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Correction to This Article
This article gave the incorrect distance for Reese Hoffa's winning throw in the men's shot put at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Oregon. Hoffa's throw was 72 feet 661/47 inches.

In Women's 10,000, A Surprise at Third

The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials got underway Friday in Eugene, Ore., where a record crowd watched hopeful American competitors race and throw toward an Olympic berth.

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By Amy Shipley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 29, 2008

EUGENE, Ore., June 28 -- The leggy upstart who had been fastest here at the U.S. Olympic trials in track and field did not make the cut in the 100-meter final Saturday. The speedy star who figured to have a shot at four Olympic gold medals didn't make it, either.

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In a stirring race that featured lump-in-your-throat competition and fast times all around, the difference between third and fourth was .03 of a second -- and a trip halfway around the world.

Muna Lee, who finished first in 10.85 seconds, and Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams, both clocked at 10.90, won the three available spots for the Beijing Games.

A blink behind in a photo finish, Marshevet Hooker, 23, clocked 10.93 but, despite finishing first in each of the three rounds of the event, found herself without an Olympic invitation.

Allyson Felix, a 200 specialist whom some consider America's greatest female sprinter, leaned from Lane 8 but landed in fifth with her 10.96, ending her hopes of an Olympic 100-200 double.

None of that was clear, however, in the moments immediately after the race.

Williams, 24, the reigning world and Olympic silver medal winner, looked wide-eyed at the Hayward Field scoreboard, more worried than she had been awaiting the results of a photo finish at last year's world championships in Osaka, Japan.

"I had no idea," Williams said. "This was way worse than Japan. [I was a] nervous wreck."

So were Christian Cantwell, competing across the field in the men's shot put, and Diana Pickler, who finished the two-day heptathlon with 6,257 points.

Pickler claimed the third U.S. spot by just 10 points over Virginia Johnson as three-time U.S. champion Hyleas Fountain finished first with 6,667 and Jacquelyn Johnson claimed second (6,347).

Cantwell, who failed to win an Olympic spot in 2004 despite being ranked the top thrower in the world, survived a fit of apprehension after three poor throws to win a place on this year's team.

Reese Hoffa finished first with a winning toss of 76 feet 6 1/4 inches. Cantwell earned second place with his heave of 71-2 3/4 , and Adam Nelson claimed third (68-6 1/2 ).


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