Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meet Our 400m Olympic Team

LaShawn Merritt: The defending Olympic champ is looking to defend his title in London. After serving a 21 month suspension and winning silver at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, LaShawn Merritt won the 400m Trials in 44.12. He has been in great shape thus far, but last week at the Diamond League Meeting in Monaco, he had to pull out during the end part of the race. Hopefully he is healthy and ready to go.

Tony McQuay: This University of Florida Gator has been making a name for himself the past couple of years. He is a 2 time NCAA Indoor Champion, 2012 NCAA Outdoor Champion, 2011 U.S. Champion, and the runner up at his year’s trials. He ran 44.49 to finish second behind Merritt, and will look to build on his international experience after competing only in the heats at Daegu last year.

Bryshon Nellum: If anyone can be a true example of hard work and dedication to the sport, it is this young man right here. Bryshon Nellum was shot 3 times in the leg after leaving a USC party and doctors said he would never run again. 3 surgeries and an Olympic trial later, he is now an Olympian, after running a personal best 44.80 to get third place.

Sanya Richards-Ross: This is Sanya’s year. As I said before, she is in the shape of her life. She won the 400m Olympic Trials in 49.28, tying the meet record set by Chandra Cheeseborough in 1984. Later on, she finished third in the 200m, allow her to double in events to try and win her first individual Olympic gold.

DeeDee Trotter: She has been struggling the past couple of years, but 2012 I believe is the year DeeDee Trotter puts it all together. She ran 50.02 at the trials to finish second behind Sanya Richards-Ross, and she has never looked better. She is a two time World 4x400m gold medalist and a 2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist. She had years of experience, and she’s taking that with her to London.

Francena McCorory: A rising star, Francena McCorory is establishing herself in the elite ranks. The American record holder in the indoor 400 (50.54) while only a senior at Hampton University, she finished third at the trials in 50.43. She is also part of the 4x400m team that won gold in Daegu last summer.

I am most likely not going to finish every single event before the Olympics begin, but I am going to do my best. It is hard to motivate myself to write these things because it takes a lot of time into doing accurate research on each athlete.

Check out my past entries:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Meet Our High Jump Olympic Team

Jamie Nieto: 35 year old Jamie Nieto won the U.S. Trials with a jump of 2.28m. He was an Olympian in 2004, where he finished 4th in Athens, one place out of the medal slot. He’ll be the veteran leading the other two into London, hopefully bringing home a medal.

Erik Kynard,Jr.: He finished second at the trials also at 2.28m, but he took more attempts to clear it, giving him that second place. He’s a two time NCAA Champion in the high jump, and placed 7th in the qualifying rounds at Daegu last year. He’ll be bringing that experience with him to London.

Jesse Williams: The reigning world champion almost didn’t make the team. With the rain pouring on the competition, his approach was off and it almost looked as if he wasn’t going to make this team. He cleared 2.28m and placed 4th based on the number of attempts to clear the height. Fortunately, he made the team because 3rd place finisher Nick Ross did not have an Olympic ‘A’ Standard and Jesse did, giving him a ticket to London. He will be one of the favorites to get a medal in this event.

Chaunte Lowe: She had a baby a year ago, but Chaunte Lowe is continuing her success right where she left off. She won the high jump with 2.01m at the Olympic Trials. She won the World Indoor Championship in Istanbul earlier this year as well and is one of the favorites to win a medal in London.

Brigetta Barrett: She placed second at the trials with a height of 2.01m. She is the 2011 U.S. Champion in this event, a 2 time NCAA Indoor Champion, and 2011 Outdoor Champion in the high jump. She finished 10 at the high jump final in Daegu last year.

Amy Acuff: She finished third at the trials with a height of 1.95m. Amy Acuff will be making her 5th Olympic team, which is pretty spectacular. She has a large resume in international competition, but hasn’t gone home with many medals. Hopefully 5th time is a charm in London.

Check out my past entries:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meet Our 200m Olympic Team

Wallace Spearmon, Jr.: In 2008, he placed third in Beijing in the 200m, but was disqualified for a lane violation coming around the turn. Since then, Spearmon has been waiting for the day he could return and compete for redemption and that Olympic medal. He won the 200m in 19.85 to qualify for his ticket to London. He is coached by his father.

Maurice Mitchell: The two-time NCAA Champion in the 200m punched his ticket to London running a 20.14 to place second at the trials. The senior from Florida State will be working hard to compete with the top elite in the international level come the Olympics

Isiah Young: Ran 20.16 at the Olympic trials for to be the third qualifier for the Olympics. He was fourth at this year’s NCAA outdoor championship and third at the indoor championships. Like Mitchell, he’ll have to continue his hard work to be able to get in medal contention against the top notches.

Allyson Felix: Though she earned the 100m spot in all the controversy, this one was no contest. Allyson Felix won the 200m at the trials in 21.69, a new personal best and the world’s fastest time. This event is what she calls her “baby”, and she’ll be gunning for the Olympic gold that has eluded her in the past 2 Olympic Games. She has gold in the World Championship 200m, but none in the Olympics.

