Five Former Aztecs Head To U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials
July 8, 2004
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
Five former San Diego State standouts are slated to compete at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials in Sacramento, Calif. The competition begins Fri., July 9, and continues through Sun., July 18, at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.
Recent Aztec standouts Tonette Dyer, Leslie Miller-Russell and Melinda Smedley, along with former SDSU greats Miesha McKelvy-Jones and Marla Runyan are all competing for Olympic spots during the next eight days. A top-three finish at the trials, along with an Olympic "A" qualification time/mark will ensure an athlete's place on Team USA.
Dyer, who completed her collegiate eligibility at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June, will be running both the 200 and 400-meter dash at the trials. The four-time All-American is seeded third in the 200 with a time of 22.34 seconds and is ranked ninth in the 400 (51.15).
The 200 quarterfinal round starts July 16, at 6:40 p.m., followed by the semifinals (July 17) and finals (July 18). The 400, meanwhile, gets underway with qualifying heats on July 12, at 7:20 p.m.. The 400-meter semifinals and finals are July 15 and 17, respectively.
A 2003 NCAA All-American in the heptathlon, Miller-Russell is rated ninth in the javelin with a qualifying toss of 165-4. Miller-Russell needs to finish in the top three in the event and improve her mark to 178-10 (the "A" standard) to make the trip to Athens. The javelin qualifying round is slated for July 9, while the final will be held a day later.
Smedley, a 2004 SDSU graduate, is seeded 23rd in the 100-meter dash (11.42), and begins the meet with the quarterfinals on July 9. She is a six-time Mountain West Conference champion, winning back-to-back 100-meter titles at the outdoor meet in 2002 and 2003.
McKelvy-Jones, the 2003 World Outdoor bronze medalist in the 100-meter hurdles, is ranked second in the event with an "A" standard time of 12.51. The 1999 SDSU grad is a three-time USA outdoor runner-up and is looking to make her first U.S. Olympic squad in 2004. Her first race will be July 17, with the semifinals and finals both slated for the meet's final day, July 18.
Runyan, a three-time USA Outdoor champion in the 5,000 and eighth-place finisher in the 1,500 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is entered in three events having run "A" standards in the 1,500, 5,000 and the 10,000 meters.
A 1991 SDSU graduate, Runyan is rated fourth in the 1,500, first in the 5,000 and 10th in the 10,000. The 1,500 semifinal will be contested on July 16, with the final scheduled for July 18. The 5,000 semifinal is July 9, with a full day's rest before the final, July 11. The 10,000 meters is the final event on July 16.
USA Track & Field has until July 18 to name four athletes in each event as Olympic contenders, and submit their final team rosters (a maximum of three in each discipline) to the United States Olympic Committee by Aug. 9. The track and field competition at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, begins Aug. 20, and continues through Aug. 29.
Complete results of the U.S. Olympic Trials will be available on www.usatf.org.