Nellum And Mance Make U.S. Olympic Team
June 24, 2012
Bryshon Nellum made the U.S. Olympic team in the 400m dash and teammate Josh Mance qualified for the team as part of the 4x400m relay squad today (June 24) at the U.S. Track & FIeld Olympic Trials being held in Eugene, Ore. at Hayward Field.
The redshirt senior Nellum continues to amaze in his well-documented comeback from gunshot injuries to his legs, as he wrote the latest chapter in his comeback story by making the U.S. Olympic team in the men's 400m dash by placing third today with a PR of 44.80. Nellum showed his courageous heart by surging back from sixth with about 70 meters left in the race to edge teammate Mance and Manteo Mitchell at the wire to claim the final spot on the 400m team. Nellum's time moved him from 10th to fourth on USC's all-time 400m dash list.
"I kept faith in God, kept going day by day, kept working hard and stayed dedicated," said Nellum after the race when asked about how he was able to comeback and make the Olympic team.
"We have worked on finishes and they both did that very well today," said USC Director of Track and Field Ron Allice. "All the credit goes to them. To be able to handle all of the pressure, and there is no more pressure than that, and to beat great competition including a former Olympic champion."
By virtue of placing fourth with a time of 44.88, the sophomore Mance will also be heading to London with Team USA as part of the 4x400m relay pool. Mance was in fifth place with about 70 meters left and was able to edge Mitchell at the line. Mance, who has a PR of 44.83, was bumped to fifth place on USC's all-time list by virtue of Nellum's time.
LaShawn Merritt won the 400m race with a world-leading time of 44.12 and Tony McQuay of Florida, who won the 2012 NCAA 400m title, set a PR of 44.49.
Ahmad Rashad (2007-10) competed in the men's 100m dash semifinals third heat, but grabbed his hamstring late in the race and finished with a time of 11.75 to place seventh in his heat and did not advance to the finals. He advanced to today's semifinal by running 10.39 yesterday. Rashad is tied for fourth on USC's all-time 100m dash list with a best time while at USC of 10.10 in placing second at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Brysun Stately, who competed for USC in 2008 and 2009-10 and is the school record-holder at 14-0 (4.27m), competed in the women's pole vault and cleared 13-11.25 (4.25m) in her first attempt to tie for ninth place. She passed at 14-5.25, but then missed in all three attempts at 14-9 which was cleared by only four competitors today.
In addition to those Trojans, expected to compete later at the Olympic Trials will be Brendan Ames (110m HH), Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH), Aareon Payne (200m), Logan Taylor (110m HH), Ryan Wilson (110m HH) and Reggie Wyatt (400m IH).