The U.S. Olympic track and field team continued to take shape during the fourth and fifth days of the Olympic Trials Sunday and Monday. But the third member of the women's 100-meter squad remains undetermined, and probably won't be settled until this weekend.
On Saturday, Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place in the 100-meter final. There's never been a tie for the final Olympic team berth in U.S. track and field history, so officials had no tie-breaking procedure in place. By necessity, they do now. First, each athlete has the right to decline the position on the 100-meter team. This scenario is plausible because both runners are also competing in the 200. Felix, a three-time 200-meter World champ, will certainly make the team. Should Tarmoh fail to finish in the top three in Saturday's final, her friend and training partner, Felix, could cede the 100-meter spot to Tarmoh. Otherwise, the two athletes themselves will choose to either hold a run-off or submit to a coin flip. If they can't agree, the tie will be broken by a run-off.
Competition highlights from Sunday and Monday include world-leading 400-meter performances from LaShawn Merritt (44.12 seconds) and Sanya Richards-Ross (49.28). The remaining 400-meter Olympians will be Dee Dee Trotter, Francena McCorory, Tony McQuay and Bryshon Nellum. Nellum, who suffered a random gunshot wound in 2008 and missed two years of competition, ran a personal best 44.80 to make the team and complete his comeback.
"It's been a long journey for me," Nellum said. "I finally had a healthy season. It's a blessing to be able to compete out here."
Reese Hoffa threw a world-leading 22 meters (72 feet, 2¼ inches) to pace a shot put team that includes Ryan Whiting and Christian Cantwell. Justin Gatlin ran a personal best 9.80 to lead the men's 100-meter team that includes Ryan Bailey and another runner making a comeback, Tyson Gay, who's mending from last year's hip surgery.
"I feel like I'm on my way up," said Gay, who was second in the final in 9.86. "This is only my second race of the year and I only started training in March."
Other men who punched Olympic tickets over the past two days include Jamie Nieto, Erik Kynard and Jesse Williams in the high jump; Craig Kinsley, Sean Furey and Cyrus Hostetler in the javelin throw; Nick Symmonds, Khadevis Robinson and Duane Solomon in the 800 meters; and Marquise Goodwin, Will Claye and George Kitchens in the long jump, with Kitchens hitting the Olympic A standard in Sunday's final.
Women who made the U.S. squad Sunday and Monday include Alysia Montano, Geena Gall and Alice Schmidt in the 800; Jenn Suhr, Becky Holliday and Lacy Janson in the pole vault; plus Stephanie Brown Trafton, Aretha Thurmond and Gia Lewis-Smallwood in the discus. No American woman achieved the triple jump A standard during the past year, but Amanda Smock - who won Monday's final - previously reached the B standard and will represent the U.S. in London.