Chaunte Lowe displayed some slick dance moves Saturday while winning the high jump title at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, but she saved her most amusing gesture for the medal ceremony.
While waiting to ascend the podium, she heard third-place finisher Amy Acuff introduced as a five-time Olympian and simply couldn’t believe it. Lowe spread the fingers on one hand widely apart and her face took on an incredulous expression -- and Acuff didn’t seem to believe it either. She joins Gail Devers, Carl Lewis, WillyeWhite, Willie Davenport and Jearl Miles-Clark as five-time track and field Olympians.
“I feel really lucky to have another shot,” said the UCLA alumna, who will be 37 before the London Games begin. “I just feel amazing. I’m so proud to be here with these two ladies.”
Lowe, a graduate of Riverside North High, won by clearing 2.01 meters (6 feet 7 inches). BrigettaBarrett cleared the same height but with more misses. Acuff’s best was 1.95 meters (6-4 3/4 ).
Merritt sets mark
Aries Merritt blazed to the 110-meter hurdles title by running a world-leading time of 12.93 seconds, 0.04 of a second faster than the previous best by China’s Xiang Liu.
Jason Richardson, who trains at West Los Angeles College, finished second in 12.95 after running a 12.98 in the semifinals. Jeffrey Porter was third in 13.08. All three will go to London.
Fountain goes again
Beijing heptathlon silver medalist Hyleas Fountain of Daytona Beach, Fla., will return to the Olympics after winning the trials heptathlon with 6,419 points. Sharon Day of Costa Mesa, who competed in the high jump in Beijing, was the heptathlon runner-up with 6,343 points. Chantae McMillan (6,188) rounds out the three-woman Olympic delegation.
Day, who trains in San Luis Obispo, was glad to compete in the rain here. Being unaccustomed to wet conditions hurt her chances in Beijing, where she was 12th in high jump qualifying. “I’m not going to let the weather faze me,” she said.
Only two triple jumpers met the Olympic “A” standard for London. Christian Taylor, who jumped 17.63 meters (57-101/4 ), and William Claye (17.55, 57-7), this year’s world indoor champion, will go to London.
Maurice Mitchell of Florida State had the top semifinal time in the men’s 200, a field weakened by the withdrawals of Walter Dix and Justin Gatlin. Mitchell clocked in 20.43 seconds to win his heat and advance to Sunday’s final. Wallace Spearmon, who lost a bronze medal at the Beijing Games because of a lane violation, also advanced to the final with a time of 20.59.