Thursday's Olympic Track and Field notes
By Staff Reports
Thursday, June 28, 2012
ORU’s Whitt finishes eighth, selected as alternate: EUGENE, Ore. — With swirling winds again for the finals, ORU junior Jack Whitt was tripped up and finished eighth overall in the pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Thursday.
Whitt’s mark of 18-foot, ½-inch (5.50m) put him eighth overall, and although not all of those ahead of him had hit the Olympic “A” standard, enough had to keep Whitt off the team.
Because he hit the standard before the trials, Whitt has been selected as an alternate for Team USA. Brad Walker, Jeremy Scott and Derek Miles, all of whom compete for Nike, finished first, second and fourth, respectively, to punch their tickets to London.
ORU will have representatives in the 2012 London Olympics though, as women’s basketball alum Dominique Allen will play for Great Britain and track alum Prince Mumba will compete in the 800m run for his native Zambia.
OSU’s Fernandez moves to semifinals: Recent Oklahoma State graduate German Fernandez advanced to the semifinal race of the 1,500 meters. In the preliminary round, 30 competitors were broken up into three heats of 10, with the top six in each heat advancing, along with the six fastest times among the remaining competitors.
Fernandez placed sixth in heat two, which had nine of 10 runners advance, and 12th overall after running a 3:41.33 to advance to the 1,500-meter semifinal, which will be run at 6:25 p.m. Friday.
Cowgirl Toni Young’s bid to represent the U.S. in the high jump ended during the preliminary round. Young’s highest completed jump came in at 1.79 meters/5-10.5, putting her in a tie for 17th.
OU’s Brooks headed to shot put final: Oklahoma junior Tia Brooks was fourth overall in the women’s shot put qualifier. The 2012 NCAA champion’s best toss of 57 feet, 10½ inches (17.64 meters) came on her first attempt.
Brooks has already achieved the Olympic “A” standard, so a top-three finish in Friday’s final would punch her ticket to London for the 2012 Games.
Seven current and former University of Oklahoma track and field athletes attempted to make their first Olympic Games for the United States, while in Jamaica another took the first steps toward making his fourth.
Three-time Olympian Danny McFarlane, who celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14, took second in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles at the Jamaican National Trials. McFarlane finished in 50.96 seconds, advancing to the event final Friday at National Stadium in Kingston.
OU junior Riley Masters missed the cut to qualify for the men’s 1,500-meter final by .16 seconds.
OU senior Luke Bryant placed 11th in the men’s discus throw final.
OU senior George Alex finished 15th in the men’s 5,000-meter final, running 13:57.15.
OU senior Eric Clay ran 51.32 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles preliminaries, finishing 19th overall. The top 16 advanced to the semifinal round.
Leslie Cole’s Olympic Trials ended with a 23.66-second run in the women’s 200-meter first round, finishing 29th overall.
Tydree Lewis finished 21st in the men’s triple jump qualifier. Lewis’ best was 51-0¾ (15.56) with 12th place, the last transfer spot, jumping 53-3 (16.23).
Others in the U.S. Olympic Trials Friday include OU seniors Brittany Borman (women’s javelin throw) and Ti’Anca Mock (women’s long jump), and former Sooners Ronnie Ash (men’s 110-meter hurdles), Amy Backel (women’s javelin throw) and Mookie Salaam (men’s 200-meter dash).
OU senior Shawna Anderson and former Sooner All-America Aldwyn Sappleton begin their events in the Jamaican Trials Friday. Anderson is entered in the women’s 100-meter dash preliminaries and Sappelton will run the men’s 800-meter run.