America's fastest and strongest turned out June 23-26 for the USA Track and Field national championships in Eugene, Ore. The prize? A coveted spot on the U.S. team at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, Aug. 27-Sept. 4. What follows are some of SI's best shots from the competition. Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay returned from a one-year rest period to compete in this year's decathlon. Clay withdrew on the second day but still hopes to make the world championship team.
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Two-time USA outdoor champion Jennifer Simpson took first in the 1500-meter semifinal and later was second in the final behind Morgan Uceny to make the worlds team.
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Thanks to an indiscreet face mask, Galen Rupp's (right) allergies did not prevent him from winning the 10,000 in a time of 28 minutes, 38.17 seconds.
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Steeplechase competitors stomped through the water jump on Thursday evening in Eugene.
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Maggie Vessey advanced to the semifinals of the 800 meters after winning her heat on Thursday.
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Florida Gator football star Jeff Demps (center) shows off his other talent, sprinting, on Thursday night in Eugene. Demps was fifth in the 100, failing to make the world championship team. Had he made it, Demps would have missed Florida's season opener.
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Oregon native Ashton Eaton leads the decathlon after the first day with a 408 point lead against Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay. He went on to win with 8,729 points, a personal best and world-leading total for 2011.
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2009 USA indoor and outdoor national champion Brandon Roulhac dropped to ninth place in this year's triple jump.
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Defending USA outdoor champion Kenta Bell's disappointing triple jump earned him 11th place in this year's event.
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Walter Davis landed third in the triple jump, qualifying him to represent the U.S. in the IAAF world championships.
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Former Arkansas Razorback Nkosinza Balumbu placed sixth in the triple jump.
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Although Chris Carter did not qualify for the IAAF world championships, his fourth-place triple-jump performance was the second best in University of Houston's history.
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Lopez Lomong, the 2009 and 2010 USA outdoor 1,500-meter defending champion, finished third in the third heat of the 1,500-meter semifinal. Lomong was seventh in the final and will not be going to the world championships.
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Texas sophomore Marquise Goodwin won the long jump with a personal-best 27-foot, 4-inch jump. Like Demps, Goodwin plays college football (a wide receiver) and will likely miss the Longhorns' season opener.
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Oregon junior Matthew Centrowitz delighted the home crowd, taking the 1,500 meters in 3:47.63 over Bernard Lagat.
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Kara Patterson, the American record holder, set the winning mark of 194-8 on the very first throw of the javelin competition. It was never threatened as Patterson won her fourth national title.
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Nick Symmonds, of the Oregon Track Club, has long been a favorite at the Hayward Field track. Symmonds passed Khadevis Robinson, 34, on the final straightaway to win the 800 in 44.17 and claim his fourth straight national title.
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The two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson won his first U.S. shot put title since 2006 and fifth overall. Joining him on the world championship team were fellow veterans Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa.
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