Clovis News

Clovis' Prandini comes up short in 200 at nationals

On a day Clovis High graduate Jenna Prandini experienced a rare defeat in one of her specialities, U.S. star Allyson Felix showed she may be a worldwide threat for gold-medal honors in more than the event that's made her famous.

Prandini settled for fifth place in the 200 meters in the junior portion of the U.S. Outdoor Championships, finishing in 23.75 seconds Saturday at Oregon's Hayward Field.

Aurieyall Scott, who just completed her freshman season at the University of Central Florida, won in 22.83.

A day earlier, Prandini won the long jump title. She captured 100, 200 and long jump golds earlier this month at the CIF state championships to close her stellar high school career.

Prandini's 200 time Saturday still was good enough to improve her own No. 1 section mark.

Willy Irwin (Clovis East/Fresno City) and Jacob Budwig (Fowler/Oregon) finished fourth (179-3) and 13th (161-9), respectively, in the junior discus.

The junior meet is open to those 14-19. And in the junior 200, it is Felix's 22.11 in 2003 that is still the event record.

Since then, Felix has become one of America's top female stars in the sport. She is a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 200 and now is weighing whether to try for the 200/400 double in this summer's World Championship meet.

Her performance in the U.S. senior 400 Saturday, in which she held off Francena McCorory to win in 50.40 seconds, at least keeps Felix considering the possibility.

"I felt good throughout and I feel like I'm learning a lot, how my body feels throughout," Felix said.

The 200/400 double is not easy to pull off given all the rounds and the lack of recovery time between them.

That's why the decision for Daegu, South Korea, in late August remains a difficult one for Felix and coach Bobby Kersee.

"That's my biggest thing, the thing that makes it tough for me to decide," Felix said of the quick turnaround. "I'm not going to be as fresh going into the 200. That's the big deciding factor."

Regardless, Felix already has added another historic footnote to her career. She is the first woman to take national titles in the 100 (2010), 200 (five times) and the 400.

Up-and-comer Tony McQuay of the University of Florida won the men's 400 by blowing past former Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner over the final 100 meters. Wariner faded but held off Greg Nixon for second.

The win over Wariner had McQuay making bold predictions for worlds.

"I want to break the world record. I've got my mind set on that," he said.

Wariner has promised himself a new Ferrari should he ever break Michael Johnson's nearly 12-year-old record.

McQuay wasn't even close to Michael Johnson's 43.18, finishing in 44.68.

The U.S. worlds team also will include newly crowned national champions David Oliver (110 hurdles), Lashinda Demus (400 hurdles), Derek Miles (pole vault), Matthew Centrowitz and Morgan Uceny (1,500 meters), Kara Patterson (javelin), Jessica Cosby (hammer throw), Marquise Goodwin (long jump) and William Nelson (steeplechase).

In the women's 1,500, former Mission Prep star Jordan Hasay finished ninth, nearly nine seconds behind Uceny.

A watered-down version of the men's 200 field completed the first round Saturday. There was no Tyson Gay (hip) or Justin Gatlin (sat out after qualifying in the 100).

Meanwhile, Wallace Spearmon, still dealing with a nagging Achilles tendon injury, didn't qualify for the next round.

Shawn Crawford, the 2004 Olympic champion, had the fastest time, and Walter Dix, fresh off his 100 title, moved on as well.

The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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