The main event for many on this day was the men’s steeplechase, which saw Brian Olinger take the lead at the start. That lead, however, did not last long as Anthony Famlighetti, adhering to his pre-race strategy of pushing the pace, took the lead just prior to the first water jump. From that point onward he controlled the pace & challenged everyone to accept the pain to stay with him. Olinger held second for the bulk of the race and Steve Slattery hung nearby in fourth place. William Nelson and Kyle Acron, the NCAA champion, loomed just a bit further back. With only five laps remaining Famlighetti pushed the pace even harder and opened up a fifteen meter lead. It was a bit hard to ascertain the split times as the announcer failed to mention almost any times but he did mention that the leader was running at an 8:16 pace.
Famlighetti upped the ante to a 67 second lap and it appeared that the other runners were only jockeying for second place. William Nelson in light of that moved to third. In spite of the pace the leader moved easily. Brian Olinger, still in second, did not look nearly as comfortable.
Famlighetti ran 66.6 in the second last lap striding comfortably along. William Nelson & Joshua McCandless took the next two places at this time but a number of runners close behind appeared ready to make a move. Trough the final lap Famlighetti stayed true to his goal of "channeling the energy of Pre" and, although he looked over his shoulder on the final straight ("I saw the jumbo screen and they looked a lot closer"). He claimed the victory in a time of 8:20.24. William Nelson, who did indeed gained down the stretch , finished second in 8:21.47 and Joshua McAdams claimed third (8:21.99). Afterwards the winner spoke about his concerns about the Olympics being in China and considered a boycott but essentially came to the realization that it is the government of China, that is the problem and not its people. As introspective an athlete as one will ever find Famlighetti touched on many topics including personal value and religion but most notably remembered the spirit of both Steve Prefontaine and Ryan Shay.
Coming home fourth was Jacob Morse, only a Texas junior. He was not at all distressed in having just missed out of a medal stating simply that he ‘did not have the fitness of the other three’ runners. When all is considered he is quite young for a steeple chase runner at this level and, when asked about his problem over the 2nd barrier, he smiled and stated: "It was a skateboard move, I think." and he waved his arms as if shooting a curl. He then noted "but, if I can get away with a horrible jump like that, there is nothing that I need to change" and it offers a great deal of hope in his future. Morse, was also aware of the injury in the 200 of Tyson Gay and the almost immediate whining afterwards by fans in the stands over the grueling nature of the Trials’ system of make or break running and offered: "it’s a fair system" that he has no problem with it.
The 200 meter semi-final heats did witness the shocking collapse of favorite Tyson Gay, who fell due to hamstring problems. He was not only eliminated from the event but possibly from the Olympic 100 Meters for which he had already qualified and it will depend upon the severity of the injury to see, if he has enough time too recover. Such is the nature of the Trials with at times a hairline difference between success, injury and failure.
In other events Michelle Carter won the women’s shot put with a toss .of 61’ 10 ¼" and Kristen Hearton was second with 60’ 2". Jillian Camarena threw 59’ 5 ½" to place third. Jessica Cosley claimed the hammer throw with a heave of 70m 72cm and Amber Campbell was 2nd with 69m 2cm. Sarah Veress took third with 68m 6cm. The men’s high jump final went to Jessee Williams in 7’ 6 ½" Jamie Nieto (7’ 5 ¼") and Andra Manson shared second place after a jump-off Narrowly missing a trip to Beijing were Cedric Norman and Keith Moffatt who both cleared 7’ 5 ¼".