EUGENE, Ore. — Injuries are no fun, but for high hurdler Kevin Craddock, at least they're not new territory.

Plagued by hamstring issues since his senior year at James Logan High School, Craddock underwent surgery on his left ankle last September to remove a cyst. He toyed with redshirting during his junior season at UCLA, then recovered sufficiently to compete.

But a week before the NCAA meet last month, Craddock's body betrayed him a new fashion: He pulled a groin muscle.

"It's always frustrating at first, but I've learned to get over it quickly," said Craddock, who expects to run in the quarterfinals on Saturday at the U.S. Olympic trials. "Hopefully, I'll be close to 100 percent — that's the goal. I've made a big improvement. But I'm being cautious, so I can flash it later on."

Craddock, 21, was one of the world's elite junior hurdlers during his days at Logan. He tried to compete at the NCAAs but was out after the first round.

For three weeks since, he has gotten treatment and rest, while gradually getting back on the track. The owner of a personal-best time of 13.46 seconds, Craddock wouldn't be a realistic threat to make the Olympic team even if he were fully healthy.

For now, that's not the point.

"Just being able to be at the Olympic trials, to have that experience, is good," he said. "Regardless of how it goes, if I'm able to run my race and get through it OK, I'll be happy."

Halftime report

With the trials ready to resume today, a look back at the best of the first four days of competition:


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  • Most electrifying finish: With 20,000 fans going berserk for a tightly packed men's 800 final, the top three spots went to runners with Oregon ties, including Christian Smith, who literally made a headfirst lunge across the finish line to edge prerace favorite Khadevis Robinson for the final Olympic berth.

  • Most profoundly dropped gauntlet: Tyson Gay, whose American-record 9.77 mark in the quarterfinals of the 100 meters, then a wind-aided 9.68 in the final sent a clear message to Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell: We'll settle this thing in Beijing.

  • Toughest finisher: Amy Begley, running alone in third place at the finish of the women's 10,000 and completing the final lap in 69 seconds to cross in 31:43.60 — 1.4 seconds under the Beijing "A" qualifying standard.

  • Best quote: "It was orgasmic." — Tracy long jumper Trevell Quinley, on his reaction to leaping a career-best 27 feet, 51/4 inches on his final attempt to win the competition.

    — Jeff Faraudo