Posts tagged "Team USA Track & Field"

Harper wins silver in women’s 100-meter hurdles

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Battling against the rain, Dawn Harper needed one last push, a final stride to propel her across the finish line.

As Harper dug down for that last bit of energy, the defending 2008 gold medalist came up just short, settling for silver in the women’s 100m hurdles final inside Olympic Stadium Tuesday night.

In a close finish, Australia’s Sally Pearson edged out Harper by two-hundredths of a second to win gold.

As the hurdlers took their mark and awaited the sound of the gun, a steady rain began to fall.

“When the rain started, it was so dramatic,” Harper said to USA Daily, admitting it made her imagine the theme music of a horror show.

Her heart was thumping with adrenaline.

When Australia’s Sally Pearson appeared to be running away from the field, Harper closed the gap, creating a nerve-racking photo finish that saw Harper cross the finish line slightly after her opponent.

It was such a close call that both Harper and Pearson stood for about a minute, anxiously waiting for the final decision.

“When I leaned at the [finish] line, I looked over and that’s when I finally saw her,” Harper told Yahoo!Sports. “And I was like, ‘Did I sneak? Did I just sneak and get past her?’ I look up, and I actually realized I didn’t win when I saw her fall to the ground. I was like, ‘Dang it, she’s happy. She just won.’”

Pearson had an extensive lead heading into the final two hurdles, with Harper and the rest of the field closely behind.

Entering the final 20 meters of the race, Harper caught the edge of a hurdle. She quickly recovered and broke away from the pack inching closer to Pearson. For a brief second, it looked as if Harper broke the finish line before Pearson.

But the photo finish proved otherwise.

“I knew I needed a good start—but didn’t quite get that,” Harper told Yahoo!Sports. “I just kept telling myself, ‘You have to go to work.’ I couldn’t really feel anybody. I knew [teammate] Kellie [Wells] was right there, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get in front of Kellie.’

“Then I clipped a hurdle and was thinking, ‘Either you’re winning by a lot because you can’t see anybody, or Sally is so far ahead you just don’t know where you’re at.’ I just remembered thinking, ‘You need to just lean.’ And when I leaned is when I finally saw her.”

Pearson won by running an Olympic record of 12.35 seconds, upgrading her 2008 Olympic silver to 2012 gold.

The U.S. went 2-3-4, led by Harper with a personal best of 12.37 seconds. The silver medal is Harper’s second-career Olympic medal.

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

An unexpected day

While in London, I never expected to go to Olympic Park or the Main Press Center. That changed when I was told I was picked to receive a guest credential pass. I would tour the center and walk around Olympic Park.

I left the flat early in the morning to meet up with our contact, Peggy Manter, that was getting me in. On my way from one tube to the other, I ran into my first problem of the day — the tube I needed was down, so I had to take a train to Olympic Park. Sounds easy, but it wasn’t the case. I only knew where to go through the tube stations and the stops made on the above ground train are not the same. So, now, I am someone who does not know London very well trying to get to Olympic Park. It was very frustrating until I finally asked for help from the people who work for the trains.

I finally arrived at the proper station and got off the crowded train. I walked through the crowd of people, making my way to the area where I would get our guest passes. After about six minutes of battling traffic I got to the proper place.  I walked in and received my pass without any problems. I headed to security where I was told I could not go any further without an escort. I spent the next hour frantically trying to get a hold of Peggy. It was the most frustrating part of the whole trip because we had no WiFi outside Olympic Park. Whose idea was that? WiFi outside the park would have made too much sense. So, I had to keep returning to the crowded mall, which was a three or four minute walk, which I had to do almost 100 times. Peggy finally emails me and said she will not pick us up but someone named Nikki would.

Nikki finally showed up about 30 minutes later and took me through the park. She was my ticket to get through security. She walked us through the park, stopping and letting me take pictures of all the amazingly big complexes. I wanted to go inside all of them and watch what was going on. I arrived at the Media Center and was told I could go to a press conference being held.

Snapping a picture with Jorge Posada, former New York Yankees catcher

I knew there was one with Team USA Track & Field, but didn’t know if I could get in. Finally, I get in and I get a big rush as I realize I am a journalist covering the Olympic Games. It was an amazing feeling, making me for sure know this is the career field I want to get into. I sat and listened while other journalist shot questions at the Olympians. It was an amazing experience as I gathered material to write my own stories. The press conference is the best and most enjoyable thing I have been to this whole Olympics.

After the press conference we went to the official Olympic store. It was full of people trying to find the perfect gifts. I found a T-shirt for my younger sister and I got my younger brother, who is about to get his drivers license, an Olympic key chain. As we made our way through the mall, a fellow BSU at the Games student spotted a former New York Yankees catcher, Jorge Posada. I am a huge Yankee fan, so I was star struck. I wanted to go get a picture with him didn’t want to bother him. After thinking it over, I was convinced to go and talk to him because what was the worst we could do? Say no and then we just keep on our merry way? So I walked up to him and shook his hand as I said I am a huge Yankees fan and he was one of my favorites. I then asked for a picture and he said he would. When he said yes I could not stop smiling.

I felt like I was on top of the world.

So, what started out as a rough morning of delayed tubes and not knowing who was coming to get me, ended with a great story to share with people and a picture with one of my favorite athletes.

Charlie Akers  |  Sports Reporter

@The8thKing