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Felix, Tarmoh easily win in 200 heats at Olympic trials

EUGENE, Ore. — Looking so smooth and exerting little effort, Allyson Felix glided to an easy heat win in the 200 meters.

Minutes later, appearing just as smooth and expending just as little of energy, Jeneba Tarmoh cruised to a victory in her heat as well at the US Olympic track trials on a drizzly Thursday night.

If controversy was weighing the sprinters down, they didn’t show it on the track.

Five days ago, the training partners crossed the finish line in a tie for the third and last Olympic spot in the 100.

Now, everyone is waiting to see what they will choose to break the dead heat — a runoff, coin flip or if one of them simply gives the spot to the other.

Felix looked stylish in her black two-piece suit with neon green patches. She looked just as stylish blasting out of the blocks and finishing in a time of 22.82 seconds.

And then Tarmoh took the track. Like Felix, she took off and couldn’t be caught, clocking 22.90 seconds.

After the race, Felix and Tarmoh might have gotten more of a workout than on the track — trying to make it through the media without saying a word.

First was Felix, who followed her coach, Bobby Kersee, through the corral and into the restricted area reserved for athletes. The only thing she muttered on her way out was a simple ‘‘after the final’’ comment.

Kersee, who also coaches Tarmoh, doubled back around and met up with Tarmoh, escorting her through the same circus.

Tarmoh apologized on her walk, politely declining interview requests with a ‘‘No, I’m sorry.’’

Felix and Tarmoh have already said they won’t announce any sort of decision until after the final on Saturday.

Judging by their performance on a slick track, they should each have a lane on that day.

In a thrilling finish to end the night, Galen Rupp caught Bernard Lagat in the 5,000 final, a scintillating race that came down to a sprint at the end.

Rupp finished in a time of 13 minutes, 22.67 seconds, significant because it broke meet record set by the late Steve Prefontaine nearly 40 years ago.

Julie Culley (women’s 5,000), Evan Jager (steeplechase), Lance Brooks (discus) and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Brad Walker (pole vault) also won.

Walker won his fourth US pole vault title, clearing 18 feet, 7 ¼ inches.

Jeremy Scott was second at 18-4¼, and Scott Roth third at the same height, but Roth does not have the Olympic ‘‘A’’ standard this season of 18-9¼ required to compete in the Olympics.

The third spot on the team went to fourth-place finisher Derek Miles, who finished fourth at the Beijing Games.

Walker set the American record of 19-9¾ at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in 2008.

He finished third in the Olympic trials that year before no-heighting in Beijing.

Dartmouth’s Abby D’Agostino of Topsfield just missed making the Olympic team, finishing fifth in the 5,000-meter finals. in 15:19.98, but setting a personal record.

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