Big West Present At The Olympic Trials
Links associated with this release:
2012 Olympic Trials Schedule
2012 Olympic Trials Official Site
The Big West will be represented by all eight track and field members at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials starting Thursday, June 21 through Saturday, June 30 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.
A total of 23 former and current Big West athletes have qualifying marks in their individual events for a chance to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the London 2012 Olympics that are held July 27- Aug. 12. Half of the athletes are on standby, awaiting their invitation with provisional marks, while 11 have already punched their ticket to compete in qualifying and first rounds.
Long Beach State leads the way with six athletes reaching the qualifying standard marks, including two who have already declared in their individual events. The class of 2012 is represented by Chris Lawson (400 meters), Matt Maldonado (1500 meters), Tyler Wallace (pole vault), and Ben Woodruff (javelin), along with alumni Colin Dunbar (hammer) and Randi Hicks (javelin).
Four former Cal Poly track and field athletes have all declared a spot in their given events, with a fifth former Mustang, decathlete Corbin Duer, awaiting his invitation.
Stephanie Brown Trafton, gold medalist in the discus at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China, leads the quartet of former Mustangs. Others include Maggie Vessey in the women's 800, Sharon Day in the heptathlon and Ben Bruce in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
For UC Davis, five athletes will look for a chance at the Olympic dream. Current assistant coach and Aggie alumna Kim Conley earned a spot in the first round of the women’s 5,000 meters race with a qualifying mark of 15:24.89. Conley is joined by assistant field coach Jon Tipton (discus), alumnus Alex Wilright (400 hurdles), and seniors Jon Peterson (5,000 meters) and Ashley Hearn (discus).
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos will send two recent graduates to the Trials in hopes to gaining a spot on the Olympic team. Three-time All-American Ryan Martin, who took fourth place at the NCAA Championships in the 800-meter race, will attempt qualifying for that same event in the 2012 London Olympics.
Conference champion and NCAA Championship runner-up Barbara Nwaba will be joining Cal Poly’s Day in the women’s heptathlon competition. The two-time All- American set the Big West record this season and is ranked fourth in the nation.
Former Gaucho Bethany Nickless awaits her call with a provisional mark in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase event.
Four institutions will have sole representation in outdoor track and field at the Olympic Trials. Cal State Fullerton’s Ciara Short has a provisional time of 51.58 in the 400-meter race, while Reindell Cole of Cal State Northridge also has a provisional mark, waiting his turn in the men’s long jump competition.
Qualifying with a standard “A” time, UC Riverside 2010 graduate Brenda Martinez will compete in the first round of the women’s 800 meters. Martinez has previous experience competing in the 2008 Olympic Trials as well as the U.S. Nationals, placing ninth in the her event.
Closing out the Big West representation is three-time All-American and 800 meters NCAA champion Charles Jock. Jock will compete in the first round of competition in the 800 meters with conference opponent Ryan Martin. Jock, who also won this year’s Big West 800 title, was a member of the U.S. team for the IAAF World Championships last summer. He finished third in the U.S. Trials last June in Eugene with a school-record time of 1:44.67. Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson were 1-2 in the 800 at last year’s trials and both are entered again this year.
The Olympic Trials will take place Thursday, June 21 through Monday, June 25 with two days of rest before wrapping up final round competitions starting Wednesday, June 27 through Monday, July 1.