EUGENE, Ore. – The Kentucky track and field program had a day of highs and lows on Friday at the United States Olympic Team Trials in front of 22,356 fans inside Hayward Field.
Class of 2014 alumnus Andrew Evans became the first Wildcat to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team by placing third in the discus. Evans capitalized on a solid throw of 200-feet, 10 inches/61.22 meters on his first attempt.
Junior Nick Anderson moved on to the 110m hurdles semifinal. Alumna Kendra Harrison was sixth in the 100m hurdles final – missing the Olympic Team by three spots, freshman Jasmine Camacho-Quinn narrowly missed the 100m hurdles final and junior Kiah Seymour did not advance out of the 400m hurdles semifinals.
Evans, two-time Southeastern Conference Champion (2012 and 2014), opened up with a mark that was good for third place after round one. The mark held up through five more rounds to clinch his Olympic berth.
Most of the throwers’ best marks were recorded in the first two rounds as heavy rains fell for the rest of the competition.
“I specifically knew to be sharp on the first few attempts,” Evans said. “Obviously you want to be sharp on all of them, but I took special care to make sure I took care of business on the first throw because I had no idea if the rain was coming. It did come – a lot more than I thought it would.”
Evans, who placed third at the USATF Outdoor Championships last season, but missed out on the American team that travelled to the IAAF World Championships because he did not record the standard mark at any point during the season, qualified for his first Senior U.S. Team for a major competition.
Evans eclipsed the Olympic Standard with a throw of 214’7”/65.41m in Chula Vista, California, earlier this season.
Harrison (Class of 2015) – the pre-meet favorite – placed sixth in the 100m hurdles final. The 23-year-old had the slowest reaction time of the final (0.229) and was unable to make up that deficit over the course of the race. She ran a time of 12.62 (+1.3). The trials were Harrison’s first 100m hurdles loss this outdoor season as she’d previously won three Diamond League meetings plus two early-season races and set the American Record (12.24) at the Prefontaine Classic.
Brianna Rollins (12.34), Kristi Castlin (12.50) and Nia Ali (12.55) were the top three finishers in the final.
Harrison and Camacho-Quinn lined up alongside one another in the same semifinal heat with Harrison gaining an auto-qualifier second-place finish. She ran 12.91Q (-1.3) in a heavy rain. Camacho-Quinn ran 13.02, missing the final by .02 seconds on time.
Anderson placed third in his 110m hurdles prelim heat, running 13.77Q into a -1.4 wind. Anderson claimed the NCAA Silver Medal in his most recent race, last month.
Kiah Seymour – the reigning NCAA Silver Medalist — placed fifth in the first 400m hurdles semifinal. She ran a time of 56.26 and did not advance to the final.