Sprinters Jones-Ferrette, Peter advance to 400-meter semifinals
Published: August 7, 2012
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LONDON -- The best women sprinters from the U.S. Virgin Islands were in top form Monday night in front of another sold-out crowd at the Summer Olympic Games.
But for one of them the experience was tension filled.
Laverne Jones-Ferrette had another standout performance and clocked a season-best time in her Round 1 heat of the 200-meter sprint. Allison Peter clocked a strong time in the night's first heat, but she had to sweat it out as she waited to see if her time would hold up.
In the end, both USVI speedsters advanced and will compete in one of three semifinal heats today at 3:25 p.m. The 200-meter final is slated for Wednesday.
Jones-Ferrette, who set a personal best time in the 100 meters on Friday, finished her 200-meter heat on Monday in second place, clocking a time of 22.64 seconds. Peter turned in a 23 flat and was the 18th and final sprinter to advance to the semifinals.
While the two Crucians waited in the media tunnel together - with Peter's fate still unknown - Jones-Ferrette offered her advice as the pair watched the remaining heats.
"I hope she makes it," said Jones-Ferrette, 30, who automatically advanced because she finished second in her heat. "But I don't want to be in the same semifinal heat as her. We'll look at each other and probably just start laughing."
The 20-year-old Peter, one of the youngest athletes to ever represent the USVI at the Olympics, ran in Lane 9 -- the farthest lane to the right -- in the first heat of the evening.
She finished fourth, trailing Great Britain's Margaret Adeoye, who used a boisterous home crowd to fuel a personal best of 22.94 and a third-place finish in the heat.
Peter then stood in the media tunnel and watched the remaining five Round 1 heats in agony. The top three in each heat automatically moved on; the remaining six best times also advanced.
"It was an OK time, but I can do a whole lot better," said Peter, who did not get past Round 1 in the 100-meter event last week. "I hope I get the chance --- this is going to be tight."
Right before the last heat of the night, Jones-Ferrette and Peter retired into the athletes' locker room to watch the action on television in private.
Jones-Ferrette ran in the fourth heat of the night and looked in control early while running in Lane 4.
"It wasn't exactly the race I wanted to run, but I can't complain because it was a season best," said Jones-Ferrette, who is making her third straight Olympic appearance. "I wanted to be safe coming home and running in Lane 4 is good because I can see everyone and figure out when to make my move."
The lane assignments for the Round 1 heats were selected at random.
After failing to advance in the 100-meter event, Peter felt like a little change was needed so she dropped in on the hair salon inside the Olympic Village and had four inches cut off.
"I don't normally let just anyone cut my hair, but it was in the Village and it was free," said Peter, who wore her hair down for Monday's race. "I guess it's one of the perks of being an Olympian."
In today's semifinals, Jones-Ferrette will run in the second of three heats and has been assigned to Lane 7. Her personal best time in this event is 22.46, which is the fifth fastest time among the eight women in the heat.
Jones-Ferrette's training partner, Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure, and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Allyson Felix of U.S. will be also be in Jones-Ferrette's heat.
Peter will run in the first heat and will be in Lane 2. Her personal best time in this event is 22.77, which is faster than only Adeoye, who edged out Peter on Monday.
Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, the defending Olympic champion and one of only two women in the event with a sub-22 second personal best, will be in Peter's heat.
The top two runners in each semifinal move on to Wednesday's final along with the fastest two remaining times.
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.