Felix, Tarmoh to break 100-meter tie Monday
EUGENE, Ore. -- After a week of high-level debate, the best race of all at the USA Olympic track and field trials -- maybe, just maybe -- Allyson Felix vs. Jeneba Tarmoh at 100 meters, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Hayward Field. Tarmoh will be in lane 4, Felix in lane 5.
Of course, that's a day after the rest of the meet concluded and almost every other visiting cast member of the eight-day show had flown home.
But NBC cameras will be there, as the race to determine the third spot on the 100-meter team at the London Games -- with Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison -- gets major network attention, as an insert in swimming trials coverage.
Call it the great "no degrees of separation'' prime-time special.
Felix and Tarmoh, both Nike contract pros coached by Bobby Kersee, will have had a day of rest after their sixth race of the trials.
The script began evolving on day two. Tarmoh ran the 100 in 11.16 to Felix's 11.19 in the prelims. Next day, Tarmoh ran 11.10 in the semis to Felix's 11.17.
But in the final, which Jeter won in 10.92 with Madison second in 10.96, there was nothing separating the next pair. Not a whisker. Not a single thousandth of a second. The clocks showed Tarmoh and Felix at 11.068, which began all the speculation on how to resolve it.
USATF's first proposal was to stage a rematch, under mutually acceptable terms. Its second suggestion, if there was no agreement on the first, was to toss a coin, which generated debate on why there was no machinery to settle such ties.
Both ran three rounds of the 200 next. Felix won the final Saturday in 21.69, with Tarboh fifth in 22.35. So with Felix assured of at least one individual event in London (plus the 4 x 100 relay), it's Tarmoh (guaranteed only the relay spot) who has more to lose in the rematch.
So does that give Tarmoh any kind of an edge? No word on that, even from Las Vegas.
Notes & quotes: Morgan Uceny, the world's top women's 1,500 runner, took her specialty Sunday in 4:04.69 . . . The men's 1,500 final went to Leonel Manzano (3:35.75) over Matthew Centrowitz (3:35.84) . . . Angelo Taylor's bid for his third Olympic 400 hurdles crown stayed on track. Taylor, 33, is going to his fourth Games after running second in 48.57 to Michael Tinsley (48.33) . . . Four years ago in Beijing, Wallace Spearmon Jr. lost an apparent bronze in the 200 final on a controversial lane-violation call. After winning the trials in a wind-aided 19.82, he'll get a chance to make amends.