SDSU Track & Field Sends Five to Olympic Trials

June 20, 2012

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State track & field team will have five representatives at the Olympic Trials over the next few weeks.

Current Aztecs Whitney Ashley (discus throw) and Allison Reaser (heptathlon) will compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., along with former great Melinda Smedley (100-meter dash). SDSU will also be represented at the Jamaica Olympic Trials by Shanieka Thomas (triple jump) and assistant coach Dorian Scott (shot put).

Ashley, who earlier this month became the fourth national champion in program history with a win in the discus at the NCAA Championships, kicks things off for San Diego State at 2:20 p.m. PT Friday (June 22). Ashley is ranked eighth of the 24 entrants and will have to finish among the top 12 in Friday's qualifying flights to advance to Sunday's (June 24 - 3:05 p.m. PT) final.

Ashley's best mark heading into the meet is a school-record 59.99 meters (196 feet, 10 inches), which she set at the NCAA meet. To move on to the 2012 London Olympics, however, Ashley would have to finish among the top three at the trials and hit the Olympic "A" standard, which is 62.00 meters (203-5).

Smedley appears to have made it in the 100 meters as entries haven't been announced as of 4 p.m. PT Wednesday (June 20). Heading into the meet, Smedley's time of 11.34 seconds has her tied for 32nd, which would get her in as one of the last two entrants. Three competitors ahead of Smedley, however, have yet to declare or information is still needed, so she could end up being ranked a few spots higher.

The qualifying heats of the 100 get underway at 6 p.m. PT Friday (June 22). Eighteen athletes from the qualifying heats advance to Saturday's (June 23) semifinal at 3:40 p.m. PT, while eight will move on to the final at 5:52 p.m. PT. Smedley's best time in the 100 while at San Diego State was 11.50, set in 2003.

Reaser, who took sixth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships earlier this month with a school-record 5,753 points, is ranked 13th out of 19 entrants in the event heading into the trials. Last year, Reaser won the heptathlon at the USA Junior Championships with a total of 5,359 points and went on to take fourth at the Pan American Junior Championships (5,162).

The two-day, seven-event heptathlon doesn't get underway until 10:30 a.m. PT on Friday, June 29 with the 100 hurdles. The high jump (11:30 a.m. PT), shot put (1:15 p.m. PT) and 200 (2:15 p.m. PT) will also be contested on June 29, while the long jump (3 p.m. PT), javelin throw (4:15 p.m. PT) and the 800 (6:20 p.m. PT) will conclude the heptathlon on June 30. Reaser would need to finish in the top 3 and reach the Olympic "A" standard of 6,150 points to advance to London.

Thomas and Scott, meanwhile, will represent Jamaica at the end of the month. Thomas is coming off a runner-up finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships earlier this month. Thomas, who has a wind-aided best mark of 13.96 meters (45-9.75), will look to move on to London with a good showing at the Jamaican trials. As of press time, it's unclear where Thomas ranks in Jamaica and what she would need to do to advance.

Scott, who coaches the throws with the Aztecs, will compete for a spot in London in the shot put. No stranger to the international scene, Scott is a 2008 Olympian in the shot put and two-time World Championship finalist. Similar to Thomas, it's unclear where Scott ranks in Jamaica and what he would need to do to qualify for London.

For more info on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, visit the official website at http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2012/U-S--Olympic-Team-Trials-TF.aspx.

2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials
Hayward Field - Eugene, Ore.
June 21-July 1, 2012

100 Meters (out of 32 entrants)
T-32. Melinda Smedley - 11.34 seconds
(Qualifying - 6 p.m. PT Friday, June 22: 18 advance to semifinals)
(Semifinals - 3:40 p.m. PT Saturday, June 23: 8 advance to finals)
(Finals - 5:52 p.m. PT Saturday, June 23: Top 3 with an Olympic "A" standard (11.29 seconds) advance to 2012 London Olympics)

Discus Throw (out of 24 entrants)
8. Whitney Ashley - 59.99 meters (196 feet, 10 inches)
(Qualifying - 2:20 p.m. PT Friday, June 22: Top 12 advance to finals)
(Finals - 3:05 p.m. PT Sunday, June 24: Top 3 with an Olympic "A" standard (62.00m) advance to 2012 London Olympics)

Heptathlon (out of 19 entrants)
13. Allison Reaser - 5,753 points
(First day - Friday, June 29: 100 hurdles (10:30 a.m. PT), high jump (11:30 a.m. PT), shot put (1:15 p.m. PT) & 200 (2:15 p.m. PT))
(Second day - Saturday, June 30: long jump (3 p.m. PT), javelin throw (4:15 p.m. PT) & 800 (6:20 p.m. PT))
(Top 3 with an Olympic "A" standard (6.150 points) advance to 2012 London Olympics)