Huskies Prep For Trials Around The World
June 21, 2012
U.S. TRACK & FIELD OLYMPIC TRIALS
SEATTLE - Just over a month remains before the start of the 2012 London Olympics, and the anticipation ramps up in a huge way beginning this week with the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene. Many current and former Huskies will be contending for a spot on Team USA, pouring four years of work into this coming meet in hopes of realizing the Olympic dream.
But the track action doesn't stop with the U.S. trials, as the British Olympic Trials also begin this Friday, where junior James Alaka will be among the favorites at 200-meters. Also on the horizon are the Canadian Team Trials, with a handful of Husky alumni in action there as well.
The U.S. Olympic Trials officially begin today, June 21, with the men's and women's hammer throws on the Nike campus. Tomorrow, June 22, things shift to Hayward and 12 more events get underway with the first two finals on the track coming at 10,000-meters. The trials are split into two sessions, the first running from June 21-25, followed by two days of rest, and then the second session goes from June 28-July 1.
Starting on June 22, every day of the Trials will have a window of one to two hours broadcast live on either NBC or the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus).
The fields for the U.S. Olympic Trials are not officially closed until two days prior to each event, so some UW affiliated athletes with provisional instead of automatic qualifying marks are still awaiting confirmation that they will make the fields. The sizes of the event fields range from 24 to 32 athletes, with qualifying rounds and final rounds on separate days for nearly all events aside from the multis and the 10k.
This Friday will feature a number of Huskies right off the bat. In the night's first final, former distance standout Mike Sayenko will run in the 10,000-meters. Sayenko has made his mark in the marathon circuit of late, running for Team USA at the 2011 World Championships in the marathon.
Friday afternoon kicks off another Olympic quest for Husky Hall of Famer Aretha Thurmond, who is attempting to make a fourth Olympics after qualifying in the discus in 1996, 2004, and 2008. The qualifying round for Thurmond is at 2:20 on Friday then the finals are on Sunday the 24th.
Nine-time All-American Norris Frederick will be in the long jump beginning Friday with the qualifying round. His final is also set for Sunday. Five-time All-American Jordan Boase will also have the first round of the 400-meter dash on Friday, followed by semifinals on Saturday and potential finals on Sunday. Boase has a season-best time of 45.34 seconds.
The first current Husky in action will be junior Logan Miller, coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in the women's pole vault. The school record-holder, Miller cleared a career-best 14-4 ½ this season and is making her Olympic Trials debut. Qualifying is Friday then the final will be Sunday.
On Saturday, it's not yet confirmed but it looks likely that junior Shaniae Lakes will make the field in the women's triple jump. Lakes set the school record with a runner-up finish at the Pac-12 meet, going 43-3 ¼. Twelve women will advance to the final on Monday.
After a number of finals on Sunday, Monday brings in several former Dawgs for their first competition of the meet. 2006 grad Will Conwell, who was sixth in the 2008 Trials, will throw in the men's discus qualifying rounds Monday afternoon.
Also starting Monday will be one of the marquee events for Washington, as the men's pole vault gets underway. 2008 Olympian and American record-holder Brad Walker will look to earn another spot on Team USA, while 2011 grad and three-time NCAA Champion Scott Roth should also be a big factor. Walker and Roth were the two Team USA members in the pole vault at this year's World Indoor Championships, with Walker winning the bronze medal.
The men's and women's 5,000-meter qualifying rounds will take place Monday evening before the two day rest period. In the women's race, though she is expected to be a contender moreso at 1,500-meters, eight-time UW All-American Katie (Follett) Mackey has declared in the 5k as well. Sayenko is also entered, doubling back after the 10k. Sophomore Megan Goethals entered in the 5k but it looks at the moment as if her top time will not make the cut.
Next Thursday, the 28th, things pick up again starting with the women's 1,500-meters, which will feature Mackey and sophomore Katie Flood, who just won the NCAA title at the distance two weeks ago. The 1,500-meters has first round heats on Thursday, semifinals on Friday, and the finals on Sunday, July 1. Mackey made the semifinals in 2008 after her sophomore season at UW.
The men's pole vault final will be Thursday, June 28, as will the men's discus final and the 5,000-meter finals. Friday, June 29, could see Boase in action again in the 200-meter dash, while the last Saturday has the finals in the 1,500m and 200m among many others.
Across the pond, Pac-12 Champion James Alaka will look to qualify for the British team to compete in his home city. He'll be looking to bounce back after a disappointing NCAA meet, but will remain among the favorites this weekend at the British Trials. Alaka will be focusing solely on the 200-meters, which has trials and finals this Sunday, June 24. One other athlete to watch there is pole vaulter Jax Thoirs, who will be coming to UW next season.
North of the border, the Canadian Olympic Trials take place in Calgay from June 27-30. Husky alumni in action there include former Pac-10 Champion Ryan Vu in the men's pole vault and All-American Carly Dockendorf in the women's pole vault. School record-holder and three-time NCAA scorer Kyle Nielsen will compete in the men's javelin and 2012 grad Brooke Pighin throws in the women's javelin. Current volunteer assistant coach Christie Gordon also runs in the 100-meter hurdles. The Canadian athletes will not only need to place high at trials but will likely need the Olympic `A' Standard to make the Games.