June 27, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. - It was a great start to the 10 day Olympic Track and Field Trials for Washington alumni this evening at Hayward Field, as four Huskies moved on through qualifying. Brad Walker, the top-ranked American, needed just one attempt to progress to the final.
Also advancing on the first day of action were former Huskies Aretha Thurmond and Cecilia Barnes in the women's discus, and Ryan Brown in the 800-meter run. Norris Frederick placed 14th overall in the long jump, but did not reach the final.
Thurmond surpassed the automatic finals qualifying mark on her first throw, measuring 201 feet and 1 inch. She then passed her two remaining throws. Her mark was the third-best in qualifying. Barnes placed ninth overall with a best throw of 176-8 and moved on to Sunday's final as well.
"My first throw was the automatic (qualifier). It was good to get that out of the way and get off the field and get ready for Sunday," said Thurmond. "It takes a different mark every year to make the team so I just want to finish in the top three."
Brown, a two-time NCAA 800-meter champion and 2007 graduate, placed second in the second of three heats. The top four in each heat plus the next four fastest times advanced to the semifinals. Brown finished in 1:49.20, a leisurely pace by elite standards. Brown will be the only Husky alum in action tomorrow, as the semifinals are scheduled for 4:40 p.m.
Walker passed on the first two heights in the pole vault as every other competitor came in at the 18-0 ½ mark. The Mountlake Terrace, Wash. resident took his first shot at 18-4 ½, cleared it on his first try, and then qualifying was complete, with Walker owning the highest clearance. He will look to stamp his pass to Beijing this Sunday.
"The goal was to take as few as jumps as possible and be ready to go on Sunday," Walker said. "The crowd is great. I jumped an American record here a couple weeks ago, so I think they remember that. The fans are very supportive."
2008 USA Olympic Team Trials - Track and Field
Eugene, Ore. - Hayward Field
June 27-July 6
Friday, June 27
Brad Walker - Men's Pole Vault Qualifying - 18-4 1/2 (top qualifier, advances to final)
Norris Frederick - Men's Long Jump Qualifying - 25-2 (14th overall, did not qualify)
Aretha Thurmond - Women's Discus Qualifying - 201-1 (3rd overall, advances to final)
Cecilia Barnes - Women's Discus Qualifying - 176-8 (9th overall, advances to final)
Ryan Brown - Men's 800m Run Quarterfinal - 1:49.20 (2nd in heat, advances to semis)
Saturday, June 28
Men's 800m Run Semifinal, 4:40 p.m.
Sunday, June 29
Men's Pole Vault Final, 2:40 p.m.
Women's Discus Final, 3:15 p.m.
Jordan Boase - Men's 400m Dash Quarterfinal, 4:24 p.m.
Monday, June 30
Men's 400m Dash Semifinal, 7:25 p.m.
Kelly Strong - Women's 3000m Steeplechase Semifinal, 7:40 p.m.
Tuesday, July 1 - Wednesday, July 2
Thursday, July 3
Kate Conwell - Women's Pole Vault Qualifying, 7:10 p.m.
Christine Babcock - Women's 1500m Run Quarterfinal, 7:30 p.m.
Katie Follett - Women's 1500m Run Quarterfinal, 7:30 p.m.
Amanda Miller - Women's 1500m Run Quarterfinal, 7:30 p.m.
Michelle Turner - Women's 1500m Run Quarterfinal, 7:30 p.m.
Men's 400m Dash Final, 8:15 p.m.
Will Conwell - Men's Discus Throw Qualifying, 8:30 p.m.
Women's 3000m Steeplechase Final, 9:45 p.m.
Friday, July 4
Justin St. Clair - Men's Javelin Throw Qualifying, 5:30 p.m.
Women's 1500m Run Semifinal, 8:25 p.m.
Saturday, July 5
Ashley Lodree - Women's 100m Hurdles Qualifying, 11 a.m.; Quarterfinal, 1:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 6
Men's Discus Throw Final, 2:20 p.m.
Women's 100m Hurdles Semifinal, 3:35 p.m.; Final, 5:40 p.m.
Women's Pole Vault Final, 3:40 p.m.
Women's 1500m Run Final, 4:05 p.m.
Men's Javelin Throw Final, 4:15 p.m.