Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sports

State athletes advance at U.S. Olympic track and field trials

EUGENE, Ore. — So smooth and exerting little effort, Allyson Felix glided to an easy win in her heat in the 200 meters.

Minutes later, looking just as smooth and expending little energy, Jeneba Tarmoh cruised to a victory in her heat at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on a drizzly Thursday.

If controversy was weighing the sprinters down, they didn't show it on the track.

Five days ago, the training partners crossed the finish line in a tie for the third and last Olympic spot in the 100. Now everyone is waiting to see what they will choose to break the dead heat: a runoff, a coin flip or one of them simply giving the spot to the other. A decision is due Sunday after the 200 final.

Felix and Tarmoh didn't talk after the race.

Felix followed her coach, Bobby Kersee, through the corral and into the restricted area reserved for athletes. The only thing she muttered on her way out was, "After the final."

Kersee, who also coaches Tarmoh, doubled back around and met up with her, escorting her through the same circus. Tarmoh politely declined interview requests with, "No, I'm sorry."

Also advancing to the semifinals were two UCF sprinters, Aurieyall Scott and Octavious Freeman of Lake Wales.

In a thrilling finish to end the night, Galen Rupp held off Bernard Lagat in the 5,000 final, a scintillating race that came down to a sprint at the end. Rupp also won the 10,000 last week.

Getting the third Olympic spot was Lopez Lomong, a 2008 team member who carried the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony.

Julie Culley (women's 5,000), Evan Jager (steeplechase), Lance Brooks (discus) and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Brad Walker (pole vault) also won.

In men's triple jump qualifying, former Gators Christian Taylor, the 2011 world champion, and William Claye, the reigning world indoor champion, finished one-two to lead the field of finalists. Joining them in the final 12 was current Gator Omar Craddock, a two-time NCAA champion. Florida State's Phillip Young did not advance, finishing 22nd in the 23-jumper field.

In the men's 400 hurdles, advancing to the semis were former Gator and world champion Kerron Clement and USF's David Aristil. Miami's Thandi Stewart advanced in the women's 400 hurdles. Florida's Cory McGee just missed making the women's 1,500 semis. She had the 25th-fastest prelim time; the top 24 advanced.

gymnastics: Sam Mikulak solidified his spot on the five-man U.S. team with a score of 91.80 on the first day of the Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., just ahead of Danell Leyva at 91.70 and national champion John Orozco at 90.70. Orozco and Leyva remain in perfect position to earn automatic spots on the team, which are reserved for the top two all-around finishers provided they also rank among the top three in at least three of the six disciplines. At the moment, Orozco and Leyva fill that criteria, with Mikulak quickly closing in. Leyva moved past Orozco and into first place in the overall standings, which combine scores from this month's nationals and the trials. Mikulak remained third.

basketball: Heat G Dwyane Wade will have surgery on his ailing left knee and will not play for the U.S. team. If all goes according to plan, Wade will be ready for the start of training camp. Wade's departure leaves 17 players in the mix for 12 spots on the team.

wrestling: American Stephany Lee has been suspended for a year and will give up her spot on the U.S. team after testing positive for marijuana. Lee, 27, tested positive at the Olympic trials on April 21, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said. Lee, who also tested positive in 2009, has accepted the sanctions and issued an apology.

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