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WALNUT, Calif. — Four world-leading marks and another stunning sprint performance helped christen the new Hilmer Lodge Stadium at the USATF Golden Games presented by Xfinity at Mt. SAC, the second U.S. stop on the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold circuit and the fifth meet on the USATF Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Series.

Fans can watch on-demand video on Peacock TV as well as USATF.tv+. The Distance Open featuring more Olympic hopefuls will begin Sunday evening at 7:00 PM local time/10 PM Eastern. 
 
Showing no signs of rust in his first outing in the event since the World Championships final in 2019, Rai Benjamin broke Edwin Moses’ Hilmer Lodge Stadium record of 47.89 from 1979, flying over the first half of the race in the men’s 400m hurdles and turned up the heat on the final curve to carry a lead into the stretch that gave him enough of a margin to win comfortably in 47.13. Kyron McMaster was the closest challenger to Benjamin’s supremacy, setting a British Virgin Islands national record of 47.50 in second. Alison dos Santos of Brazil, the previous world leader this year, also clocked a national record of 47.68 in third.
 
American indoor mile record holder Elle Purrier only ever trailed the pacemaker in the women’s 1,500m, and after she took over the lead with 700m to go she showed she is in top shape heading into the Olympic Trials, clocking a world-leading 3:58.36 to move to No. 6 on the all-time U.S. performer list. Canada’s Gabriele DeBues-Stafford held on for second in 4:00.69, .04 up on Shannon Osika, who chopped more than a second off her lifetime best at 4:00.73.
 
Running a half-stride behind Canada’s Sage Watson until the eighth barrier, Shamier Little moved to the lead and sprinted away off the final hurdle to win the women’s 400m hurdles in a world-leading 53.65, her fastest since 2018. Gianna Woodruff set a Panamanian national record in second at 54.70.
 
Clearing a world outdoor leading 5.91m/19-4.75 on his first attempt, Chris Nilsen won the men’s pole vault and had three tries at joining the 6.00m/19-8.25 club. Nate Richartz tied his personal best in second and Matt Ludwig was third, both clearing 5.70m/18-8.25.
 
Already the world leader with a 10.72 at the Miramar Invitational in April, Sha’Carri Richardson lit the first firework of the meet with a 10.74 in the first heat of the Xfinity women’s 100m, a time that only she and three other American women have ever bettered. Javianne Oliver notched a lifetime best of 10.97 in the second heat, her first time to dip under 11 seconds. 
 
That set the stage for the final, but a wind gremlin hampered Richardson’s time, though not by much. Richardson flew to a 10.77 with a 1.2 meters per second breeze in her face, her third sub-10.8 clocking of the young season. Oliver was second in 11.08, and Jamaica’s Briana Williams took third in 11.15.
 
The wind turned around for the Nike men’s 100m final, and Cravon Gillespie took full advantage with a season-best 9.96 that beat Isiah Young’s 9.99 and a 10.01 by Chris Belcher. NFL wide receiver DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks sought to test his speed against the world’s best, running his first track race since high school. Young powered away to win the first heat in 10.09, the fastest of either heat, and Metcalf acquitted himself admirably with a 10.36 in the second heat, won by Gillespie in 10.11, the same time as Michael Rodgers and CJ Ujah of Britain.
 
2018 USATF champion Darrell Hill, who was fifth at the 2019 World Championships, blasted a season best 22.19m/72-9.75 on his third attempt in the men’s shot put, the fourth-best effort of his career. Hill extended that to 22.34m/73-3.5 on his next throw to seal the win over Josh Awotunde, who had a huge 21.68m/71-1.5 on his last try to add more than a foot to his lifetime best.
 
Gabby Thomas edged Allyson Felix for the BD Veritor women’s 200m win in a just-wind-aided 22.12 (+2.1). Felix took the runner-up spot in 22.26 with Lynna Irby third in 22.27 and Jenna Prandini fourth in 22.30.
 
After making up the stagger on Justin Robinson to his outside by the halfway point, Michael Norman held his form and came off the final bend with a two-meter lead and cruised home to win the men’s 400m in 44.40, the second fastest time in the world this year. Michael Cherry also dipped under 45 seconds with a 44.86 in second.
 
World Championships fourth-placer Bryce Hoppel ran with Michael Rhoads through the first 600m, and Hoppel maintained his poise to come away with a U.S.-leading 1:44.94 in the men’s 800m, with Kenya’s Michael Saruni closing quickly for second in 1:45.18 and Rio bronze medalist Clayton Murphy third in 1:45.31.
 
Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, a two-time Olympian and veteran of six World Championships outdoors, hit 14.62m/47-11.5 in round four of the women’s triple jump to win and beat newly-minted American record holder Keturah Orji. Orji went 14.38m/47-2.25 on her fourth attempt and was second.
 
