June 25, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Two University of Oklahoma seniors advanced to U.S. Olympic Trials finals while former Sooner Toni Smith placed fourth in the women's triple jump Monday in Eugene, Ore.
OU senior George Alex was the top qualifier on time with his seventh place finish in the second of two heats of the men's 5,000-meter run.
Lopez Lamong was the fastest qualifier after winning the second heat in 13:42.81. Andrew Bumbalough edged Galen Rupp to win the first heat in 13:46.80. The top six in each heat plus the next four fastest times advanced to the final.
Alex owns the Oklahoma program record in the 5,000 meters with a personal best of 13:35.27.
OU senior Luke Bryant finished 12th of 24 discus throwers to move on from the preliminary round. Bryant's best throw flew 192 feet, seven inches (58.71 meters). He waited on the qualification bubble through six remaining throwers in the last round and survived after five fouled on their final attempts.
The Clearwater, Kan., native completed his collegiate career this summer as the 2012 NCAA Championships bronze medalist and a two-time Big 12 champion in the discus throw.
Lance Brooks led the discus with a 212-7 (64.80) coming on his first and only good attempt. The top three in Thursday's finals who have recorded an Olympic A standard of 213-3 (65.00) will represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games.
Smith placed fourth in the women's triple jump final. The two-time collegiate All-American's best jump of 44-7 (13.59) came on her sixth and final attempt.
Amanda Smock, who had the best leap of 45-9 (13.94), Sheena Gordon and Andrea Geubelle finished on the podium but did not automatically qualify for the London Games as no U.S. women have reached the Olympic A standard this year.
Hayward Field will quiet the next two days as the athletes of the Olympic Trials rest. Alex and Bryant will compete in finals Thursday when the men's discus begins at 8:05 p.m. Central and the 5,000-meter run starts at 9:38 p.m.
Other Sooners who begin qualifying rounds Thursday include 2012 NCAA indoor and outdoor shot put champion Tia Brooks, former Sooner Leslie Cole (200-meter dash), Eric Cray (400-meter hurdles) and Riley Masters (1,500-meter run).
A two-hour live broadcast of events will begin at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.