EUGENE, Ore. -- More than three dozen current and former University of Oregon track and field athletes will be competing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials that begin Thursday with the men’s and women’s hammer competitions at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and then continue Friday though July 1 at Historic Hayward Field.
Among the alums are Olympians Galen Rupp and Andrew Wheating and 2011 USA Champion Ashton Eaton, while NCAA Champions English Gardner and Jordan Hasay highlight the current Ducks.
HAMMER THROW (June 21)
Two Oregon graduates will open the Trials for the Ducks at the hammer in Beaverton, Britney Henry for the women and Brian Richotte for the men. Henry was a two-time hammer All-American (2006-07), while Richotte was the 2007 Pac-10 hammer champ.
DAY ONE (June 22)
Eaton, the 2011 American decathlon champion and a five-time NCAA champion leads off the competition in TrackTown USA when the decathlon gets underway Friday at 1 p.m. He’ll be joined by current Duck freshman Dakotah Keys.
Also on Friday, Gardner, a sophomore and the 2012 NCAA 100 meter and indoor 60 meter champion, begins competition in the first round of the women’s 100 meters. Sophomore NCAA outdoor runner-up Mike Berry will race in the opening round of the men’s 400 meters, while sophomore Phyllis Francis and former Duck Keshia Baker will follow in the women’s 400 first round.
The full day of preliminary races continues with junior Elijah Greer entered in the first race of the men’s 800, along with alums Andrew Wheating and Travis Thompson. Sophomore Laura Roesler is in the women’s 800.
In the field, a pair of NCAA champion alums will go in the qualifying round of the women’s pole vault. Becky Holliday was the 2003 champ, while current volunteer assistant coach Melissa Gergel won the crown in 2011.
Day one ends with Rupp, the defending American champion, and two former teammates, current senior Luke Puskedra and alum Carlos Trujillo in the men’s 10,000. Trujillo was the surprise Pac-10 10K champion in 2008.
DAY TWO (June 23)
The featured event on Day 2 will be the conclusion of the decathlon for Keys and Eaton, where Eaton could be poised to break a number of records.
The women’s 100 meter semifinals and finals are on Saturday for Gardner.
There are also semifinals in the men’s and women’s 400 for Berry, Francis and Baker.
The 800s also heat up with semifinal heats in the evening for Greer, Wheating, Thompson and Roesler.
In the field, the men’s javelin is a Duck-heavy event, with 2012 Pac-12 champion Sam Crouser, a freshman, joined by alums Cyrus Hostetler, Ryan Brandel and Alex Wolff. Hostetler was the 2009-10 Pac-10 champion and still holds the league record (272-10), while Brandel was the 2007 Pac-10 winner.
Duck senior Lauryn Newson is in the qualifying rounds of the women’s triple jump, while alum Justin Frick is in the men’s high jump qualifying.
DAY THREE (June 24)
A day of all finals will be big for the Ducks in the 400 meters (Berry, Francis, Baker), as well as Gergel and Holliday in the women’s pole vault.
DAY FOUR (June 25)
Will day four provide another signature moment in the final of the men’s 800 meters? Greer, Wheating and Thompson hope to be a part of it. Monday also has the women’s 800 final for Roesler, the 2012 Pac-12 champ at that distance.
The field finals will be compelling with the men’s javelin for Crouser, Hostetler, Brandel and Wolff, the women’s triple jump for Newson and the men’s high jump for Frick.
The distance races start up again with semifinals in the steeplechase and 5,000 meters. Watch for Rupp and current Duck sophomores Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson in the men’s 5000, with Alex Kosinski and Hasay in the women’s 5,000.
In the women’s steeplechase, it will be 2012 Pac-12 runner-up and current Duck sophomore Lanie Thompson.
DAY 7 (June 28)
Following two rest days June 26-27, competition resumes with the finals of the men’s 5,000 for Rupp, Dunbar and Stinson, and the women’s 5,000 for Kosinski and Hasay.
Qualifying round action on June 28 in the men’s 1,500 meters will be an Oregon showcase with four former Ducks - Wheating, Matthew Centrowitz, Jordan McNamara and A.J. Acosta - joining Dunbar.
Wheating was a two-time NCAA champ at 800 meters, and in 2010 pulled off the rare sweep of both the 800 and the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field. Centrowitz followed Wheating as the NCAA 1,500 winner in 2011 and went on to take the U.S. title and finish third at the IAAF World Championships. Acosta accomplished the rare feat of scoring in the 1,500, 5,000 and steeplechase at the 2010 Pac-10 championships and was also part of Oregon’s 1-2-3 sweep of the NCAA 1,500 meters that season.
The women’s 1,500 qualifier finds Hasay and junior Becca Friday in the entries. Hasay, a junior, is the two-time defending Pac-12 champion in the 1,500 and won the indoor mile and 3,000 title in 2011. Friday was the 2012 Pac-12 runner-up in the 800 meters and also scored in the 1,500.
Other qualifiers on June 28 include senior Amber Purvis in the women’s 200 and freshman Chancey Summers in the women’s high jump.
DAY 8 (June 29)
The only final this day for the Ducks is Thompson in the women’s steeplechase.
However, semifinals loom large in both the men’s 1,500 (Wheating, Centrowitz, McNamara, Acosta, Dunbar) and women’s 1,500 (Hasay, Friday).
There are also semis of the women’s 200 meters for Purvis.
Rachel Yurkovich, the 2008-09 NCAA champion in the javelin, begins qualifying in that event on June 29.
Former Duck Jamesha Youngblood is entered in the qualifying rounds of the women’s long jump. Youngblood was the Pac-10 long jump and triple jump winner in back-to-back years (2009-10).
And Pac-12 freshman 110 hurdles champion Johnathan Cabral lines up for the opening rounds in that event.
DAY 9 (June 30)
A relatively light day for the Oregon contingent.
Cabral has the semifinals and finals of the men’s 110 hurdles.
The women’s 200 meter final caps the day (Purvis). The women’s high jump final for Summers is also June 30.
DAY 10 (July 1)
The Trials wrap with a solid day of finals.
It kicks off with Yurkovich in the women’s javelin and Youngblood in the women’s long jump.
And then what a Duck show it could be with Hasay and Friday in the finals of the women’s 1,500 and Wheating, Centrowitz, McNamara, Acosta and Dunbar in the men’s 1,500 final.