Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Daily guide to watching Washington athletes competing at the US Olympic Trials (plus day 1 preview)...

The reality show just for American track and field fans known as the US Olympic Track and Field Trials gets underway Thursday with the meet’s prologue—the men’s and women’s 20 kilometer walk in Salem, Oregon, while the meet proper starts Friday at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, and goes through July 10th, with spots on the US Olympic team competing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the line.

Former Issaquah high school standout Katie Burnett gets the meet started in the women’s walk, which gets underway on the streets of Salem shortly after 9 am (the USATF site has the walks starting at 10:30, but organizers recently changed the start time to 9 am because hot conditions are expected).

Burnett is seeded 4th going into the Trials, but will need to go under the Olympic standard of 1:36:00 to go to Rio, a mark only Maria Michta-Coffey and Miranda Melville have achieved.  Burnett has a best of 1:37:51 set back in November.


Tera Novy of Montesano gets the Olympic Trials kicked off Friday in the women’s discus at 4 pm in the qualifying round, with the top 12 throwers advancing to Saturday’s finals.

The first round of the men’s and women’s 800s will see at least ten athletes with Washington ties competing.  On the men’s side, it will be Nick Symmonds (left/photo by Paul Merca), Cas Loxsom, Shaquille Walker, Brannon Kidder and Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts, WSU alum Jesse Jorgensen, and Gig Harbor HS coach Mark Wieczorek, while on the women’s side, it will be Seattle resident Phoebe Wright, Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker and recent UW grad Baylee Mires, who has just signed a contract to run for Brooks.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry and Tacoma native Marcus Chambers will also see first round action in the men’s 400.

Finally, Friday’s action concludes with the finals of the men’s 10000 with Washington State alum Bernard Lagat and Bellingham native Jake Riley, as Lagat looks to make his third US Olympic team at a distance he’s only raced on the track once in his career.

However, he’s planning to lead a protest at the Trials along with other athletes to voice concern about compensating Olympic athletes, and specifically about the IOC’s Rule 40, which protects the rights of the official Olympic sponsors, at the expense of the athletes’ personal sponsors.

Below is a PDF file showing a day-by-day breakdown of when Washington affiliated athletes are competing.  The file will be updated daily throughout the Trials.

Note that all athletes listed in red on the file own the Olympic standard.

Here is a link to the daily television schedule for the US Olympic Trials, which will be aired on the networks of NBC (NBC, NBCSN & online at; over the air in Seattle on KING TV 5). will be on site in Eugene for the duration of the Trials beginning Thursday.


Portland State University alum Caressa Sims, who now works for Boeing and lives in the Seattle area, was added to the field in the women’s hammer, after throwing 214-3 (65.30m) at the Ironwood Throws meet Saturday in Portland.

Brooks is expected to formally announce at a press gathering in Eugene Thursday that UW grad Baylee Mires has signed with them, along with another athlete.  Mires and that other athlete will be part of the Brooks Beasts team at the Trials.

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