June 19, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee track & field athletes will be in action around the globe in the coming weeks at various Olympic Trials competitions, trying to punch their tickets to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Aug. 3-12.
The U.S. Olympic Trials are slated to take place in Beaverton and Eugene, Ore., June 21-July 1. While a sizeable contingent of current and former Big Orange standouts will be in action on the West Coast, there will be others taking part in the Sagicor NGC National Open Championships in Trinidad & Tobago (June 23-24) and at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships in Jamaica (June 28-July 1).
At the U.S. Trials, everything but the men's and women's hammer throw competitions will take place at Hayward Field in Eugene, June 22-July 1. On June 21, though, the Trials will get underway with an event called "Hammertime" at the Nike World Headquarters in the Portland suburb of Beaverton. Former Vol Garland Porter will be in action in the men's hammer.
Other former Vols projected to compete in Eugene include Anthony Famiglietti (steeplechase), Chris Helwick (decathlon), Justin Gatlin (100m/200m) and Aries Merritt (110m hurdles). Rubin Williams' status is pending in the 200m. Gatlin collected a gold (100m), silver (4x100m relay) and bronze (200m) medal at the 2004 Olympic Games, while Famiglietti competed in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. Gatlin (60m) and Merritt (60m hurdles) won IAAF World Indoor titles in March at Istanbul, Turkey.
Current Lady Vols Chanelle Price (800m) and Ellen Wortham (400m hurdles) will be in Oregon. Also expected to be in action are former UT standouts Jackie Areson (5000m), Sarah Bowman (1500m), Liz Costello (10,000m), Heidi Dahl (800m/1500m), Tianna Madison (100m/200m/long jump), Erica Moore (800m), DeeDee Trotter (400m) and Phoebe Wright (800m). Trotter competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, striking gold with the U.S. 4x400m relay unit and taking fifth in the 400m in 2004. Madison (60m) and Moore (800m) were bronze medalists at the 2012 World Indoor meet.
Two members of the 2012 Tennessee roster will be in action at Trinidad & Tobago's Trials. Lady Vol Annie Alexander (shot put/discus throw) and Vol sprinter Jamol James (100m/200m) will compete at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Saturday and Sunday. Alexander won the discus and was second in the shot at the 2008 Trials, but she did not advance to the Olympics because she did not meet the Olympic "A" qualifying standard.
In Jamaica, former Lady Vol Patricia Hall will take aim at her first Olympics in the 400m dash, starting on June 28. She'll run in National Stadium in Kingston, hoping to earn a trip to London.
Two former Vols already have earned their way to the Games. Jangy Addy is slated to represent Liberia in the decathlon again as he did in 2008, and former UT sprints/hurdles standout Hassaan Stamps will make his Olympic appearance as coach of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia