DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Noah Lyles was asked after winning his first USATF title whether he’s a “100- or 200-meter guy.”
Without skipping a beat, Lyles said “I’m both.”
Lyles certainly showed he’s more than just a specialist in the 200 meters with a scintillating performance on Friday in Des Moines.
The 20-year-old from Florida won a thrilling 100 final at the outdoor national championships, becoming the youngest title-holder in the event in 34 years.
Lyles finished in a world-leading 9.88 second. Ronnie Baker was second in 9.90.
“Don’t get me wrong. I love the 200. I love it. But I also like a few hundreds (as well),” Lyles said. “I didn’t think that my first USATF championship was going to be a 100 championship. I always thought it would be the 200. So to come out here to win the 100, it made me very happy .”
LSU’s Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 100 to become the first college winner in the event since 1991. She finished in 10.91. Ashley Henderson, also a collegian for San Diego State, was second in 10.96 — and five of the eight sprinters in the finals were college runners.
“Every race I ran I was very confident. I executed the race and I didn’t panic at all,” Hobbs said.
Zack Ziemek won the decathlon with a stadium-record 8,294 points to edge Harrison Solomon by 275 points. Donald Scott took the triple jump at 57 feet.
Christian Taylor, who was expected to win the triple jump after taking first at worlds in 2017, didn’t register a qualified jump before dropping out. Taylor’s performance came shortly after he barely failed to advance in the 400. “My legs were heavy after the 400,” Taylor said. “I mean, there is so much to lose and little to gain in that.”
Ziemek, who was seventh in the Rio Olympics, cruised to the win by posting the best score by an American in 2018. Ziemek also beat two-time Olympic champion Ashton Eaton’s stadium record by just three points in winning his first national title. “I didn’t even know that until going into the 1,500 (meters). Honestly, I just wanted to run really to do as well as I can to come out and break that record,” Ziemek said.
Rudy Winkler won the event for the second time in three years, finishing first with a toss of 242 feet — less than two feet further than runner-up Alex Young. “It was more of a sigh of relief,” Winkler said.
World record holder Kendra Harrison advanced in the 100 hurdles with a season-best time of 12.46 in a preliminary heat. ...Michael Rodgers, who ran a world-leading time of 9.89 seconds in the first round of the 100 on Thursday, pulled out of the meet for unspecified reasons. ... Chris Bernard was second in the triple jump at 56-10, followed by KeAndre Bates at 56-3 3/4.