June 25, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. -- It was a busy day for Stanford at the Olympic Track and Field Trials, beginning with Erica McLain falling short of her quest for a second Olympic Team. However, Stanford fared well in the distances with several athletes moving on to finals in their events.
McLain's inspiring comeback from a horrific ankle injury came up short on Monday as she placed eighth in the triple jump. McLain jumped 42-9 ¾, well off her season best and off the Olympic Team. The 2008 grad suffered a career-threatening injury in March of 2011, but had amazed everyone by making all the way back to the final of the Olympic Trials. However, McLain just didn't have enough in the rainy conditions in Eugene.
Also competing in the triple jump was Whitney Liehr, who finished 12th with a mark of 41-5.
In the 5,000 meters, Stanford had a pair of men and a pair of women advance to the finals. Kathy Kroeger started it off by placing seventh in heat 1 with a time of 15:50.09. Kroeger was one spot out of qualifying automatically, but later got through on time. In heat 2, Lauren Fleshman battled through less than 100% health to place sixth and move through to the final after running a time of 15:51.53.
On the men's side, Elliott Heath moved on, placing sixth in the first heat of the 5,000. The recent graduate ran a smart race, hanging in the pack and using just enough kick to ensure he qualified. Heath ran 13:49.50 and will still need the `A' Standard of 13:20.00 in the final to make the Olympic Team. In heat 2, Ian Dobson placed ninth, but made it through on time after running 13:49.62. The 2008 Olympian will also need the `A' Standard in the final to run in London.
Finally, Sara Hall competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and advanced to the final after placing second in her heat. Hall, formerly Sara Bei
, ran a time of 9:44.55 as she looks to join her husband Ryan Hall
The trials will take a now take a two-day rest period, but will be back on June 28. That day will mark the finals of the distance events as Kroeger, Fleshman, Heath, Dobson and Hall all look to capitalize on their Olympic dreams.