her prep career at 2 minutes, 7.35 seconds. Levin finished behind two college freshmen Kenyatta Iyevbele of NC State (2:06.37) and Chelsea Cox of Georgetown (2:06.71).


Levin owns a lifetime PR in the 800-meter run of 2:06.74 that was set in winning her third Missouri Class 4A state title in the event for the No. 5-ranked prep performance nationwide in 2011.


Fellow Lady Tiger Class of 2011 recruit and St. Louis native Montenae Roye-Speight followed with a PR in the girl’s junior 400-meter final as she earned a fifth-place finish with a time of 53.73. That effort ranks No. 6 among prep quartermilers for the 2011 outdoor season and No. 4 among the Class of 2011.




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