Devon Allen wins tight 110 hurdles at USATF outdoor meet

Shamier Little
The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Devon Allen is used to winning close races.

Allen might never enter another event that’ll be as close as the 110-meter hurdles Sunday at the USATF Outdoor championships.

Allen, the former Oregon receiver, crossed in 13.452 seconds — with the up-and-coming Grant Holloway in second at 13.454 — after a weather delay that lasted just under three hours.

World record-holder Aries Merritt, who missed the 2016 Olympic team by 0.01 and missed a national title a year ago by 0.07 after a kidney transplant three years ago, was fourth at 13.52.

“I’m not up in the booth, so I don’t make those decisions. I’ll take it,” Allen said. “I think it just comes down to being aggressive and relaxed.”

Ameer Webb won the 200 in 20.47, and Jenna Prandini won the women’s 200 in 22.62 after finishing third in the 100 on Friday.

Shelby Houlihan became just the second runner to win the women’s 1,500 and 5,000 in the same national championship meet, taking the 5,000 in 15:31.03. Rio Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy won the 800 in 1:46.50, and Ajee’ Wilson won the women’s race.

Sandi Morris beat 10-time champion Jenn Suhr and others to win the pole vault for the second straight year, clearing 15 feet, 9 inches.

WOMEN’S 5,000

For the second day in a row, Houlihan moved past a fellow Iowan to grab control of her race. Houlihan, who beat Webster City, Iowa’s Jenny Simpson in the 1,500 on Saturday, hung within a few paces of leader Karissa Schweizer — who went to high school in nearby West Des Moines and was making her pro debut— before making her move with about 250 meters to go. Rachel Schneider moved into second and tried a last-ditch push for first. It didn’t work, and Houlihan then kicked into high gear to win by nearly two seconds. “The focus all along really has been on the 5k. My coach always said that the stronger we are for the (5,000) the better we’ll be for the 1,500. My speed has always been there,” Houlihan said. Regina Jacobs also won the 1,500 and 5,000 in 1999 and 2000.

WOMEN’S 800

Wilson cruised to her third outdoor title, winning in 1:58.18 after a strong final 200 meters. Wilson, who also won the U.S. indoor title earlier this year, had run a 1:56.86 — the second-fastest time in the world in 2018 — in a Diamond League event last month. Raevyn Rogers was second in 1:58.57. I told myself “this is the last (200). You’ve done a bunch of 200s at the end of workouts. It was just one of those,” Wilson said. “I heard the announcer say that Raevyn was making a move. So I was like, ok, I’ve got to make mine.”

WOMEN’S 400 HURDLES

Shamier Little claimed her second title in the event (she also won in 2015) after a spirited duel with Georganne Moline. That ended when Moline landed awkwardly after clearing her final hurdle, allowing Little to cruise to the win in 53.61, the second-fastest time in the world this season.

TIDBITS

Murphy also won the 800 in 2016 but was a scratch a year ago. … Reggie Jagers (225-1) shattered the stadium record in the discus — a mark he set at the Drake Relays two months ago — by over 13 feet. …Evan Jager won his seventh straight 3,000 steelechase title, matching Henry Marsh (1981-87) for the longest winning streak in the event.

.