Jun 28, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT
Dawn Harper-Nelson beat the World champion in the 100m hurdles to win the U.S. Championship and celebrated with a cartwheel.
Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion, clocked 12.55 seconds in the final in Sacramento, Calif. Queen Harrison was second in 12.56, followed by Lolo Jones in 12.65. World champion Brianna Rollins, who also owns the fastest time in the world this year, was fifth in 12.81.
“I made a little mistake in the middle [of the race], and I was like, ‘Oh, Lord, don’t let it go,'” Harper-Nelson told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “I knew it was going to be a great race. Fierce ladies.”
In the women’s 400m final, Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross couldn’t run down Francena McCorory. McCorory, the World Indoor champion, ran a personal best 49.48 seconds. That’s the fastest 400m by an American woman since Richards-Ross won the 2012 Olympic Trials in 49.28.
“I just wanted to get out, execute my race and finish strong,” said McCorory, gasping for breaths. “I’m just happy for the win.”
Richards-Ross went her fastest time of 2014 by .37 of a second, one day after chopping 1.16 seconds off her best time this year. She’s coming back from toe injuries that sidelined her most of the last season.
“What keeps me going now is my legacy,” said Richards-Ross, 29, a five-time Olympic medalist. “I do want to be a two-time [individual] Olympic champion, so I’m working hard to get back to Rio.”
The U.S. Championships finish Sunday with finals including the 200m, men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 1500m.
[WATCH LIVE: U.S. Championships, Sunday at 3 p.m. ET]
In other events Saturday, Brittney Reese won the long jump with a 6.92m leap. Reese has won every global outdoor championship since placing fifth at the 2008 Olympics. Tianna Bartoletta, who won the 100m on Friday night, was second with five jumps of 6.8m or better. Nobody else did so more than once.
Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard won the high jump with a clearance of 2.35m. Kynard took three attempts at 2.41m, which would have been a American record, but failed on all three.
Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano passed Pat Casey in the final 100m of the 1500m to win by .31 in 3:38.63.
Two-time Olympian Sharon Day-Monroe successfully defended her heptathlon title with 6,470 points. Day-Monroe finished sixth at the 2013 World Championships with 6,407.
Emma Coburn took the 3000m steeplechase in 9:19.71, a meet record. She became the first American to win a Diamond League steeplechase in Shanghai on May 18.
Gil Roberts won a 400m final lacking the reigning World Championships gold and silver medalists, LaShawn Merritt and Tony McQuay. Merritt withdrew before the semifinals Friday. Roberts ran a personal best 44.53.
World Championships medalists Curtis Mitchell and Wallace Spearmon won their 200m first round heats. The last two World champions, David Oliver and Jason Richardson, advanced in the 110m hurdles. The semifinals and finals of both sprints are Sunday.
Olympic silver medalist Lashinda Demus and Olympians Tiffany Williams and Georganne Moline were among the qualifiers into the 400m hurdles final Sunday.
Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson, Johnny Dutch and Jeshua Anderson made the men’s 400m hurdles final. London Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley was shockingly eliminated in the first round Friday.
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