News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 20, 2012

ISU’s Johnson joins 3 others at Olympic Trials

Tribune-Star staff report

TERRE HAUTE — One current Indiana State team member will join three former Sycamores at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials this month as all continue their quests to earn a spot on the Team USA roster and compete in the 2012 Summer Games at London.

Indiana State junior Felisha Johnson will join former Sycamores Jordan Fife, Kylie Hutson and Erica Moore at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be conducted Thursday through July 1 at Eugene, Ore.

There have been 12 former Sycamore track athletes who have participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials, including Fife, Aubrey Herring, Chris Lancaster, Steve Parker, Steve Smith and Frankie Young from the men’s side and Christy Barrett (Sherman), Jenny Folz, Hutson, Holli Hyche, Julie Koebcke and Moore on the women’s side.

ISU’s Major Clay qualified for the competition but was unable to compete.

Another current member of the Sycamore team, Greggmar Swift, will be competing for a spot on the Barbados Olympic Team later this month in the 110-meter hurdles. The Barbados National Championship will be Saturday and Monday at Waterford, St. Michael, Barbados.

Should any of the hopefuls earn a roster position on the Olympic team, they will join five former ISU athletes who have competed in the Summer Olympics — Kurt Thomas, Bruce Baumgartner, Larry Bird, Benita Edds and Bryan Leturgez — and one current coach in Erin Gilreath.

The field of Olympic hopefuls consists of those who surpass the “A” standard or automatic qualifying mark for their respective events, along with those who surpass the “B” standard or provisional qualifying mark until the field size is reached.

Johnson, an Indiana State junior, surpassed the provisional Olympic Trials qualifying mark of 53 feet, 9 3/4 inches in the women’s shot put with a school-record heave of 56-11 1/4 in placing fifth at the NCAA outdoor championships.

The qualifying round for women’s shot put will be conducted at 8:40 p.m. June 28. The top 12 of the 24 qualifying-round competitors will compete in the final at 6:30 p.m. June 29.

Fife, who competed at Indiana State from 2004 through 2007, currently competes for Brooks Indiana. He is a provisional qualifier in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 8:33.89, which he ran at Palo Alto, Calif., in April. The time is just shy of the “A” standard of 8:32.00, which would have automatically qualified him for the Olympic Trials.

The qualifying round of the men’s 3,000 steeplechase will be a field of 24 runners that will compete at 8:25 p.m. Monday. The top 12 will advance to the finals, which will take place at 9:30 p.m. June 28.

Hutson, a Terre Haute North High School graduate who competed at ISU from 2007 through 2010, now competes for Nike. She won the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field championship in the women’s pole vault by clearing 15-3.

Her best vault of the 2012 indoor season came at the USATF Indoor championships at 14-10, which surpassed the “A” standard of 14-9 to automatically qualify her for the Olympic Trials. Her best outdoor vault of the 2012 season (14-5 1/4) came at the Adidas Grand Prix recently at New York.

Twenty-four are invited to compete in the women’s pole vault qualifying round, which will take place at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The top 12 will advance to the final round, which will be held at 5:25 p.m. Sunday.

Moore, who competed at Indiana State from 2007 through 2010, also competes for Nike. She ran to a third-place finish in the women’s 800 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships with a personal-best 1:59.97 and ran a personal-best outdoors of 2:00.72 at the Adidas Grand Prix. Both times surpass the “A” standard of 2:01.30 and automatically qualify her for the Olympic Trials.

There will be 32 competitors in the first round of the women’s 800, which will be contested at 8 p.m. Friday. The top 16 will advance to the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with the top eight going in the finals at 9:50 p.m. Monday.