Saturday, June 28, 2008

Olympic Trials Saturday (day 2) preview...

Diana Pickler, who currently stands in second, is the Washingtonian to watch as day two of the US Olympic Track & Field Trials gets underway in a few hours.

Her chances of making the Olympic team in the heptathlon are pretty strong, thanks to a big personal best in the opening event, the 100 hurdles, where she ran 13.13, then matched her high jump PR, clearing 6-0 1/2.

In talking to reporters Friday night, she said that, “I just need to focus on the long jump and stay strong. I don't have any concerns, and am ready for all of the things (Saturday)."

Meanwhile, sister Julie will have to string together some big personal bests in the long jump, javelin, and 800 if she hopes to finish in the top six. In contrast to Diana, Julie dug herself into a hole with a poor outing in the hurdles, running 14.09, and only high jumping 5-6 1/2.

Before the Pickler sisters take center stage, qualifying in the women’s javelin kicks off day two at 12:45 pm, with Purdue’s Kara Patterson from Skyview HS in Vancouver.

In one of the country’s weakest events, Patterson (left/photo courtesy Purdue University), who finished fifth in the NCAA championships, is one of two Americans (Kim Kreiner the other American) that hold the all-important Olympic Games qualifying standard, as she threw 202-0 at the Big Ten championships in May.

Recalling that throw in Champaign, Illinois, Patterson said, " 'Oh, my gosh, my hand is in the right spot, my legs are going fast ... this is great,' " the redshirt junior on the Purdue women's track and field team remembers saying to herself at the Big Ten Conference Championships.

The amazing super-frosh Jeshua Anderson continues his run in the 400 hurdles, buoyed by running the fastest time of the four quarterfinal heats and beating 2000 Olympic champ Angelo Taylor, and last year’s world champion Kerron Clement.

Anderson was very humble about his accomplishment Friday, stating, "It doesn't mean anything right now; I just need to make it to the finals, that's all I'm worried about."

Also look for former Cougar Eric Dudley from Bellingham, who’s now a resident of North Carolina, as he advanced to the semi-final, running 49.39 in the same heat as Anderson Friday night.

Ryan Brown hopes to advance to the finals of the men’s 800 Saturday, and prove that he belongs in the elite in this event.

A late note—former Eastern Washington javelin thrower Carolee Gutierrez is not on the start list for the women’s javelin qualifying.

Also, apologies for the late post of Friday's recap, as I am also working the Trials for NBC Sports.

Here’s the link to Saturday’s start lists…

12:45 p.m. Javelin Throw women qualifying (24)

2-00 p.m. Day 2 heptathlon
Julie Pickler

3:55 400m Hurdles men semifinal
Eric Dudley

4:40 800m men semifinal
Ryan Brown

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