Johnson's Olympic Dream Comes to an End at the Olympic Trials

June 27, 2008

EUGENE, Ore. - California six-time All-American Alysia Johnson came up short in her quest to make the U.S. Olympic Team as her ailing foot prevented her from advancing to the semifinals of the 800 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Friday. Johnson came in ninth in her quarterfinal heat with a time of 2:06.43.

'Obviously this is very disappointing,' said director of track and field Tony Sandoval. 'We thought her foot injury from NCAAs had healed enough to where she could advance at the trials, but that didn't happen. She's very disappointed. A dream that she's had for a long time is now out the window for right now. She will be further evaluated when we get back to the Bay Area, but she won't be running anymore this summer. We're going to make sure this heals properly.'

Johnson, who was recently named the Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Year, was in second place after the first lap and held that position through the first 500 meters, but then dropped back over the final 300 meters.

Some Golden Bear alumni had better success in the first day of the Olympic Trials. Rhuben Williams advanced to the final in the men's shot put, 2007 NCAA champion Kelechi Anyanwu advanced to the final in the women's discus and Bolota Asmerom moved on to the final in the men's 5000 meters.

Cal assistant coach Magdalena Lewy competed in the final of the 10,000 meters. Although she did not make the U.S. team in that event, she is already on her way to Beijing, China, in the marathon.

Jake Hanson was the only current Cal athlete who was in action on Friday. Hanson ran in the quarterfinal of the men's 400-meter hurdles, but did not advance to the semifinals after placing eighth in his heat with a time of 52.67.

The Olympic Trials continue through July 6.

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