EUGENE, Ore.- Jasmine Chaney always dreamed of representing her country at the World Track and Field Championships.
Now her dream has become a reality.
The Arizona State and McClintock High graduate finished third in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Championships in Eugene Saturday to secure a spot for the late August World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
“I’m so happy, it’s overwhelming, a dream come true,” Chaney said. “I’ve accomplished a dream. I am speechless. I just want to thank God, and let this be a testimony to other girls to let them know this is possible.”
Lashinda Demus won the event in 54.21 seconds, followed by Queen Harrison (54.78). Chaney was even for the last 50 meters with UCLA’s Turquoise Thompson before pulling ahead by three tenths of a second (55.22 to 55.53). Defending champion Ti’erra Brown was fifth at 55.93.
“I was just thinking- form, stay in the line and keep the position,” Chaney said . “It was my goal. I just wanted to make the team, and I told myself before I ran that I was going to make the team, and I did.”
Chaney said she will fine tune herself and run some races overseas before the Daegu Worlds start.
It was the fourth national title for Demus.
“It’s hard having a perfect race here in all of this wind,” Demus said. “If you don’t want to win, you shouldn’t run. I want to win. I want to break some records, and I want to go down as the best in history.”
Meanwhile, Hannah Carson of Chandler finished ninth (50.43 meters) in the javelin –her first senior national competition.
“It’s nice to get a taste of what it will be like in college,” Carson said. “A lot of my coaches are here with other athletes.”
Carson will be a freshman at Texas Tech in the fall, and will be competing in the junior javelin later at the U.S. Championships. 2008 Olympian Kara Patterson defended her title for the third time with a throw of 59.34 meters.
Allyson Felix took the women’s 400-meter competition in 50.4 seconds. It was her first national title at the quarter mile, joining the five she has in the 200 and one in the 100.
“I feel I’m learning a lot about my body,” Felix said. “I just wanted to rely on my speed, but in Daegu, I’ll have to run faster.”
David Oliver won his third men’s 110-meter hurdles title in 13.04 seconds.
“It was a successful championship for myself,” Oliver said. “I’m just glad the race is over. Representing the United States is cool, it’s always fun being on the team. It’s not all about setting records, it’s about winning.”