EUGENE, Ore. -- A remarkable junior season has come to an end for LSU sprinting standout Trindon Holliday after advancing to Sunday’s semifinal round of the 100-meter dash at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trails at historic Hayward Field.
Holliday took his mark in the first semifinal heat of the afternoon and crossed the finish line with a time of 10.17 seconds to finish seventh in his heat and 11th overall at this year’s trials.
Knowing that only the top four finishers in his heat would advance to the final, Holliday fired out of the blocks and was actually running in second place through the first 60 meters of the race. But the All-American was unable to hold his position through the finish line and took seventh.
“I came into the meet with a goal to make the final. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that today,” Holliday said following his race. “I felt like I had a pretty good start, but I just wasn’t able to hold it through the finish. This has been a great experience for me running against the best sprinters in the United States, and it’s something that I can learn a lot from going into next year.”
Holliday earned three All-America honors in NCAA competition during his junior season as he kicked off the 2008 campaign with a runner-up finish in the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He then ended the collegiate season by finishing third in the 100-meter dash after anchoring LSU’s 4x100-meter relay to a national title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
He is sure to challenge for NCAA titles in the short sprints once again in 2009 as he is the highest non-senior finisher returning in both the 60 and 100 meters at this year’s NCAA Championships.
“Trindon is a young man who is a fierce competitor and represents LSU with pride and class each time he steps onto the track,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “I’m proud of him for the effort he gave this weekend running against the best sprinters in the world. He’s a young man that I truly love to coach, and his experience here will only help him continue to improve next year.”
While he was unable to earn a coveted top-three finish in the final of the 100-meter dash to make the U.S. Olympic Team in the open event, LSU sprint legend Xavier Carter put himself in a position to qualify for the 4x100-meter relay pool with an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s final.
Carter, who advanced to the final with a fourth-place finish in his semifinal heat earlier in the afternoon, crossed the finish line in 10.11 to take eighth place overall. While he will not represent the United States in the 100-meter at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Carter still has the opportunity to qualify in the 200 meters beginning July 4.
Three other former LSU athletes were eliminated from Olympic contention during Sunday’s action as Russ Buller was the fourth-place finisher in the men’s pole vault and both Derrick Brew and Cynetheia Rooks failed to advanced beyond the quarterfinal round of the 400-meter dash.
Buller was forced to withdraw from the pole vault competition due to injury after clearing 18 feet, 4 ½ inches, while Rooks finished 17th in 52.95 and Brew placed 21st in 46.88.
Monday will be a light day for LSU’s contingent of athletes at this year’s U.S. Olympic Trials as sophomore middle distance standout LaTavia Thomas is the only athlete scheduled to compete as the final of the 800 meters will run at 10:15 p.m. CDT. The USA Network is set to broadcast two hours of coverage on a tape delay basis from 10 p.m.-12 a.m.