Lipsey, Reese Victorious at Nike Prefontaine Classic

05/30/2017 - 05:24

EUGENE, Oregon -- 2016 Olympic silver medalist Brittney Reese and 2017 USATF Indoor 1000m champion Charlene Lipsey came away with victories Friday on Joan Benoit Samuelson Night at the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

Lipsey (Hempstead, New York) continued to impress in 2017, cruising to a victory in the USATF High Performance women’s 800m Friday night. Lipsey led from the gun with Rio Olympian Chrishuna Williams (Dallas, Texas) on her heels, as both USATF athletes utilized the pacemaker to get out front early. Lipsey charged around the Bowerman Curve on the final lap with the crowd roaring as she registered the first sub-2 finish of her career to win in 1:59.87. Williams crossed just behind Lipsey in 2:00.62. High schooler Sammy Watson (Henrietta, New York) ran a new personal best to finish third, recording a USATF Outdoors qualifying time of 2:01.47.

Reese (Inglewood, California) and reigning Olympic champion Tianna Bartoletta (Toledo, Ohio) renewed their Rio rivalry, having battled for the top two spots on the podium at the 2016 Olympic Games. Reese led from the first jump, recording an opening round mark of 6.88m/22-5. In the second round, Bartoletta launched herself from sixth to second in the standings, turning in a jump of 6.83m/22-5, her best of the night. Reese then nailed her second attempt, registering a new 2017 world lead of 7.01m/23-0. The duo’s round two jumps kept them at the top of the leaderboard throughout the rest of the night, as they each scored valuable Diamond League points to aid them on the Road to the Final.

As a surprise in the high school girls’ 200 meters, eighth-grader Tamari Davis (Gainesville, Florida) set a world age group best in 23.21. The 14-year-old sprinter was smiling and speechless as the Hayward Field faithful rose to their feet following her tremendous performance.

The women’s 3000-meter steeplechase was impressive for many reasons, including a new World U20 record from Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol. Chespol, who already owns pending World U20 record of 9:05.70, became the second-fastest performer in the event all-time, turning in only the third sub-9 performance in track & field history. Even more impressive in her performance was Chespol losing her shoe while going over the water barrier on the penultimate lap and storming back to take the lead with 300m to go.

Finishing behind Chespol was countrywoman Beatrice Chepkoech, who ran a personal best 9:00.70, and Rio Olympic champion Ruth Jebet in 9:03.52. Olympic bronze medalist Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) was fourth Friday, narrowly missing her American record in 9:07.96. Fellow Olympian Courtney Frerichs (Nixa, Missouri) turned in a new personal best, finishing fifth in 9:19.09.

Three USATF athletes ran under the USATF Outdoor Championships standard in the women’s 1500m Friday, as USATF 1-Mile Road Champion Katie Mackey (Seattle, Washington), Team B.A.A.’s Emily Lipari (Greenvale, New York) and American junior record holder Alexa Efraimson (Camus, Washington) all finished under the qualifying time of 4:09.50. Mackey, who punched her ticket to USATF Outdoors at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, was the runner-up behind Canada’s Gabriele Stafford, finishing in 4:07.79. Lipari was third in 4:08.29 and Efraimson was fifth in 4:09.03.

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