Seven current athletes represent UA at Olympic Trials.
June 24, 2008
The University of Arizona track and field program will be well-represented this week at the U.S. Olympic Trials in beginning Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. UA athletes of past and present will face off against some of the most impressive competition in the world as they look to earn themselves one of few available spots for the 2008 Beijing Games.
'The (U.S.) Olympic Trials is the best meet in the world and has the highest caliber of athletes in every event,' said UA head coach Fred Harvey. 'You actually have to qualify for this meet so there is no fluff at all.'
Athletes from across the country have worked hard training over the past four years to earn the prestigious Olympic 'A' qualifying standard to earn themselves a part in the week and a half long event. Harvey added that the meet is basically do or die as you put four years of work in just to have it culminate in one championship.
Only the top three individuals from each event will earn their pass to China for the 2008 Summer Olympics, which begin August 10. Seven current UA athletes, five alumni and three athletes training under UA coaches will all represent Arizona's ties to the American meet and all are hoping to make a splash when they get there. The list of athletes competing and their events is as follows:
Current roster members
Bobby McCoy (400 meter dash)
Christina Rodgers (800 meter run)
Shawn Best (Shot Put)
Zack Lloyd (Shot Put)
Liz Patterson (High Jump)
Jasmin Day (High Jump)
Shevell Quinley (Heptathlon)
UA Alumni Training with UA staff
Brianna Glenn (Long Jump)
Abdi Abdirahman (10,000 meter run)
Jake Arnold (Decathlon)
Sean Shields (Shot Put)
Adam Kuehl (Discus)
Athletes Training with UA staff
Bernard Lagat (1500/5000 meter runs)
Jill Camarena (Shot Put)
Lance Brooks (Discus)
This list contains an abundance of national champions on both the NCAA and national levels in addition to many former or current All-Americans all the way around.
Liz Patterson is coming fresh off her NCAA individual national championship performance in the women's high jump and will hope to carry that momentum into the trials, along with teammate and fellow All-American high jumper Jasmin Day.
Throwers Zack Lloyd and Shawn Best are also coming off All-American performances at the NCAA National Championships and either one has a shot at an Olympic qualifying spot in the shot put, an event known for being unpredictable. Lloyd finished off the season with the NCAA's best outdoor mark of 21.03 meters (69' 0'), a mark that ranks him as fourth among Americans on the year. Only the top three from each event at the trials will qualify.
'It's such a meaningful competition for the growth of our (current athletes) because if they can go there and make some noise than they can bring that experience back to their other teammates,' Harvey said. 'It's also huge from a recruiting point of view to have so many of our athletes competing and showing the type of program that we are going to be.'
Arizona Athletics will provide updates as to the performance of all athletes with U.S. ties through the Summer Olympic season.