Richards-Ross, the 2012 Olympic 400-meter gold medalist, had said she would retire after this season, but it ended abruptly and too soon.
Pulling up when she felt "a grab" from her injured hamstring before the final turn of her first-round race in the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, she was unable to finish. Her slow turn around the track became a thank you and a farewell shared by the savvy crowd and the elegant Richards-Ross, whose career will end with three Olympic gold medals and one bronze.
"I wish it could have gone better," she said, tears sliding down her face after her final race. "I will always remember how the crowd reacted, so this will be special for me. This has been a great journey."
Rupp lingered to celebrate his eighth straight U.S. 10,000 meter title and to take a victory lap with his nearly 2-year-old twins, Emmie and Grayson.
Rupp, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, had earned a Rio Olympic berth by winning the marathon trials in Los Angeles in February, but he wasn't content to stop there. He made a remarkable kick in grueling heat Friday to win in 27 minutes 55.04 seconds, topping Shadrack Kipchirchir (28:01.52) and Leonard Korir (28:16.97). Afterward, Rupp was fresh enough to shake dozens of hands, wave to his hometown fans and affirm he will try for a third Olympic berth, in the 5,000. If he succeeds, he said he would compete in two of those three races in Rio.
"This was one of the harder ones for sure, if not the hardest. It was really tough in the heat and great competition too," Rupp said. "To have my kids there and family, this was definitely a little extra-special."
Only one other final was contested Friday, in the men's shotput. Ryan Crouser of Gresham, Ore., won with a toss of 72 feet 6 ½ inches. Joe Kovacs was second at 72-0 ¼, with Darrell Hill third at 70-11 ¾. All will be first-time Olympians.
The first round of the men’s 800 produced two surprises. Former USC standout
Boris Berian, who trains at Big Bear Lake, led the 800 qualifying at 1:46.03. He had been the target of a lawsuit filed by Nike in a dispute over sponsorship, but Nike recently dropped the suit. Being fought over was a strange experience for Berian, who was flipping burgers at a McDonald's two years ago. "I did have some tough days but I was pretty sure I could do something with running," he said.
In the high jump, 18-year-old U.S.indoor champion Vashti Cunningham was among four women who cleared 6 feet ½ inch without a miss to advance to Sunday’s final. Former Riverside resident