Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The US Olympic Track & Field Trials begin Thursday in Beaverton!'s coverage of the US Olympic Track & Field Trials begins Thursday with the hammer throw competition at Ronaldo Field on the campus of Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, where the gang at the Swoosh have built a hammer ring and cage on one of the soccer fields named after the great Brazilian star Ronaldo.

For those of you making the drive to Beaverton and have not visited the Nike campus, the closest buildings to the fields are the Tiger Woods Building and the Lance Armstrong Building. Nike personnel will direct you to parking spots within easy distance of the venue.

Two time world championships team member Michael Mai (left/photo by Paul Merca), formerly stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will throw in the men's competition which starts at 3:15 pm, with the finals two hours later.

In the morning, Spokane's Britney Henry competes in the women's competition which starts at 11:15 am, with finals at 1:15 pm.

For Mai and Henry, they will need to throw the Olympic A standard of 255-11 (78.00m), and 234-7 (71.50m) respectively, to even be in the conversation for a ticket to London.

Kibwe Johnson (263-6, 80.31m) and AG Kruger (259-10, 79.20m) are the only two men with the Olympic A standard, while Jessica Cosby (243-5, 74.19m), Amber Campbell (238-2, 72.59 from 2011), and Gwen Berry (236-0, 71.95m) are the only three American women with the standard.

Assuming all A standard athletes make the finals, and no one else throws that far Thursday, the five would be on the Olympic team.

One thing that's been overlooked is that there will be no opportunities for athletes to chase standards after the conclusion of the trials.

Former Husky and Swiss national champion Martin Bingisser has written a great preview of Thursday's hammer competition, which you can read here.

Here is a detailed form published by the USOC on team selection procedures, of which we encourage you to bookmark as you're watching the trials.

Friday, the meet proper gets underway at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene with the men's decathlon at 1 pm, as Seattle Pacific alum Chris Randolph toes the line.

Renton HS alum Aretha Thurmond's quest for a fourth US Olympic team begins Friday at 2:20, while Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry and Bothell HS alum Jordan Boase go in the 400 at 3:10.

At 5:20, Gig Harbor's Mark Wieczorek goes in the 800, along with WSU's Joe Abbott.

Also competing in the 5:00 hour are Rainier Beach alum Ginnie Crawford (above/photo by Randy Miyazaki, in the 100 hurdles (5:40pm), and the Huskies' Logan Miller in the pole vault (5:30 pm).

At 5:45 pm, Roosevelt HS and UW alum Norris Frederick goes in the men's long jump.

In the last two events of the evening, Sammamish HS & UW alum Mike Sayenko, along with Bellingham native & Stanford grad Jake Riley will run the men's 10000 at 6:45 pm, while Western Washington alum Sarah Porter goes in the women's 10000 at 7:20 pm.

The list of accepted athletes for the US Olympic Trials is available here (click on the event name).

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