Chaunte Howard Lowe gave the early-arriving fans at the Drake Stadium the best show of the Saturday's event (26), clearing an Area record of 2.05m, her second of the year, adding a centimetre to her world season leading 2.04m from Cottbus.
The women's High Jump was one of the first finals to start, and spectators were still filtering in as narrowly escaping a three-way tie at 1.91m (where Lowe would have won via count-back) by making a third-attempt clearance at 1.94m, Lowe proceeded to clear 1.97m, 2.01m and 2.03m, each on the first attempt.
It took three attempts for Lowe to get over 2.05m, the first not good, the second very, very close to a clearance and the third successful. Lowe opted to stop jumping after that final clearance.
"I'm not ready for the World record height," said Lowe afterward. "I can't wrap my mind around it yet. If I made that I would just pass out. I still want to do the long jump today, and I don't want to go to the hospital first."
Lowe did double back in the long jump, taking second in 6.90m.
Brittney Reese at 7.08m was the winner, albeit with a whopping 3.2m/s tailwind. Reese's jump came on her first attempt; Lowe's on her fourth.
"I was crying like a baby," said Lowe of her reaction to the 2.05m leap. "I feel like now I have a legitimate shot" at a World Championship or Olympic title, "I had to take advantage of the great crowd. I was on a radio station earlier this week and they told me they'd made me an honorary Iowan."
Jackson gets in gear
Bershawn Jackson had his hands full with NCAA champion Johnny Dutch in the men's 400m Hurdles, and the result was fast. Dutch, in lane 6, got out ahead on the backstretch, and though Jackson drew even as they rounded the last bend the race was anything but over. Jackson pushed through to the line in a new world-leading time of 47.32, with Dutch close behind.
"I had a lot of confidence going into the race," said Jackson. "I felt really good yesterday; I felt I could have run extremely fast but I backed off. (Today) I put it together."
Dunn does it; Richards-Ross does not start
World Indoor champion Debbie Dunn posted a world-leading 49.64 to add the outdoor 400m national title to her indoor title. Dunn had nearly a second on Francena McCorory at 50.52, with McCorory just running down Natasha Hastings (50.53) at the finish line.
"I knew I wanted to get out hard because I know the others are very good competitors," said Dunn. "I said, 'Debbie, bring it home as hard as you can,' so that's what I did. I'm very happy."
Reigning outdoor World champion Sanya Richards-Ross did not start the final.
Nixon – world season lead too; Wariner injured?
In the men's 400m, another world-leading time came from an unexpected source. Greg Nixon, starting in lane 8, ran 44.61 to catch LeJerald Betters in the homestretch and pick up his first national title. Nixon and Betters both improved on the former world-leading time from Jeremy Wariner, who did not finish the final after pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury on the backstretch.
Jones 12.69 into strong wind
Local favourite Lolo Jones had a 2.1m/s headwind between her and the finish line of the 100m Hurdles final, but she blasted out of the blocks and into the lead from the first flight of barriers. She picked up inches with each hurdle and sailed to the win with a 12.69. Kellie Wells ran 12.84 for second, just ahead of Damu Cherry at 12.86.
Anna Pierce won her first U.S. title in the 1500m in 4:13.65. The race was close and crowded until, coming up to the 600m-to-go mark, Christin Wurth and Shalane Flanagan tangled, Flanagan went down, and the pack broke apart. Erin Donohue started a long drive from the bell, and Berlin bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury gave chase, but Pierce had the strongest kick in the end and caught Donohue 20m from the line.
Jillian Camerena dominated the women's Shot Put, with four legal attempts all long enough to win. 19.13m was her winning mark.
The women's Hammer throw was closer, with Amber Campbell at 71.52m holding the lead throughout but Jessica Cosby at 71.24m not far behind.
Click here to go to the separate report of Day 2 of the Decathlon and Heptathlon
Sunday's competition will conclude the Championships, with finals in the men's Shot Put, men's and women's 200m, women's Discus Throw and men's Long Jump, among others.
Parker Morse for the IAAF
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