Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olympic Trials - 800m preview

Well, the 2012 Olympic Trials – Track & Field are officially underway with the men’s and women’s hammer throw taking place today.  Running events begin tomorrow and will include the first round of the 800m for both men and women.  Tomorrow evening will close with the 10,000m finals for both men and women.  A complete schedule of events can be found HERE.
As promised, I’ll be previewing the distance events that have Minnesotans competing in them.  Let’s start with the 800m prelims.  After everyone with either an A or B trials qualifying standard declared their intentions to enter the meet, the meet officials narrowed each field, men’s and women’s, to 32 athletes.  Those athletes declared eligible for the 800m can be found HERE.
Included on the list are four Minnesotans, Heather Kampf (formerly Dorniden), Laura Januszewski (formerly Hermanson), David Pachuta, and Harun Abda.  Kampf is a former Gopher that currently trains with Team USA Minnesota.  She currently has the 9th fastest qualifying time of 2:00.41.  Right behind her is Januszewski with her 10th place qualifying time, 2:01.05.  On the mens side, current Gopher teammates, Pachuta and Abda rank 20th and 21st with nearly identical times, 1:46.62 and 1:46.65, respectively.
After tomorrow’s preliminary round, the field will be narrowed to 16 runners for the semi-finals, which will be run on Saturday.  From there the field will be narrowed to 8 runners for Monday's finals.  For the runners to make the Olympics, not only will they have to finish in the top-3 of their event, but they’ll also need to achieve an Olympic Games A-standard.  For the gals, that’s 1:59.9, while the guys must run 1:45.6.
As you can imagine, these athletes are receiving a lot of press lately.  I recently interviewed Kampf, as well as  Inforum wrote a piece on Januszewski and Minnesota Daily covered Abda’s American dream.

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