EUGENE, Ore. -- The top track and field athletes in the United States will converge on “Track Town, USA” this weekend to compete against one another at the U.S. Olympic Trials beginning Friday at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
A total of four current and eight former LSU athletes hope to wear the red, white and blue at the 2008 Olympic Games this summer as Beijing, China, will play host to the event from Aug. 8-24.
The top three finishers in each event at the U.S. Olympic Trials that have met the “A” qualifying standard for the Olympic Games will punch their ticket to Beijing. Senior sprinters Kelly Baptiste and Richard Thompson are already set to represent LSU at the Olympics after qualifying for their native Trinidad and Tobago last weekend.
Six current and former LSU athletes are also competing at the 2008 Jamaican National Senior Championships this weekend as they look to join the Jamaican contingent that will be making the trip to Beijing. The three-day meet also kicks off Friday and will run through Sunday.
The U.S. Olympic Trials are set to begin Friday afternoon at Hayward Field and will last 10 days with the meet coming to a close on July 6.
Junior sprinter Trindon Holliday is among 10 LSU athletes looking to qualify for the U.S. team on the first weekend of competition as he is scheduled to line up in the qualifying round of the 100-meter dash on Saturday. Holliday enters the meet with the seventh-fastest time after clocking a personal best of 10.02 seconds in the 100 meters a year ago.
In order to qualify for the U.S. team in the 100-meter dash, Holliday must advance through four rounds in two days with the preliminary round and quarterfinals scheduled for Saturday followed by the semifinal and final rounds on Sunday afternoon. He finished third in the 100-meter dash at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships two weeks ago.
Holliday will be joined in the event by LSU great Xavier Carter, who enters the meet with a seed time of 10.15 recorded earlier this season. The 2006 NCAA champion in the 100-meter dash will also compete in the 200 meters next weekend as he boasts a lifetime best of 19.63 in the event.
Also stepping onto the track this weekend will be Lady Tigers Juanita Broaddus in the 100 meters and LaTavia Thomas in the 800 meters, as well as former LSU standouts Stephanie Durst and Muna Lee in the 100 meters and Derrick Brew and Cynetheia Rooks in the 400 meters.
Former NCAA champions Russ Buller and Walter Davis are the only LSU athletes competing in the field events this weekend with Buller appearing in the pole vault and Davis in the long jump.
Davis is looking to represent the United States in the Olympics for the third time in his career as he will also step onto the runway in the triple jump with the qualifying round scheduled for July 4 on the second weekend of the competition. The 2005 world champion in the triple jump currently ranks third in the long jump and second in the triple jump in this year’s field.
Former Lady Tiger star Lolo Jones is set to make her first appearance at this year’s trials on July 5 as she lines up in the qualifying round of the women’s 100-meter hurdles with the fourth-fastest time in the field at 12.57. Like Holliday, she must advance through four rounds in two days if she hopes to make her first career appearance at the Olympic Games.
Also scheduled to compete during the second week of action are senior hurdler Ryan Fontenot in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, and Durst, Lee and Rooks in the women’s 200 meters.
The meet will be broadcast to a national television audience on a tape-delay basis with NBC and the USA Network providing the coverage. USA will carry the meet from 11 p.m.-12 a.m. on June 27, and from 10 p.m.-12 a.m. on June 30, July 3 and July 4. NBC will provide coverage from 7-8 p.m. on June 28, 6-7 p.m. on June 29, 4-5 p.m. on July 5 and 6-8 p.m. on July 6. All air times are Central and subject to change.
LSU Athletes at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
Athlete, Event, Time/Mark
Derrick Brew, 400 meters, 45.02
Russ Buller, Pole Vault, 18-9 ½
Xavier Carter, 100 meters/200 meters, 10.15/19.92
Walter Davis, Long Jump/Triple Jump, 27-0 ¼/56-11
Trindon Holliday, 100 meters, 10.02
Ryan Fontenot, 110 hurdles, 13.64
Athlete, Event, Time/Mark
Juanita Broaddus, 100 meters, 11.17
Stephanie Durst, 100 meters/200 meters, 11.09/22.51
Lolo Jones, 100 hurdles, 12.57
Muna Lee, 100 meters/200 meters, 10.97/22.30
Cynetheia Rooks, 200 meters/400 meters, 22.83/52.33
LaTavia Thomas, 800 meters, 2:03.22