Smith fails in bid for U.S. track team

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Former Southeast Missouri State track and field All-American Miles Smith came up short in his bid to earn a spot on the USA team for the IAAF World Championships in August in Berlin, Germany.

Smith, who completed his Southeast eligibility in 2008, finished eighth out of eight competitors in Saturday's 400-meter finals at the USA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

The top three finishers earned berths in the World Championships. A few others from the finals also could be selected for the 1,600-meter relay pool for the World Championships.

Smith's time Saturday was 46.09 seconds, just off his mark of 46.08 seconds in Friday's semifinals.

LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, won the national title in 44.50 seconds. Rounding out the top three were Gil Roberts (44.93) and Kerron Clement (45.14).

Smith was aiming for a berth on his second World Championship team after he was selected for the 1,600 relay on the 2005 squad following his sixth-place finish in the 400 at the USA Championships.

Smith earned a gold medal as an alternate on the USA's victorious 1,600 relay team at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

On Friday, Jackson High School senior-to-be Jill Rushin finished eighth in the shot put at the USA Junior Championships contested at the same site in Eugene, Ore.

Rushin, competing against numerous college freshmen, threw 46 feet, 6 3/4 inches. She also participated in Saturday's discus but fouled on all four of her attempts.

Rushin was the Class 4 state champion in the shot put and discus this year.

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