Two Indiana women who own Olympic medals, Lynna Irby and Ashley Spencer, will try to return to track and field’s world stage.
A third, Rachel Dincoff, will go for her first global medal.
Irby and Spencer qualified for finals Friday night in the USA Championships at Eugene, Ore.
Irby after 2 Olympic medals: 'Now my dreams are bigger. Now I want more.'
Top three in each event make the team for next month’s World Championships, which will be on U.S. soil for the first time, also at Eugene. All eight finalists in the 400 meters from last year’s U.S. trials ran in the Tokyo Olympics, where Irby won gold and bronze medals in relays.
Sentimental favorite in Saturday's 400 will be Allyson Felix, 36, an 11-time Olympic medalist in her last season. She barely made the final, getting in with a fourth-place 51.32 from semifinal 1. Talita Diggs, 19, an NCAA champion from Florida, won that semifinal in 50.88.
Kendall Ellis won semifinal 2 in 51.06, followed by Irby in 51.28.
It will be important for Irby, a Pike High School graduate, to close fast after fading to sixth at last year’s Olympic Trials. On Friday, she ran the final 100 meters in 14.20, which was 10th among 16 semifinalists.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Spencer was third in a semifinal and third overall. Her time of 55.19 was her fastest since the 2019 World Championships.
The 29-year-old Lawrence North graduate won bronze in 2016 to become the first Indiana woman to win an individual Olympic medal in track and field.
Sydney McLaughlin, world record-holder and Olympic champion, easily won the semi in 52.90. Dalilah Muhammad pulled out of the meet but has a bye to worlds as defending champion.
Dincoff, a former state champion from DeKalb and 2021 Olympian, was third in the discus. Olympic champion Valarie Allman was first at 219-7, followed by Laulauga Tausaga-Collins at 211-7. Dincoff’s distance was 203-10.
In the high jump, Liz Evans tied for fifth at 5-11 ½. Evans, 31, a North Knox and Rose-Hulman graduate, was also fifth at last year's trials. Ball State’s Charity Griffith, fifth at NCAAs, did not clear a height.
Fred Kerley sub-9.80 twice
>> Fred Kerley won the men’s 100 meters in 9.77. Kerley, an Olympic silver medalist, won his semifinal in a world-leading 9.76, a meet and Hayward Field record. He became third-fastest American of all time.
>> In a major upset, Coastal Carolina’s Melissa Jefferson won the women’s 100 meters in a wind-aided 10.69. Aleia Hobbs (10.72) and TeeTee Terry (10.74) were the two others to make the team. Jefferson was eighth in the NCAA Championships on this same track.
>> Ryan Crouser, world record-holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist, won the men’s shot put with a distance of 75-10 1/2. It was fourth-longest throw in history, and three others exceeded 75 feet in the greatest series of all time.
>> Olympic medalists Sandi Morris and Katie Nageotte were first and third in the women’s pole vault. Morris, who cleared a world-leading 15-9 3/4, needed a third attempt at 15-1 or would have missed the team.
ND’s Nuguse aims at 1,500
In Saturday finals:
>> In the 1,500 meters, Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse will be among the favorites. Of 12 finalists, he is one of only four who made the final at last year’s Olympic Trials. Nuguse made the 2021 team but pulled out at Tokyo because of injury.
Defending champion Cole Hocker, a Cathedral graduate, did not qualify from Thursday’s heats. His agent subsequently told IndyStar a recent injury impaired Hocker.
>> Kara Winger, a four-time Olympian from Purdue, will go for a ninth national title in the javelin. Winger, 36, is in her final season.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Olympic track: Lynna Irby, Ashley Spencer aiming for world team