Solomon, Day, Hasay focus on representing USA at World Championships
Three Central Coast athletes climbed to the top of the medal podium over the weekend at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. All three are immediately shifting their focus to representing the Central Coast and the United States at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia in August. Nine years of waiting finally came to an end for Lompoc native Duane Solomon, Jr. Sunday, the 28 year old captured his first USA outdoor title with a time of 1:43.27, the fastest time in the world this season. The Cabrillo High graduate, who finished fourth in the London Olympics, is confident he and his teammates in the 800 Nick Symmonds and Brandon Johnson can medal in Russia. The United States has not had a male athlete medal in the 800 since 1997. "There's a resurgence of distance running in the USA. It's great to have us coming out here and people not doubting us anymore you know. We're actually contenders now," said Solomon, who did not advance out of the preliminary heats in his only other appearance at Worlds in 2007. Cal Poly graduate Sharon Day also ranks number one in the world this season in the women's heptathlon. The 28 year old set career bests in five of the seven events on her way to her second national outdoor title in the women's heptathlon. Day set a new lifetime best with 6,550 points, which made her just the fifth American woman ever to reach the 6,500 point mark. The two-time Olympian will focus on each event over the next few weeks to raise the bar even higher. "Definitely just to score as high or higher there and just kind of do the same thing, just have fun with it and let it flow, let it come," said Day when asked about what she'd like to score in Russia. Day finished 16th at the London Olympics, 18th at Worlds in 2011 and 10th at Worlds back in 2009. Mission Prep and recent Oregon graduate Jordan Hasay opened some eyes in her professional debut. Hasay finished second in the women's 10,000 meter final with a time of 32:17. She'll need to shave at least 12 seconds off that between now and July 20 to meet the "A" standard of 31:45 or the "B" standard of 32:05 to qualify for Worlds. "I'm just trying to have a fresh start as a professional and it was an opportunity for me to come out and have nothing but positive and kind of get on a really good streak and kind of forget the past," said Hasay. Her future includes running a 10K along with her Nike Oregon Project teammate Tara Erdmann, who finished third at Nationals, to meet the time standards. Hasay is hoping to join Solomon and Day on Team USA in Russia. The World Championships take place every other year. In 2011, they took place in Daegu, South Korea. This year, the championships are set for August 10-18. The men's 800 meter preliminary heats are set for the opening day, August 10 with the semifinals on August 11 and the final on August 13. The heptathlon takes place on August 12-13, while the 10K final is on August 11.
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