Carmelita Jeter: She placed second in the 200m at the trials in 22.11, and now is on her way to compete in a 100/200 double just like her compatriot, Allyson Felix. Jeter also won the 100m at the trials. We still haven’t seen the Carmelita Jeter of 2011, but hopefully with her training, she will emerge at the Olympics.

Sanya Richards-Ross: This woman is in the shape of her life. The American record holder in the 400m is now doing a 200/400 double at the Olympics. She finished third in the 200m in 22.22 and first in the 400m. I would like to say her fitness is like a Michael Johnson fitness when he competing at the Olympics, but I can be certain. All I know is that she’s putting out times worthy of a champion, and I can wait to see what she does at the Olympics.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meet Our Pole Vault Olympic Team

I’m continuing my pre-Olympic coverage of the U.S. Track & Field teams with the Pole Vault.

Brad Walker: 31 years old, Brad Walker is making his first trip to the Olympics. He won the U.S. Trials in Eugene at 5.67m. He is the bronze medalist at the World Indoor Championships with a vault of 5.80m.

Jeremy Scott: With a vault of 5.60m, Jeremy Scott earned his first trip to the Olympics. He placed 9th in the pole vault finals in Daegu, South Korea, and is a former national champion in the event.

Derek Miles: At 39 years of age, Derek Miles still has something to prove, and he can prove it at the Olympics. He placed 4th at the trials with a vault of 5.60, but since 3rd place finisher Scott Roth did not have an Olympic ‘A’ standard, that allowed Miles to advance. He finished 4th in Beijing, but we haven’t seen much success from him in past years. This could be the year Miles puts everything together and gets on the medal stand.

Jenn Suhr: The American record holder of the indoor and outdoor pole vault and #1 ranked pole vaulter of 2012, Jenn Suhr is looking to put everything together and earn the Olympic gold. She is the Olympic silver medalist in Beijing and finished 4th in last year’s World Championships in Daegu. Jenn won the trials at 4.60m. She has been nursing a few injuries this year and hopefully that won’t derail her from earning a gold in London.

Becky Holliday: This will be Becky’s first trip to the Olympic games, after her 2nd place finish at the trials in 4.55m. A former University of Oregon athlete, she was the NCAA Champion in 2003. Her PR is 4.60m.

Lacy Janson: Also making her first trip to the Olympics, Lacy Janson finished 3rd with a height of 4.50. She is a University of Florida alumni and former NCAA Champion in this event. She finished 5th in the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hopefully my previews are nice and informative. I’ve been doing a lot of information gathering and I realize I’m only an amateur at this, but this is definitely a learning experience.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet Our 100m Olympic Team

With the Olympics only weeks away, I’ve decided to keep my time occupied by writing about each athlete that made the U.S. Olympic team in track and field. There is no better way to start than by introducing the 100m team.

Justlin Gatlin: The 2004 Olympic champion in 100m and bronze medalist in 200m and current World Indoor Champion in the 60m, this guy has proven himself that he can return back into the ranks of the elite. He served his suspension and is looking for more hardware as he heads to London. He set a new personal best at the Olympic Trials, running 9.80, edging out his compatriots Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey. He’ll have to continue stepping it up if he’s going to go face the Jamaicans in their rivalry.

Tyson Gay: The American record holder in the 100m at 9.69, Tyson Gay has had his fair share of injuries since setting that record. Battling through multiple injuries and surgeries, Gay came back in 2012 running 10.00 in a low key race at the Adidas Grand Prix. He ran that into a headwind, which, if converted, would be a 9.90. He finished second behind Justin Gatlin in 9.86, showing that he is in shape and ready to head into the Olympic games. To truly contend for a medal spot, he needs to keep his injuries in check, and so long as that happens, he should be fine.

Ryan Bailey: The man to secure the last 100m, Ryan Bailey ran 9.93 at the trials. With a personal best of 9.88 set in 2010, he has a lot of work to do before the Olympics begin in order to contend with the Jamaicans.

Carmelita Jeter: The reigning world champion at 100m and world silver medalist at 200m, Carmelita Jeter will once again be doubling at a major championship. She will be looking for her first Olympic medals in these events. She ran 10.92 at the Olympic trials, and we’re hoping to see the type of performances she had at the World Championships at the Olympics. She will also be competing in the 4x100m.

Tianna Madison: Originally a long jumper, Tianna Madison has been put into sprinting events and has been showing remarkable results, with personal bests in both 100m and 200m. A 10.96 to secure second place at the Olympic trials, she will be one to look out for at the Olympics. She is also the bronze medalist in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships.

Allyson Felix: The athlete who was stuck in all the drama with her teammate, Allyson Felix was the named the last member of the 100m after Jeneba Tarmoh conceded her spot to her. Felix is now attempting a 100/200 double rather than a 200/400, hopefully to help her succeed in her dream of becoming the 200m gold medalist at the Olympic games. The last two Olympics she has finished second and she’ll be looking for some individual hardware to go with the potential relay medals she’ll be competing for.

More team coverage to follow in the coming weeks.