SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KALB News Channel 5)– Northwestern State senior sprinter Justin Walker ran fifth in the 100 meter dash final Friday night at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, finishing as the top collegiate and amateur athlete in the eight-man field.
Walker, fourth in the 100 at the NCAA Outdoors early this month, ran a 10.35 as the finalists dashed into a 1.7 mph headwind. Nike’s Mike Rodgers won going away in 10.09, trailed by teammates Ryan Bailey (10.23) and Sean McLean (10.26), then Charles Silmon of adidas (10.28).
After Walker came Florida’s Antwan Wright in 10.37, Mookie Salaam of adidas in 10.90 and DionDre Batson of adidas coasted home in 11.87.
Earlier Friday evening, Walker reached the final with a third-place finish in the first of two semifinal heats, clocking 10.06 with a 2.4 mph tailwind. Walker’s time wound up third fastest in the semifinal heats among the eight qualifiers for the final. Rodgers was dominant with a 9.80 mark.
A total of 30 competitors took the track Thursday evening for the opening round in the 100. Walker was among 16 to reach the semifinals.
Walker runs in the opening round of the 200 meter dash Saturday afternoon. First round competition at the USA Championships in the 200 begins Saturday afternoon at 1:20 CST, with semifinals Sunday at 1:30 CST and the final set for a 4:09 start Sunday afternoon. Walker took third in the 200 at the NCAA Outdoors earlier this month in Eugene, Ore.
Internet and network television coverage will be available throughout the meet. All events will be webcast on USATF.tv while live on NBC Saturday from 3-5 p.m. CST and on Sunday from 3-5 CST, after an opening hour from 1-2 on Universal Sports.