Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quick observations while combing through the verified Olympic Trials entries...

—One of the surprises while skimming the entries was the fact that it took 2.20 (7-2.5) to get accepted into the Olympic Trials in the men’s high jump.

Two of the biggest beneficiaries of this are Washington State’s Thane Pierson (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics), and University HS/Spokane senior Noah Martin, who got in with marks of 7-3 (2.21m).

At the 1984 US Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, it took 7-4.5 (2.25m) to get into the meet. 16 year old Franklin HS junior Rick Noji got into the meet with that mark, which is still the Washington state high school all time best.

For those who love the high jump in the United States, that should be cause for concern. 

Is it lack of proper coaching at the high school level and below, is it lack of proper equipment (i.e., high jump pits & standards), space for a high jump facility, attraction to other sports (basketball), etc?

While it’s very easy to point the finger at the high jump, this is part of a bigger problem with many of the field events in the United States. I’m just saying that it’s alarming.

—Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe’s name is not on the entry list in either the 100 or 200 meters.  If you recall, she aggravated an injury at the NCAA championships. Also, recall that around the time of the Pac-12 championships in May, Cunliffe, the conference 100/200 champion out of the University of Oregon, was applying for Italian citizenship in order to run for the Azzuri at both the Olympics and at the European Championships which begin July 6th in Amsterdam.

Her injury at the NCAA may make participation in the European Champs and the Olympics a moot point.  

—As of now, recent University of Washington grad Izaic Yorks is listed in the entries without an affiliation in the 1500 meters, while New Mexico steeplechaser Courtney Frerichs, who also has KIMbia Athletics as their agency, just signed a contract with Nike and will run for the Beaverton based Bowerman TC.

Sources have told me that Yorks and his representatives have met with both Brooks and Nike.

While it has not been officially announced, it appears that recent UW grad Baylee Mires will be competing at the Olympic Trials as a member of the Brooks Beasts.  She is entered in the meet with Brooks Beasts as her affiliation.  If so, she will join fellow Husky alum Katie Mackey on the squad. When the entries closed on Sunday, Mires was still listed as University of Washington.  As they say in the business, stay tuned...

paulmerca.blogspot.com is working on an Olympic Trials preview.

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