Williams And Solomon Make U.S. Olympic Team
June 25, 2012
High jumper Jesse Williams and 800m runner Duane Solomon both qualified for for the 2012 London Games today (June 25) at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials being held in Eugene, Ore. at historic Hayward Field.
Williams, the reigning world champion in the high jump, actually struggled throughout the competition, but did just enough to get through and make the team. Williams was one of four jumpers to clear 7-5.75 (2.28m), but on misses he actually placed fourth. Fortunately, Nick Ross who placed third did not have the Olympic "A" Standard of 7-7 (2.31m) so Williams who had already met the standard received the third Olympic bid for the U.S. in the high jump. Two weeks ago at the adidas Grand Prix in New York, Williams matched his personal best with a clearance of 7-9.75, the second-best mark in the world this year. There were only three athletes in the finals which had achieved the Olympic "A" standard, so barring any personal record-setting day from one of the other jumpers, the U.S. team was expected to come out as Williams, Jamie Nieto and Erik Kynard and it did, but not without some anxious moments as Ross and Ed Wright took their three attempts at 7-7. Williams attended USC from 2004-06 and won the NCAA title in the high jump in 2005 and 2006. Williams was also on the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 for the Beijing Games.
Solomon saved his best race of the year for the 800m finals at the Olympic Trials and the result was a trip to London as part of the U.S. Olympic Team. Solomon placed third with a season-best time of 1:44.65, just .01 seconds behind the second-place finisher Khadevis Robinson. Nick Symmonds won his fifth-straight U.S. Championship in the event with a time of 1:43.92. Solomon, who attended USC from 2005-08, took over the lead in the race at about the 600m mark, but was run down by Symmonds and caught at the wire by Robinson. Solomon had not met the Olympic "A" Standard of 1:45.60 yet this season, so he needed the great time as well as the finish to make his first Olympic team.
Former Trojan javelin thrower Corey White (2008-09) competed in the men's javelin finals today and placed seventh with a best throw of 248-5 (75.73m). His first throw of 246-10 temporarily put him in fourth place, but by the time they advanced to the final three throws he was in seventh where he would finish, despite his best throw coming in his final attempt. The two throwers that finished first and second did not have an "A" Standard mark, so the throwers who placed third-fifth and owned the standard already will make the U.S. team.
The U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field will take a two-day break, with action set to resume on Thursday, June 28. Trojans still to compete at the Olympic Trials are Brendan Ames (110m HH), Allyson Felix (200m), Dalilah Muhammad (400m IH), Aareon Payne (200m), Logan Taylor (110m HH), Ryan Wilson (110m HH) and Reggie Wyatt (400m IH).