Pair of Jayhawks Advance on Day Five of U.S. Olympic Trials
June 28, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. – In front of a stadium-record 22,602 fans junior Paris Daniels and freshman Michael Stigler advanced in the their respective events Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Historic Hayward Field. Daniels moved on to the semifinals of the 200 meters while Stigler advanced to the 400-meter hurdle semifinals.
Stigler, who hails from Canyon, Texas lined up Thursday in lane eight of the first preliminary heat of the 400-meter hurdles. The Big 12 champion glided over the first five hurdles with little difficulty but fell toward the middle of the pack through the first 200 meters. After the second curve Stigler made up some ground but it was in the final 100 meters where he made his move. A strong closing kick helped him blaze down the home stretch, passing the second and third-place runners and nearly catching the leader. Stigler crossed the finish line in 50.02 for a second-place finish. The time was the second-fastest of his young career and put him as the sixth-fastest runner of the preliminary heats.
Stigler will run in the semifinals Friday afternoon at 5:35 p.m. (CT). He will need to finish within the top four of his heat to move on to the Sunday final.
Later in the evening Daniels hit the track in the prelims of the 200 meters. Also running in lane eight, the St. Louis native ran in the fourth of six heats to try and earn one of 21 spots in the semifinals.
Daniels got out to a tremendous start, as she was neck-and-neck with the leader at the halfway point. She held her second-place position down the straightaway but was out-kicked by Bianca Knight by just .05 seconds to place third in the heat, crossing the finish line in 23.17. The top-three finish gave Daniels the automatic spot to the next round where she will run Friday at 5 p.m. (CT).
Daniels will need a top-two finish in one of the three seminfinal heats or collect one of the next two fastest times to move on to the Saturday final.
Two KU track & field alumni were in action at Hayward Field Thursday evening. Lauren Bonds, who was a Big 12 Champion and two-time All-American from 2007-10 in Lawrence, ran in the preliminary heat of the 1,500 meters. Bonds made the 3.5 laps around the track in 4:20.75 to finish 10th in her heat. The Hutchinson, Kan. native was unable to advance to the semifinals however, as she finished 27th overall.
Jordan Scott, who claimed seven Big 12 Championships in the pole vault from 2007-2011 at KU was in finals action later in the day. After passing at the opening height, Scott was unable to clear 5.50 meters (18-0.50 ft.) in his three attempts, giving him a no height finish.
It will be a busy day for the Jayhawks Friday at the Olympic Trials. Junior Heather Bergmann will kick off her week in the qualifying round of the women’s javelin at 4:30 p.m (CT). Daniels will be next in the semis of the 200 meters at 5 p.m., while Andrea Geubelle will begin competition in her second event of the meet in long jump qualifying at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Stigler will look to advance through to the finals of the 400-meter hurdles at 5:35 p.m. (CT) and senior Rebeka Stowe will close out the night by running in the finals of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at 6:45 p.m. (CT). For complete updates and results throughout the day log on to kuathletics.com and follow on twitter at @KU_Track.