Bracy, Rollins, Pierre win US Indoor crowns

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Washington (AFP)

Marvin Bracy and Barbara Pierre won impressive 60-meter titles while Brianna Rollins and Jarret Eaton captured outstanding 60 hurdles crowns Saturday at the US Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The American sprinters established themselves as strong title contenders when the World Indoor Championships are staged next week at the same venue in Portland, Oregon.

Bracy took his third consecutive US indoor 60m crown in a photo finish, outleaning Trayvon Bromell after both broke the tape in 6.51 seconds.

Bracy, 22, and Bromell, 20, will challenge Jamaica's Asafa Powell for the world crown next week.

"I'm going to come out here and give it everything I've got," Bracy said.

US Eagles rugby sevens player Carlin Isles, who says he wants to qualify for the Rio Olympics in track and rugby, was fifth in 6.67.

Pierre, an Olympian for Haiti in 2008, matched Dutch star Dafne Schippers for the fastest time in the world this year by winning the women's 60 in 7.00sec with Tori Bowie second in 7.15.

Pierre said she was shocked by her victory margin and speed but, "it was more the time. I've been working hard. For me to come out here and get that, I was like, 'Yes, I need that in my life.'"

Eaton won the 60 hurdles in 7.52, the best time in the world this year, with Spencer Adams runner-up in 7.58.

Rollins won a photo finish for the women's 60 hurdles title in 7.76 to 7.77 for Kendra Harrison as they ran the two fastest times in the world this year.

"Been practicing that lean," Rollins said. "There are a lot of fast girls out here."

Reigning Olympic champion Brittney Reese, a three-time world outdoor champion and two-time world indoor champion, won the women's long jump with a leap of 6.89m.

Reigning Olympic champion Jenn Suhr settled for second in the women's pole vault as Sandi Morris, fourth at last year's world outdoors, cleared a personal best 4.95m to edge Suhr by .05.

"I'm living a dream right now," Morris said. "I was kind of doubting myself, making things on my second or third attempts. To come out on top with a big personal record, that's incredible."

- Rio dream -

Vasthi Cunningham, the 18-year-old daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, won the women's high jump by clearing 1.99m. She will bid for a world title next week and a spot in the Rio Olympics in July.

"One of my dreams is to be on the US 2016 Olympic team," she said. "My dad has helped me develop as an athlete and a person very strongly. His knowledge transfers to my head very well."

Matthew Centrowitz, fourth in the 2012 Olympic men's 1,500, won the event in 3:44.33 and seeks a world crown next week.

"Just the momentum (was big)," he said. "Stayed undefeated this season and helped my confidence going into worlds."

Vernon Norwood, a member of the US 4x400 world champion relay last year at Beijing, won the men's 400 crown in 45.80.

Quanera Hayes used a strong finishing kick to win the women's 400 while Natasha Hastings, a former world and Olympic US 4x400 relay champion, faded late and settled for third.

Ajee Wilson won her third US indoor 800 crown in four years in 2:00.87.

Kurt Roberts won the shot put crown with a heave of 20.08m, edging former world champion Reese Hoffa by .01.