Canada’s Melissa Bishop-Nriagu followed the pacemaker through 400m in 57.70 and led off the final bend in the women’s 800m, but she couldn’t keep that lead as she was passed down the stretch by Britain’s Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir. Reekie set a personal best of 1:58.27 to lead seven women under two minutes, with Muir (1:58.46) and Bishop-Nriagu (1:58.62) under 1:59. Raevyn Rogers was the top American in fifth at 1:59.66, her best in 2021, and Heather MacLean (1:59.72) and Sinclaire Johnson (1:59.91) set lifetime bests behind her.
 
An Olympic finalist at Rio in 2016, Kate Grace came through 400m in 57.75 in the first section of the women’s 800m, just behind Olivia Baker, and she pushed to the front on the final lap to hold off Brenda Martinez as both women bettered 2:00. Grace won in a season best of 1:59.72, with Martinez just behind at 1:59.87, her fastest time since 2017.
 
World record holder Keni Harrison was even with Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas halfway through the final of the women’s 100m hurdles and then pulled away to equal her season best with a 12.48 win. Britain’s Cindy Sember came up for second in a personal best 12.53, with Tobi Amusan of Nigeria edging Charlton for third, both in 12.61 as Charlton set a national record. Sydney McLaughlin, the second-fastest woman ever over the 400m hurdles, dramatically lowered her 100H best to 12.65 in fifth.
 
A two-man battle behind torrid pacemaking in the men’s 1,500m saw Australia’s Ollie Hoare hold off Canada’s Justyn Knight to take the win in a lifetime best 3:33.19, the second fastest outdoor time in the world this season. Knight also set a personal best with his 3:33.41 in second. Craig Nowak took the duo past 800m in just over 1:51 and there was no real letup in pace after that. Henry Wynne was third in 3:36.86.
 
Reigning world champion Noah Lyles had all he could handle in the men’s 200m with Kenny Bednarek exploding out of the blocks and running a superb turn to lead by a stride into the straight. Lyles fought his way back and passed Bednarek just before the line to win in 19.90, .04 up on Bednarek. Teenager Erriyon Knighton clipped .01 off his personal best to win the second section of the men’s 200m in 20.30, lowering his own American U18 record in the process. 
 
Greece’s Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi won the women’s pole vault with a third-attempt clearance at 4.80m/15-9. Katie Nageotte and Olivia Gruver both went over 4.70m/15-5, with Nageotte getting the nod for second on the countback.
 
A showdown between the 2019 World Championships women’s shot put silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd of Jamaica and the fourth place finisher, Maggie Ewen, produced an outdoor season best and a little bit of revenge for Ewen with a 19.32m/63-4.75 in the second round that downed Thomas-Dodd’s 18.91m/62-0.5.
 
In the women’s hammer throw, Gwendolyn Berry won the event with a fifth round toss of 73.73/241-10 after opening the day with a 73.56/241-4 toss to take start in first place and never look back.
 
Kord Ferguson’s lifetime best of 63.75m/209-2 on his first attempt in the men’s discus was good enough to hold on and win, staving off U.S. leader Mason Finley, who hit 63.57m/208-1 in the fifth round. 2018 national champion Reggie Jagers was third with a best of 63.01m/206-8.
 
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Will Claye matched the U.S. leading mark in the men’s triple jump, spanning 17.15m/56-3.25 in round five. Reigning USATF outdoor champion Donald Scott ended up second with a best of 17.00m/55-9.25w, while Chris Benard, whose national-leading mark Claye tied, was third at 16.98m/55-8.5w.
 
Click here for full results. 
 
The action continues later Sunday evening with the USATF Golden Games Distance Open at Mt. SAC, which will be live streamed on USATF.TV+ starting at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET. 
 
USATF’s Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Series will next stop in Fort Worth, Texas for the USATF Open on May 18. 
 
Fans can follow along with #JourneyToGold and #USATF on TwitterInstagramTikTok and Facebook.

USATF Golden Games - Distance Open 

Competition continued into the night at Mt. SAC as the distances grew longer and the sky darker. 

2018 NCAA 5,000m champion Sean McGorty made his debut in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and stunningly came out with not only the win, but also the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games standards. He finished in 8:20.77 ahead of Dan Michalski, who also achieved the Olympic standard with his 8:21.25 lifetime best, and Obsa Ali. Ali set a lifetime best of 8:22.67, and fourth place finisher Benard Keter also nabbed a PR with his 8:26.13.

The women’s race was equally exciting to watch as American record holder Courtney Frerichs ran her first steeplechase since 2019. The Olympian and world championships medalist maintained the lead as a pacer, and held on to win in 9:27.70, the fastest time by an American this year. All top three women went under the Olympic Trials standard - Frerichs, Leah Falland and Marisa Howard

The USATF Golden Games concluded with an inspiring men’s 5,000m. Mason Ferlic, who went into tonight’s race needing to run sub 13:25 to earn a spot at next month’s Trials, displayed a calculated race strategy and covered the final 400m in 58.93 to beat Canadian Kieran Lumb. Ferlic narrowly slipped under the qualifying time by .06, finishing in a personal best of 13:24.94. 

USATF’s Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Series will next stop in Fort Worth, Texas for the USATF Open on May 18.  


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