There were definite highs and lows for native Iowans and Iowa connections on Day 7 of the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials, being held in Eugene, Oregon.
Feature Photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Bowerman track Club
©Michael Scott http://miscottrunningphoto.shutterfly.com
Let’s start this wrap up of Thursday’s competition with the “highs”.
Shelby Houlihan qualified to the Trials in both the 1500 and 5K. Since qualifying rounds for both events took place on Thursday, the former Sioux East state champion had to make a decision. Prelims in the 5K were first for her and the NCAA 1500M champ from Arizona State was able to race, somewhat conservatively, and advance to Sunday’s final with the third fastest time of 15:26.91. Although Houlihan is looked upon as more of an 800/1500 runner, the 5K is also an event she excels at, not just as often. She ran 15:06.22 at the Millrose Games in February, a time that placed her at #5 5 All Time on the US Indoor list. Houlihan scratched herself from the 1500M field.
Former Drake University SID, Mike Mahon, is working at the Olympic Trials for USATF and was able to talk to Houlihan after her race for Next Level Iowa.
“It felt really good and easier than I expected,” she said. “It is great to be going to the final and it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.”
“I hope I feel as good in the finals as I did today and hopefully make the team. I believe I can do it,” she said. “There are no words because I have been wanting to run in the Olympics since I was 5 years old.”
The 5K final will be run Sunday night at 6:28 PM Iowa time.
In the 100M hurdles, Alex Gochenour, Logan Magnolia/Arkansas ran 13.38 and did not advance. She now turns her attention and energy to her specialty, the Heptathlon which will be contested Saturday and Sunday.
University of Iowa NCAA qualifier, Montayla Holder ran 57.77 in the women’s 400M hurdles, but did not advance.
Drake University assistant track and field coach, LaRon Bennett, ran 51.27 in his heat of the 400M, but the former Georgia All American did not advance.
The rain began to fall, quite heavily during the men’s discus competition and a number of competitors struggled with the wet ring. One of those having issues with the wet surface was former Newton prep and Kentucky All American, Chase Madison. Madison had 2 fouls and a throw of 171-6 in the prelims and did not advance to the final.
Iowa State All American shot putter Christina Hillman had some very good throws in the qualifying round, Thursday afternoon. Her best throw of 17.69M/58’ ½” an outdoor seasons best and her best outdoor throw since 2014, qualified her to Thursday night’s 12 person final. The rain was falling hard during the shot put final and Hillman struggled with the wet ring conditions. She had a best throw of 56-4 in the final, and wound up with a still impressive 9th place finish.
In the Women’s 1500M preliminary round, Webster City/Ames native Jenny Simpson cruised on to Friday’s semis with a time of 4:17.31. The 2011 World Champion is working toward her making her third US Olympic team.
In the Men’s 1500M, UNI MVC champ and All American, Dorian Ulrey advanced to Friday’s semi’s with his time of 3:50.80. Ulrey was a NCAA champion at Arkansas under former UNI head Coach Chris Bucknam.
Today, Friday July 7, 2016
Men’s 110 high hurdles: University of Iowa B10 champ and All American Aaron Mallett will be in Heat 3, Lane 4.
Women’s 200M prelims: University of Iowa B10 400M champion, Elexis Guster will be in Heat 1, lane 8. Her teammate Lake Kwaza will be in Heat 2, Lane 8.
Men’s 1500M Semi Finals: Dorian Ulrey will be in heat 2. Top 12 overall to Sunday’s final.
Women’s 1500M Semi Finals: Jenny Simpson will be heat 1. Top 12 overall to Sunday’s final.
The Men’s steeplechase final is tonight, with 2 Iowa connections in the field: Stanley Kebenei was an All American at Iowa Central in Ft. Dodge and at Arkansas. Hillary Bor earned All American honors at Iowa State.
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