June 28, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Seven current and former University of Oklahoma track and field athletes attempted to make their first Olympic Games for the United States Thursday while in Jamaica another took the first steps toward making his fourth.
OU junior Tia Brooks was fourth overall in the U.S. Olympic Trials women's shot put qualifier Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The 2012 NCAA Champion's best toss of 57 feet, 10 ½ inches (17.64 meters) came on her first attempt.
Brooks has already achieved the Olympic A standard, so a top three finish in Friday's final would punch her ticket to London for the 2012 Games.
Three-time Olympian Danny McFarlane, who celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14, took second in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles at the Jamaican National Trials Thursday. McFarlane finished in 50.96 seconds, advancing to the event final Friday at National Stadium in Kingston.
McFarlane won bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Games as part of Jamaica's 4x400-meter relay and earned silver as a hurdler in Athens in 2004.
OU junior Riley Masters missed the cut to qualify for the men's 1,500-meter final by .16 seconds. Masters ran eighth in the first of three heats of the preliminaries at 3:42.71, but was one position shy of the top six who would advance on time.
OU senior Luke Bryant placed 11th in the men's discus throw final. Bryant fouled on his first two attempts before reaching 187-6 (57.17).
Nike's Lance Brooks won the discus, but did not have the Olympic A standard until his sixth and final attempt reached 213-9 (65.15). He joins Jarrod Rome and Jason Young as Team USA representatives.
OU senior George Alex finished 15th in the men's 5,000-meter final, running 13:57.15. Nike's Galen Rupp outkicked Bernard Lagat to win the race in 13:22.67, breaking Steve Prefontaine's 40-year-old meet record.
OU senior Eric Cray ran 51.32 in the men's 400-meter hurdles preliminaries, finishing 19th overall. The top 16 advanced to the semifinal round.
Leslie Cole's Olympic Trials ended with a 23.66-second run in the women's 200-meter first round, finishing 29th overall.
Tydree Lewis finished 21st in the men's triple jump qualifier. Lewis' best was 51-0 ¾ (15.56) with 12th place, the last transfer spot, jumping 53-3 (16.23).
Others in the U.S. Olympic Trials Friday include OU seniors Brittany Borman (women's javelin throw) and Ti'Anca Mock (women's long jump) and former Sooners Ronnie Ash (men's 110-meter hurdles), Amy Backel (women's javelin throw) and Mookie Salaam (men's 200-meter dash). Salaam had previously considered pulling out of the meet after a hamstring injury flared during his 100-meter qualifier last Sunday.
OU senior Shawna Anderson and former Sooner All-America Aldwyn Sappleton begin their events in the Jamaican Trials Friday. Anderson is entered in the women's 100-meter dash preliminaries and Sappelton will run the men's 800-meter run.