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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • McMillan third after first day of heptathlon at Olympic Trials

  • Rolla’s Chantae McMillan is right on track in her attempt to make the United States Olympic Team after the first day of competition in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.After Friday’s four events of the seven-event heptathlon McMillan stood in third place in the standings...
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  • Rolla’s Chantae McMillan is right on track in her attempt to make the United States Olympic Team after the first day of competition in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.
    After Friday’s four events of the seven-event heptathlon McMillan stood in third place in the standings, with the final three events slated for Saturday.
    To qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team in the heptathlon competitors must finish in the top three and are subject to achieving the Olympic “A” qualifying standard of 6,150 points.
    And so far, McMillan is on pace to reach both of those standards.
    She sits in third place after the first day of competition behind Hyleas Fountain, of the Nike Track Club, and Sharon Day, of the Asics Track Club.
    Fountain leads the way with 3,948 points followed by Day with 3,797 and McMillan 3,762. Just 26 points behind McMillan in fourth place is Barbara Nwaba of the University of California-Santa Barbara, with 3,736 points.
    There are a total of 20 competitors in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
    Highlighting McMillan’s Friday were personal-bests (PR) in three events, including a first-place finish in the shot put.
    She opened action by finishing in fourth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a PR time of :13.36. She won Heat 2 of the 100-meter hurdles.
    Following that McMillan, a multi-time All-America at the University of Nebraska who has graduated from that school and is currently running unattached, tied for ninth place in the high jump with a leap of 5-7 3/4.
    In her third event McMillan won the shot put by nearly four and a half feet. On her first attempt McMillan got off the winning shot put of 49-3 1/2, which was another PR. Bettie Wade, of the Nike Track Club, finished a distant second in the event at 44-8 1/4.
    Friday’s heptathlon action ended with the 200-meter dash, in which McMillan finished eighth overall with a PR of :24.32. She won Heat 1 and was sitting in fourth place after three heats. However, there were four runners in Heat 4 who bettered her time, knocking her down to eighth place in the event.
    “She’s had a fantastic first day,” said Rolla High School track head coach Don Knapp, who coached McMillan in high school and is in Eugene, Ore. watching her attempt to make the Olympic Team. “She’s set PRs in three of four events. Her running is vastly improved and her shot put was her best in a competition.”
    On Saturday (June 30) McMillan ends competition with three events – the long jump, the javelin and the 800-meter run. The javelin, along with the shot put, has been her best events in her last few competitions. She was a long jump specialist coming out of high school, winning two state titles in the event for Rolla High. However, a knee injury last year has forced McMillan to switch her take-off leg and the past several weeks she has been working on the change.
    Page 2 of 2 - McMillan’s Olympic qualification figures to come down to the final event, the 800-meter run, which is one of the events she has struggled with the most in past years.
    “She has three events left and two of them are among her best,” Knapp said. “She’s a strong long jumper and an exceptional javelin thrower.
    “The way she’s been running I think she is going to PR in the 800 – and maybe that’s what it will take.
    “She’s right on pace (to qualify).”
    Day 1 Results
    Friday, June 29
    Point Totals
    1. Hyleas Fountain, Nike, 3948
    2. Sharon Day, Asics, 3,797
    3. Chantae McMillan, Unattached, 3,762
    4. Barbar Nwaba, UCSB, 3,736
    5. Bettie Wade, Nike, 3,680
    6. Chelsea Carrier-Eades, West Virginia, 3,624
    7. Abbie Stechschulte, Unattached, 3,547
    8. Yvette Lewis, Unattached, 3,514
    9. Lindsay Lettow, Central Missouri, 3,502
    10. Ryann Krais, Kansas St., 3,473
    11. Jessica Flax, Wisconsin, 3,459
    12. Allison Reaser, San Diego State, 3,437
    13. Shakeiz Pinnick, Arizona State, 3,414
    14. Aisha Adams, Unattached, 3,400
    15. Heather Miller, Central Park Track Club, 3,395
    16. Emily Pearson, Unattached, 3,391
    17. Lindsay Schwartz, South Alabama, 3,361
    18. Kasey Hill, Unattached, 3,344
    19. Deanna Latham, Wisconsin, 3,294
    20. Kiani Profit, Maryland, 3,276
    Chantae McMillan’s Friday event breakdowns (along with first-place finisher):
    100-meter hurdles: McMillan 4th, :13.36, 1,071 pts; 1st Yvette Lewis, :12.84.
    High jump: McMillan T-9th, 5-7 3/4, 879 pts; 1st Barbara Nwaba, 6-1 1/2.
    Shot put: McMillan 1st, 49-3 1/2, 862 pts.
    200-meter dash: McMillan 8th, :24.32, 950 pts; 1st Yvette Lewis, :23.70.
    Saturday’s Schedule (Central Time)
    Long jump: 5 p.m.
    Javelin: 6:15 p.m.
    800-meter run: 8:20 p.m.
     
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