Olympic Hopefuls Advance to Semis at US Trials

LSU's Rebecca Alexander and sophomore Jasmin Stowers
LSU's Rebecca Alexander and sophomore Jasmin Stowers
Bryan Wayne
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Associate SID

EUGENE, Ore. - Three of LSU's Olympic hopefuls kept their dream alive while advancing to semifinals on a rainy Friday afternoon at historic Hayward Field as 2008 Olympic finalist Lolo Jones, senior Rebecca Alexander and sophomore Jasmin Stowers each survived their first-round action at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at the University of Oregon.

Alexander opened by advancing to the 400-meter semifinal before Jones and Stowers earned their lanes in the semifinal round of the 100-meter hurdles scheduled to run on Saturday night.

While making her first appearance at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the wake of her silver-medal winning run at the NCAA Championships, Alexander qualified automatically to Saturday's semifinals of the women's 400-meter dash with her third-place finish in the second qualifying heat.

Alexander raced to the finish line in 52.30 seconds to trail Sanya Richards-Ross (51.69) and Debbie Dunn (52.24) in her heat with the 10th-fastest time of the afternoon. She will now line up in the first of two heats in the 400-meter semifinals on Saturday evening at 7:15 p.m. CT.

Like Alexander, Jones earned an automatic qualifying spot into the semifinals at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials with a third-place finish in the second heat of the 100-meter hurdles as she clocked 13.01 (+0.3) for third place behind Kellie Wells (12.68) and Danielle Carruthers (12.88) in the race. The 2008 champion at the U.S. Olympic Trials owns a seasonal best of 12.75 in the sprint hurdles.

Stowers then wrapped up qualifying in the hurdles by taking fifth place in the fifth prelim heat with a time of 13.15 (+0.7) to advance to the semifinals as the fourth-fastest timed qualifier. Stowers clocked the 19th-fastest time of the day as she will join Jones in Saturday's competition.

The semifinal round of the women's 100-meter hurdles is scheduled to run at 5:15 p.m. CDT on Saturday, followed by the final at 7:45 p.m. as the top-three finishers will punch their ticket to London.

"I know there's a lot of room for improvement," Jones stated as she met with members of the media in the mixed zone following her race. "Everybody is hopeful, and I am as well. I've just got to put it together for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting back out here for the semifinals."

Lady Tiger sophomore and NCAA silver medalist Charlene Lipsey ran in the women's 800-meter prelims and raced to a fourth-place finish in the first heat, while crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 3.74 seconds in the pouring rain at Hayward Field. Lipsey took the lead with 200 meters left, but was unable to hold up as she trailed Geena Gall (2:02.96), Maggie Vessey (2:03.31) and Margaret Infeld (2:03.53).

"I took (the lead) a little too early. I should have waited just a bit longer," Lipsey said after her race. "This is definitely much more competitive compared to NCAAs, and a mistake like that will cost you. They just started pulling away, and I was fighting to stay up with them at the end."

Former Tiger Richard Jones (1:48.29) finished in 19th place overall in the men's 800 meters, while former Lady Tiger LaTavia Thomas (2:28.43) fell in her heat and did not advance in the women's 800 meters.

Three other former LSU All-Americans competed Friday as Jeremy Hicks, Zedric Thomas and Kenyanna Wilson competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials for the first time. Hicks posted a mark for 24 feet, 9 ¾ inches for 16th place and Thomas recorded a series-best of 24-3 ½ for 21st place in the long jump, and Wilson ran 11.42 (+1.6) for fifth place in her heat and 20th place overall in the women's 100-meter dash.

Tiger senior Michael Lauro kicked off the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials for LSU with his start in the men's hammer throw on Thursday afternoon. Lauro opened with a mark of 212-0 for his best of the day as he finished in 20th place in the event held at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton.

Time Schedule for LSU Entries at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials
Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying. All television broadcasts are LIVE.

Saturday, June 23
TV Coverage:
NBC (7-8 p.m. CT)
5:15 p.m. - Women's 100 Hurdles Semifinals (Lolo Jones, Jasmin Stowers)
5:20 p.m. - Women's Triple Jump Qualifying (Keri Emanuel)
7:15 p.m. - Women's 400 Meters Semifinals (Rebecca Alexander)
7:45 p.m. - Women's 100 Hurdles Final (Lolo Jones, Jasmin Stowers)

Sunday, June 24
TV Coverage:
NBC (6-7 p.m. CT)
6:35 p.m. - Women's 400 Meters Final (Rebecca Alexander)

Monday, June 25
TV Coverage:
NBC Sports Network (8-10 p.m. CT)
7:45 p.m. - Women's Triple Jump Final (Keri Emanuel)

Thursday, June 28
TV Coverage:
NBC Sports Network (8-10 p.m. CT)
6:30 p.m. - Men's Triple Jump Qualifying (Walter Davis, Zedric Thomas)
7:30 p.m. - Women's 400 Hurdles First Round (Cassandra Tate)
8:45 p.m. - Women's 200 Meters First Round (Kimberlyn Duncan)

Friday, June 29
TV Coverage:
NBC Sports Network (5-7 p.m. CT)
5:00 p.m. - Women's 200 Meters Semifinals (Kimberlyn Duncan)
5:20 p.m. - Women's 400 Hurdles Semifinals (Cassandra Tate)
6:05 p.m. - Men's 110 Hurdles First Round (Ryan Fontenot, Barrett Nugent)

Saturday, June 30
TV Coverage:
NBC (8-9 p.m. CT)
6:20 p.m. - Men's 110 Hurdles Semifinals (Ryan Fontenot, Barrett Nugent)
6:40 p.m. - Men's Triple Jump Final (Walter Davis, Zedric Thomas)
8:40 p.m. - Men's 110 Hurdles Final (Ryan Fontenot, Barrett Nugent)
8:50 p.m. - Women's 200 Meters Final (Kimberlyn Duncan)

Sunday, July 1
TV Coverage:
NBC (6-7 p.m. CT)
6:02 p.m. - Women's 400 Hurdles Final (Cassandra Tate)




Track + Field
Nissan #LSUTopPlays - May 9-13
May. 14
Track + Field
'The Tribute' - Celebrating LSU Athletics Graduates
May. 11
Track + Field
Nissan #LSUTopPlays - April 26-29
Apr. 30