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Williams finishes fourth in 200m dash to earn U.S. World Team berth

June 28, 2009

Still considered a relative newcomer to the sport, Arizona State University senior track and field standout Charonda Williams continued to make a name for herself as the only collegiate in the final of the women’s 200m dash at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships ran her fastest time yet to finish fourth overall and earn a berth on Team USA to the upcoming World Championships in August. The action on Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., marked the end of competition for the national championships.

The NCAA runner-up just over two weeks ago, Williams continued to lower her time in the 200m event all season and dropped it down to a wind-aided 22.39 to finish fourth in a race that was won by two-time defending World champion Allison Felix. Williams entered her senior season with a personal best time of 23.09 and seemingly lowered that time often, breaking the 18 year-old record of 22.91 in her first meet of the season with a time of 22.82 at the Sun Angel Track Classic before winning the Pac-10 and West Region crowns in the 100m and the 200m. At the NCAA Championships, she lowered the mark to 22.71 in the semifinals before taking second overall. In Eugene, she lowered the record time all three times she ran, including times of 22.65 in the first round, 22.55 in the semifinals today and then 22.39 in the final. With a wind of 3.2 in the final, that mark will not officially become the school record, so her time of 22.55 (+1.9 wind) will rank as the record holder.

Williams was not alone in the semifinals of the 200m dash as teammate Dominique’ Maloy competed in the event and placed 15th overall in 23.47. Lisa Galaviz was the only other Sun Devil on the track Sunday as she took sixth in the final of the women’s steeplechase in 9:52.60. In the field, Sarah Stevens was ninth in the final of the women’s hammer at 206-2 (62.83m) while Ryan Whiting (19.56m/64-02.25) and Jordan Clarke (17.80m/58-04.75) placed ninth and 21st, respectively, in the men’s shot put final.

With her stellar finish on the day, Williams became the third Sun Devil to advance to the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin and will join former standouts Dwight Phillips (long jump) and Kyle Alcorn (steeplechase) on Team USA. Usually only the Top 3 finishers advance to the World Championships, but with the 200m dash winner (Felix) earning a bye into the meet as the defending champion, the U.S. is allowed to take 2nd-3rd-4th with Williams being fourth. Phillips advances to the World Championships as the winner of the long jump for the fourth time in his career (2003, 2004, 2007 & 2008) while Alcorn was third in the steeplechase.

Two other Sun Devils also will represent the U.S. as both incoming freshman Anna Jelmini (shot put & discus) and redshirt freshman Clarke (shot put) will compete at the 2009 Junior Pan American Championships. Both athletes earned their spots on the team by winning each of the events they competed. The World meet will take place August 15-23 with the Junior meet being held July 31-August 2 in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

2009 USA Senior/Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Day 4 (Sunday, June 28)
Women’s Senior 200m Dash - Semifinal
4. Charonda Williams - 22.55 - advances to final - school record
15. Dominique’ Maloy - 23.47 - does not advance

Women’s Senior 200m Dash - Final
4. Charonda Williams - 22.39 - advances to World Championships

Women’s Senior 3,000m Steeplechase - Final
6. Lisa Galaviz - 9:52.60

Women’s Senior Hammer - Final
9. Sarah Stevens - 62.83m (206-2)

Men’s Senior Shot Put - Final
9. Ryan Whiting - 19.56m (64-02.25)
21. Jordan Clarke - 17.80m (58-04.75)