Stigler, Geubelle One Step Closer to London After Day Six of U.S. Olympic Trials
June 29, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Freshman Michael Stigler claimed a spot in the final of the 400-meter hurdles and junior Andrea Geubelle moved into the final of the long jump Friday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Historic Hayward Field. Both will compete for spots on Team USA in their event finals Sunday.
Stigler hit the starting blocks in the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles Friday afternoon after having run the sixth-fastest time among the remaining 16 competitors a day earlier. The freshman out of Canyon, Texas was forced to finish in the top four of his semifinal heat in order to advance to the final, what appeared to be a difficult task considering he was running in a heat of professionals as well as several collegians who had beaten him at the NCAA Championships three weeks ago.
Stigler started strong right from the gun, making up the stagger and keeping himself in the mix through the first five hurdles. He began to make up more ground around the final curve, sitting neck-and-neck with South Florida's David Aristil with 100 meters to go. Stigler powered over the final two hurdles and passed former World Championship silver-medalist Jonny Dutch to claim third in his heat. His time of 49.50 was the second-fastest of his career and was the sixth-fastest of the final qualifiers.
Just four days after claiming national bronze in the triple jump, Geubelle looked to advance to the final in the long jump. The University Place, Wash., native was the 14th-ranked American entering the day and further proved she belonged among the nation's elite in yet another event at the Trials.
Geubelle started the day with a big leap of 6.49 meters (21-3.50 ft.) which put her in the lead for a short time to start the day. She was unable to improve upon her mark on the next two jumps but her first-attempt leap was big enough to keep her in the all-important top-12 through the remainder of the competition.
Geubelle finished 10th among the 12 qualifiers and will see further action Sunday at 5 p.m. in the long jump final. She will need to hit the Olympic A-standard of 6.75 meters (22-1.75 ft.) in order to put herself in contention for a spot on the Olympic team.
Senior Rebeka Stowe closed out the evening in the final of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase. The All-American fell to the back of the pack at the start of the race but fought back in the final 1,000 meters to finish 13th overall. Stowe crossed the finish line in 10:02.82, her fourth-fastest of the season.
None of the Jayhawks will be in action Saturday at Hayward Field but Stigler and Geubelle will return for their finals on Sunday, the eighth and final day of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Log on to kuathletics.com and follow on Twitter at @KU_Track for complete updates and results. NBC will begin their television coverage from Eugene at 6 p.m. (CT) Sunday.