June 23, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Three Golden Bears reached the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials Saturday, with Alysia Montano qualifying in the women's 800 meters, Tracey Stewart advancing in the women's triple jump and Ed Wright moving on in the men's high jump. All three athletes will be back in action Monday at Hayward Field for their chance at making the U.S. team for London.
Running in semifinal number two with a light rain falling on the track, Montano led throughout her race and opened up a two-second advantage over her nearest competitor by the halfway point, clocking a time of 55.65 for the first 400 meters. She eased in at the finish at 2:00.25 for the fastest of the day.
A three-time USA champion who was fourth at the World Championships last summer, Montano is aiming for her first Olympic berth. She currently ranks No. 2 in the world for 2012 after running 1:57.37 at the Prefontaine Classic, also in Eugene, on June 1.
Tracey Stewart, a two-time Pac-10 runner-up in the triple jump, advanced to Monday's triple jump finals with a mark of 43-3.00 in qualifying. She was eighth among qualifiers, with the top 12 staying alive for the next rounds. Stewart wrapped up her Golden Bear career in 2011 as the No. 3 performer in the event in school history.
While at Cal, Wright won Pac-10 titles in the high jump in 2007 and '08. On Saturday, he was one of 10 jumpers to clear 7-1.75. Similar to the triple jump, the top 12 advanced to Monday's finals. Wright made it over the bar on his first attempt at 6-10.75 and 7-0.50 before taking two tries at 7-1.75. His best mark this year is 7-4.25.
Ryan Young finished a disappointing 19th in the javelin with a top throw of 229-9. Cal's school-record holder in the event, he has a PR of 262-1 and needed a mark of 235-2 to place among the top 12 and advance to the finals round.
Allison Stokke will be the only Bear in action Sunday when she competes in the women's pole vault final. Due to heavy rain Friday, the qualifying rounds were cancelled with all jumpers advancing to the final.
NBC will televise highlights from Saturday's event from 8-9 p.m. PT and broadcast Sunday's events from 7-8 p.m.
U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials
Q - qualified for final