Track Held Hostage: Day 8

So, I head down to the Olympic Trials in Eugene to check out Kara Patterson in the women’s javelin final, and I wander into the middle of “Women’s 100 meters held hostage: Day 8.” As I write this at 1:36 p.m. Sunday, there still hasn’t been a decision on how to break the dead heat that occurred a week ago.

First of all, it’s ridiculous that USA Track and Field didn’t have some sort of tiebreaking procedure already in place. Second of all, it’s ridiculous that this has lasted a week. It’s an embarrassment for the sport.

A coin flip would be an absurd option. Having a one-on-one race today wouldn’t be much better. Here are two preferable solutions: 1) Look at each athlete’s best time this season heading into the Trials; fastest woman earns the berth; 2) Have them run off in a week or in two weeks or on the track in London the day before the Olympics.

Allyson Felix has earned a spot on the Olympic team by winning the 200 meters. But Jenebah Tarmoh also likely will be going as a member of the 400-meter relay team; after all, she finished in the top four in the 100 meters.

Regardless of the outcome, the wait has been a black cloud hanging over a wonderful Olympic Trials.

UPDATE: USA Track and Field announced the tiebreaking procedure at 2 p.m. Sunday. Felix and Tarmoh will have a runoff at 5 p.m. Monday at Hayward Field.

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