With berths in the Beijing Summer Games on the line, a handful of Utah athletes are among the more than 1,000 participants competing at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, which begin today and run through next weekend.
And another handful of local athletes who posted provisional qualifying times and marks are hoping to be upgraded from their current "pending" status to be guaranteed a spot to compete in the Trials.
Five of the 10 local qualified locales will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Former BYU runner Josh McAdams and ex-Weber State All-American and current Wildcat assistant coach Lindsay Anderson both have their fourth-best qualifying time in their events.
McAdams, the 2006 NCAA steeplechase champion who won the 2007 U.S. Outdoor title, has a qualifying time of 8 minutes, 21.36 seconds. Anderson, who also ran for Morgan High, at one time held the NCAA's top time for collegiate women and placed second at the '07 NCAA championships, clocked in with a qualifying time of 9:39.95.
They need to finish among the top three in their respective events to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
They're not alone in the steeplechase former BYU standout and 2003 NCAA champion Kassi Andersen has the 11th-best steeplechase qualifying time at 9:52.19, while Weber State's Sariah Long is 17th at 9:59.63.
And Michael Spence, who ran collegiately at Princeton but moved to live and train in Ogden, is 10th in the men's steeplechase at 8:31.65.
Former BYU and Provo High distance star Josh Rohatinsky is qualified in both the men's 5,000 and 10,000 meters, with the ninth-best time in both events 13:25.93 in the 5K and 27:55.86 in the 10K. He placed ninth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last November in New York City.
Set for Eugene, Ore., the U.S. Olympic Trials begin today and run through Monday, with rest days on Tuesday and Wednesday. The trials resume Thursday and continue until concluding Sunday, July 6.
Other athletes from Utah or with local ties who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials include:
James Parker, the former Layton High and Utah State great who finished 20th in the men's hammer at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is ranked 11th with a qualifying throw of 71.19 meters.
Carlee Clark-Platt, recently of BYU, women's 800 meters, with a qualifying time of 2:04.10.
Jennifer Grossarth, BYU alum, women's 400-meter hurdles, whose time of 56.72 seconds has her seeded 14th.
Mindy Neeley, BYU, women's long jump, whose qualifying jump of 6.52 meters is 17th-best of those qualified and declared.
Also, a number of additional local athletes who posted provisional, "B" standard times or marks are hoping that they may still be invited to participate if there is a change in the number of qualified, or "declared," competitors in their respective events. They include:
Patrick Smyth, a former Judge Memorial standout who runs at the University of Notre Dame, has a provision time of 13:45.72 in the men's 5,000 and is one of the next runners to be admitted in that event.
Seth Pilkington, of Roy High and Weber State University, has a provisional time of 28:25.56 in the men's 10K and is awaiting possible inclusion.
Burke Bockman, a University of Utah assistant track coach, has a provision time of 50.96 seconds in the men's 400-meter hurdles and has a "pending" status for the Trials.
Chandler Goodwin, recently of BYU, is pending in the men's steeplechase with a provisional time of 8:41.76.
David Hoffman, of Tmpview High and Utah State, is a provisional qualifier in the men's high jump at 2.20 meters.
Michelle Lindsay Turner, a former BYU and Timpanogos High runner, who moved to Seattle with her husband and runs for the University of Washington, is pending in the women's 1,500 meters with a provisional time of 4:14.94.
Rena Chesser, former BYU and Beaver High runner, is pending in the women's steeplechase with a provisional time of 10:09.89.
Anna Dolegiewicz, Southern Utah alum, is pending in the women's hammer with a provisional mark of 63.70 meters.
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