EUGENE, Ore. Several Utah track and field athletes finished strong in Friday night's finals at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials but failed to crack the top three finishers who earned invites to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Former BYU and Provo High star distance runner Josh Rohatinsky placed fifth in the men's 10,000-kilometer finals, finishing in 27 minutes, 54.41 seconds eight-plus seconds from the top three finishers.
Abdi Abdirahman won at 27:41:89. Former Weber State and Roy High runner Seth Pilkington finished 19th at 29:10.33.
Rohatinsky finished ninth in last November's Olympic Marathon Trials and ran in last weekend's 5K semifinals. But he used the latter only as a warm-up for the 10K and opted out of Monday's 5K finals.
Former Utah State and Layton High thrower James Parker the 2004 Olympian and three-year USA Outdoors champion finished seventh in the men's hammer throw.
His best of Friday night's six throws was his third at 69.97 meters (229 feet, 7 inches), which was more than 3.5 meters away from qualifying for the Olympic team as one of the top three finishers.
Former BYU and Timpanogos High standout Michelle Lindsay Turner, who now runs for the University of Washington, ran in Friday night's 1,500-meter semifinals. But her time of 4:30:59 was nearly 15 seconds behind the 12th and final finalist.
SWEDEN TABS ARRHENIUS FOR BEIJING: Former BYU discus thrower Niklas Arrhenius has earned a spot on the Swedish Olympic Team and will compete at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Arrhenius, who holds dual citizenship in Sweden and the United States, is Sweden's top-ranked discus thrower. But national team officials there wanted Arrhenius to post some strong performances in European meets last month before penciling him onto the Olympic team.
Arrhenius, who won the 2007 NCAA discus title and represented Sweden at the 2006 European Championships, tossed a season-high 63.74 meters on June 8 in Lithuania.