DES MOINES, Iowa — Lewiston High graduate Isaiah Harris earned a spot in the 800-meter final at the U.S. track championships, finishing third in his semifinal heat Friday night in a time of 1:46.5, a season best.

Clayton Murphy, who won the bronze in the 800 at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, won the heat in a time of 1:45.24. Brannon Kidder was second in 1:45.42.

The final will be at 7:02 p.m. Sunday.

Harris advanced to the semifinals by running 1:46.87 in his first heat Thursday night.

Kate Hall of Casco will compete in the long jump at 4 p.m. Saturday, and Ben True of North Yarmouth and Riley Masters of Bangor will compete in the 5,000 at 7:23 p.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, Christian Coleman cruised to the 100-meter title in a final that Justin Gatlin elected to sit out.

Coleman, 23, blasted out of the starting blocks and finished in 9.99 seconds. Michael Rodgers was second by thousandths of a second over Christopher Belcher. Both times flashed 10.12.

“It felt smooth. No complaints here,” said Coleman, who’s planning to run the 200 as well. “I knew that if I just got on top of this field and do what I’ve got to do it (would) work out. I feel like I pretty much controlled it from the start.”

Gatlin, 37, ran in the semifinal round but his spot in lane two was empty for the final. He already had a guaranteed 100 spot for the world championships in Doha this fall because he’s the defending champion.

Bummed not to see Gatlin?

“Not really. I just wanted to make the team,” Coleman said.

Two years ago in London, Gatlin edged Coleman in the 100 final.

Round 2 is coming up in Doha in late September. Their rivalry just might be a preview of things to come at the Tokyo Olympics in a year.

In the women’s 100, Teahna Daniels used a strong surge midway through the race to win in 11.20 seconds. English Gardner was second in 11.25 seconds and Morolake Akinosun third (11.28).

Out of the University of Texas, Daniels recently turned pro. She was fourth at the NCAA outdoor meet in June.

“It’s surreal. I can’t put into words how I felt at that moment,” Daniels said. It means so, so, so, so much.”

Allyson Felix showed her fitness is rapidly returning in advancing to the 400 final. Felix, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, was nearly a second faster in her semifinal run than in a first-round performance she described as rusty.

It was just Felix’s second race in 13 months and as a mom. Her goal is not to be in tip-top form now but next summer.

“I know I’m in some kind of shape but I’m not race sharp,” the 33-year-old Felix said. “It’s going to take some time.”

Asked what her expectations were for the nationals, Felix didn’t shy away: “I’m a competitor — to win.”


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