For one former Barton track star it may be his last go at the Olympics. For another it was an attempt to make his first Olympic team. Both came up short at the United States Olympic trials this past weekend in Eugene, Ore.
Tyson Gay, age 33, finished sixth in the 200m while Aleec Harris, age 25, finished seventh in the 110m hurdles. Both missing a shot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Gay is a 2-time Olympian and silver medal winner in the 4x100m relay. His bid for a third Olympic team will now hinge on his selection to the relay pool. Earlier in the trials he finished fifth in the 100m. The top four runners in the 100m are automatically in the relay pool. The relay pool consists of six runners meaning two more are added by selection from a special committee.
Some of the factors taken into consideration are not only the finish in the trials but past experience in the event. That would give Gay a good chance to be selected.
Gay had finished second in his opening heat of the 200m then finished third in his semifinal heat with the third fastest overall semifinal time.
Gay was never really a threat in the finals. Starting in lane two he never caught the field. When he reached the 100m mark, Gay was in sixth and his pursuit never threatened the top three.
Gay finished with a time of 20.38. Justin Gatlin won in 19.75 while LaShawn Merritt was a close second at 19.79. Amerr Webb claimed the final spot on the Olympic team with a 20.00.
Meanwhile Harris rolled into semifinal action the 110m hurdles with a second place finish in his opening heat. In the first of two races Saturday, Harris finished third in heat one of the semifinals with the sixth fastest time at 13.54.
In the finals, Harris ran a 13.56 to finish seventh. Devon Allen won the race in 13.03. The excitement came in the battle for 2-4 and a spot in the team. Ronnie Ash finished second with 13.205 and Jeff Porter third in 13.206. Aries Merritt just missed with a 13.22 in the photo finish.
Another former Cougar was able to win his national championship but in doing so failed to reach the qualifying standard to make it to Rio.
Jharyl Bowry won the Canadian long jump event at that country’s trials with a leap of 24-10.5. It was well short of the 26-9 he needed to qualify. His career best is 24-11.
Five former Cougars have punched their tickets to Rio – Jamaica’s Simone Facey and Veronica Campbell-Brown and Laverne Jones-Ferrette from the Virgin Islands in the women’s 200m. While it’s Facey’s first Olympic 200m, Campbell-Brown and Jones-Ferrette will be competing in their fourth straight Olympics in the event.
Campbell-Brown won gold in 2004 and 2008 then took fourth in 2012. Jones-Ferrette advanced to the second round in 2004, quarterfinals in 2008 and semifinals in 2012 – missing the finals by one spot.
Leevan Sands will compete in the men’s triple jump for the Bahamas and Alonso Edward in the men’s 200m for Panama.