(29-Jun) Ten (10) USATF Virginia members competed in the 2022 USATF Outdoor Championships that concluded on Sunday (26-Jun) in Eugene, Oregon. The championships were the qualifying event for next month's World Athletics Championships to also be held in Eugene. Assuming they met the World Athletics entry standards, the top three athletes in each event qualified to represent Team USA at the world championships.
Ethan Dabbs (Charlottesville; University of Virginia) won the Javelin Throw in dramatic fashion and Britton Wilson (Richmond) ran a huge personal best to finish second in the 400m Hurdles. Both will represent Team USA at next month's world championships in Eugene. Britton's spot on the team was known immediatly after her race as she met the world championship standard but Dabbs had to wait until Wednesday (29-Jun) for the world rankings to be released to learn of his qualification.
Dabbs’ initial mark of 72.99 meters (250’0”) after three throws was just enough to earn him the eighth and final place in the finals. Sitting in fifth place after five attempts, it all came down to his sixth and final throw. Dabbs saved his best attempt for last as he unleashed a throw of 81.29 meters (266’8”) to claim the national title. “It’s been a long year,” said Dabbs following his victory. “I got it done when it mattered and that’s what matters most…I had nothing to lose.” he added. When the championships began Dabbs was ranked #46 in the world rankings with only the top 32 ranked athletes eligible to participate in the world championships. But on Wednesday when the new rankings were released he had moved up to #30; securing his spot on Team USA.
Wilson entered the championships with a personal best of 53.75 set last month at the SEC championships. That time was the #4 seed of the 25 women that competed in the opening round on Thursday. Coming off a win at the NCAA championships many experts projected a top three result for Wilson and she did not disappoint as she improved on her personal best by .65 seconds to easily place second running 53.08. The race was won by Sydney McLaughlin, the 2020 Olympic gold medalist, in a new world record of 51.41. Wilson will join McLaughlin and third place finisher Shamier Little on Team USA for next month's world championships. Also earning a hard fought spot in the 400m hurdles was Lauren Hoffman (Haymarket; Duke University). On Friday Hoffman finished third in her semi-final heat running 56.19 for the eighth and final non-automatic qualifying spot for Saturday's final. In the finals she finished she finished seventh running 56.00.
Other Virginians making the finals in their events were Bridget Williams (Fairhaven, VA) and Javonte' Harding (Prince George, VA; North Carolina A&T State Univ.). Williams finished seventh in the Pole Vault with a clearance of 4.50m (14-9) and Harding finished eighth in the 200m in a time of 20.31. In his semi-final heat Harding stopped the clock at 20.23 to earn the final spot in the finals by the slimmest of margins (.003 seconds). Harding also finished 18th in the 100m running 10.32 in the first round qualifying heats.
Other Virginians that competed in the meet were: Jordan Roach (14th Discus Throw); William Spencer, Jr. (15th 400m Hurdles); Fitsum Seyoum (17th 3000m Steeplechase); Jordan Willis (20th 400m); Trevor Stewart (22nd 400m) and Essence Henderson (Discus Throw).
The complete Virginia Results Scoreboard as well as post-competition interviews can be found here. here.