Saturday marked the second day of the 2016 U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with Olympic qualifiers in three events being determined. The finals of the women’s discus, women’s 10,000-meter and the women’s long jump competitions were held Saturday, with three competitors qualifying for Rio in each event.
Huddle Rebounds From Disappointing World Championships to Win 10,000 Final
Mere feet from wrapping up bronze in the 10,000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year, Molly Huddle began to celebrate too early and was thus passed up by Emily Infeld for the final spot on the medal stand. That disappointment has served as motivation for Huddle, and on Saturday the Providence, Rhode Island resident punched her ticket to Rio by winning the women’s 10,000 meter final.
Huddle set the pace almost from the start and remained consistent throughout, winning with a time of 31:41.62. Huddle will also look to qualify in the 5,000, an event she finished 11th in at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Finishing second and also heading to Rio was Infeld, whose time of 31:46.09 was more than eight seconds better than third-place finisher Marielle Hall. Huddle missed time in March and April due to injury due to a stress fracture, but she proved healthy enough to earn a spot on the United States Olympic Track & Field Team. Hall’s time of 31:54.77 was good enough to earn a trip to Rio in her first appearance at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials.
Ashley Comfortably Wins Women’s Discus Final
Whitney Ashley needed just one attempt in Friday’s qualifying round to sew up a spot in the final, and that performance set the tone for what she was able to do Saturday. Ashley, who won the NCAA outdoor national title in the discus at San Diego State in 2012, had the two longest throws in the final round Saturday. On her second attempt Ashley threw the discus 203 feet, three inches, and she surpassed that mark on her fifth attempt with a distance of 204 feet, two inches.
Ashley, who finished ninth in the discus at last year’s world championships in Beijing, will represent the United States at the Summer Olympics for the first time. Joining her in the discus will be Texas A&M’s Shelbi Vaughn and Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card, who will also make their Olympic debuts. Both made the mark early in the competition, with Vaughn’s Olympic qualifying throw of 197 feet, nine inches coming on her second attempt and Card throwing the discus 197 feet, three inches on her first attempt.
Reese Wins Women’s Long Jump, First Olympic Berth
After posting the best jump of the qualifying round Friday, Brittney Reese did the same in the finals of the women’s long jump to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. Reese’s jump of 23 feet, 11 3/4 inches in the fourth round was good enough to win the women’s long jump final by a comfortable margin. Reese’s winning jump is the best in the world in 12 years, and only eight women have jumped longer in the history of the women’s long jump.
Finishing second was Tianna Bartoletta, whose jump of 23 feet, 1/2 inch in the first round led the competition until Reese’s fourth attempt. Bartoletta will also look to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 meters. The third and final qualifier in the women’s long jump was Janay DeLoach, who didn’t earn her spot on the Olympic team until the final round. DeLoach’s jump of 22 feet, nine inches in the sixth round pushed her into third place past Shakeela Saunders, who finished fourth with a jump of 22 feet, 7 1/4 inches.
Reese and DeLoach both medaled in the long jump four years ago in London, with Reese winning gold and DeLoach earning the bronze medal. Next month they’ll arrive in Rio as two of the favorites in the competition.
There will also be qualifying rounds in multiple events, including the men’s long jump, and the women’s 400 meters (featuring Allyson Felix) will have its semifinal heats Saturday. Below is the schedule for Saturday’s action, and how they can be seen on television, online or on a mobile device.
Live results from the Olympic Trials can be found here.