Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Olympic Trials Await for Minnesota's Best

The countdown clock on the Tracktown USA web-site is nearing zero.

Elite athletes from across the United State are making final preparation -- or waiting with crossed fingers -- for the start of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track and Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The event will kick off tomorrow -- in Beaverton, Oregon, as it turns out -- with prelims and finals of the men's and women's hammer throws.  On Friday, however, all the action, all the triumphs, and all the heartbreak will move to storied Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus -- the house that Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine built and that Nike keeps in splendor, so to speak.

More than twenty Minnesota athletes are expected to compete in the meet which runs until July 1.  The top three finishers in each event can earn the right to compete in the London Games, if they have attained the Olympic "A" standard in their event. 

Down the Backstretch has compiled a list (below) of 21 athletes with Minnesota ties likely to compete at the Trails.  Since the meet features a rolling declaration process, entrant lists aren't finalized until 48-hours before the start of competition in an event.  (Let us know if anyone is missing!)

Olympic Trials Men:
800m:  Harun Abda, David Pachuta
1500m:  Rob Finnerty, Garrett Heath, Will Leer
5000m:  Elliott Heath, Hassan Mead
10,000m:  Jonathan Grey, Hassan Mead
3000m SC:  Justin Tyner
High Jump:  Jim Dilling

Olympic Trials Women: 
 800m  Laura Januszewski, Heather Kampf
1500m:  Gariele Anderson, Heather Kampf
5000m:  Meghan Peyton
10,000m:  Katie McGregor, Meghan Peyton
3000m SC:  Jamie Cheever
Pole Vault:  Kaitlyn Rains, Samantha Sonnenberg
Triple Jump:  Amanda Smock
Discus:  Liz Podomonick, Rachel Longfors

(One Minnesotan has already felt the cold shoulder of the Olympic Trials entry process.  Men's hammer thrower Bryan Tolcser, the throws coach at the St. Catherine University, narrowly missed making the field in his event.)

Follow the declaration process for the meet HERE.  Check out Track & Field News magazine's form chart of the meet HERE (men) and HERE (women).

Today's Olympic Trials Links

The Minnesota Daily's Megan Ryan has an interesting feature -- with a great photo -- on Gopher 800-meter runner Harun Abda, HERE,  The story tells of Abda's unlikely journey from Ethiopia to a refugee camp in Kenya to his new home in Minnesota.

Also, Runner's World has been catching up with track Olympians from the past, and recently posted a Q/A with Richfield High School alumnus Steve Holman, HERE.  Holman made the Olympic team in 1992 and is still ranked #6 on the All-Time U.S. 1500m list and #8 on the mile list.


Old Man said...

How about Jonathan Grey Team USA MN in 10000 and Lyle Weese, former Team USA MN in the steeple?

Charlie said...

Thanks, "Old Man" ...

I've added Grey.

Along with Weese, I noticed Anne Bersagel in the ex-Team USA Minnesota category.

-- Charlie

Chad said...

Dani Stack had the B standard in the 10,000m, but wasn't accepted.

Chad said...
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