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Elyria's Tianna Madison qualifies for Olympics in 100 meters


EUGENE, Ore. — Elyria’s Tianna Madison (Bartoletta) would not be denied Saturday at the Olympic trials.

Running with a fierce determination, she burst out of the starting blocks in the 100-meter final and held the lead for almost the entire race.

She was passed by Carmelita Jeter in the last few steps, but it didn’t matter.

Madison had earned her spot in the Olympics, which open in late July in London. She competed at the trials in 2004 and ’08 but this will be her first Olympics.

“I have been working toward this for a lifetime,” said Madison, who graduated from Elyria High in 2003.

She clocked 10.96 to finish second, .04 behind Jeter. The top three finishers get spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

“My coach told me to execute, run my race and not get frazzled,” said Madison, who won her opening and semifinal heats. “I’m very happy to sit between these two ladies … I know we will have a lot of success.”

The last spot for the Olympic team remained in doubt Saturday night when track officials declared a dead heat between Janeba Tarmoh and Allyson Felx for third place.

It was announced to the Hayward Field crowd that Tarmoh edged training partner Felix by 0.0001 second to finish third in 11.068, but the results were immediately reviewed.

Officials from USA Track and Field were meeting Saturday night to make a determination on how to resolve the issue for the third spot on the Olympic team.

Madison is the first Lorain County athlete to make the Olympics in track and field since Elyria’s George Phineas Guthrie III won the 110-meter high hurdles at the 1924 trials at Harvard University.

Guthrie finished third in Paris behind U.S. teammate Dan Kinsey and Sidney Atkinson of South Africa. The 1921 Elyria High graduate knocked over three of 10 hurdles in the process. Track bylaws at the time disqualified any athlete who knocked over two or more hurdles. Guthrie was awarded an Olympic diploma.

Madison isn’t done in Oregon.

She will also try to make it in the 200 meters. Qualifying starts Thursday, with semifinals Friday and finals Saturday.

Madison’s decision to refocus on sprints was rewarded with the trip to London. She’s spent much of her professional career long jumping, including winning the 2005 World Championship. But this season she placed third at the World Indoor Championships in Turkey in the 60 meters.

It was a precursor to Saturday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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