What to Know about Minnesotans competing in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials
Are ya’ll ready for this? The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials start today! In other words, it’s the high holiday of the running world and we’re bringing the celebration to you in the form of extensive Trials coverage. This year, we have 18 Minnesota-based athletes* competing in the Olympic Trials, so naturally we’ll be there to document it all!
What are the The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials?
Held once every 4 years, the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials showcases the best of the best U.S. athletes all vying for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team.
The top three athletes in each event who have achieved the Olympic qualifying standard will make the U.S. team that will compete in the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials will take place at the Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. “Tracktown, USA,” is the birthplace of Nike and college-home to the legendary Steve Prefontaine. It’s also where the University of Oregon is located.
July 1st through July 10th.
Check the complete schedule of events to see what’s happening.
Athletes from all over the country, who have met the stringent qualifying standards in their event, are invited to compete and go on to the Olympic Games. These runners, jumpers and throwers come from all walks of life. Most are sponsored by shoe companies, sports drink manufacturers, apparel companies, etc., but a few brave souls compete all on their own.
18 Minnesota-based athletes* will be competing in a variety of events. Here are a few we’ve been in contact with and are watching:
Heather is a middle-distance runner and 3-time United States National Champion in the 1 mile road race. She competed for the University of Minnesota and has been a member of Team USA Minnesota since 2009. Heather will be competing in the 1,500 meter event representing Team USA MN.
Jamie grew up in Minneapolis, is a three time All-American for the University of Minnesota, and has previously run professionally for Team USA Minnesota from 2010-2013. After a tough recovery from tearing the labrum in her hip, Jamie came back to have a successful 2015 track season in which she achieved the Olympic A standard. Jamie will be competing in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase event representing Oiselle and Club Northwest.
Gabe was born in Perham, Minnesota, and competed for the University of Minnesota where she was national runner-up in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship. In 2012, she placed fourth in the 1,500 meter race at the Olympic Trials. Gabe will be competing in the 5,000 meters (5k) event representing Brooks.
“Biya” was born in Asela, Ethiopia and moved the U.S. in 2007. He later spent time in Minnesota where he got his start in competitive running. Biya was an NJCAA Cross Country All-American and the NJCAA Half Marathon National Champion in 2011 and has three third place finishes at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in the 3,000 meter (twice) and 5,000 meter. He also holds a second place finish in the 2014 Big 12 Cross Country Championships. Biya will be competing in the 5,000 meter (5k) event representing Team USA MN.
Ben was born and raised in Stillwater, Minnesota and was the State AA Champion at 1,600 meters in both 2006 and 2007. In college, at the University of Minnesota, he became the first Golden Gopher to break the 4 minute mile. Earlier this year, he won the 2016 Medtronic TC 1 mile, setting a course record of 3:55.8 and taking home the USATF Road Mile title. Ben will be competing in the 1,500 meter event representing the Oregon Track Club.
Hassan is an American-Somali long-distance runner. He was a cross country and track athlete for the University of Minnesota and an eight-time All-American in his Minnesota career, four in cross country and five in track. Hassan will be competing in both the 10,000 meter (10k) and 5,000 meter (5k) events representing Nike.
Garrett is from Winona, Minnesota where he won 6 state titles in track and field and cross-country. He represented the U.S. national team at the 2010 World Indoor Championships where he finished seventh in the 1,500 meter event. Garrett will be competing in the 5,000 meter (5k) event representing Brooks.
Lance is a long-time Edina resident and board member for Team USA MN. He is a former Big 8 standout while at Iowa State University. After a 15 year hiatus, he is running and racing at the elite masters level (athletes over 40). Lance will be competing in the Masters 1,500 meter exhibition event.
Check out the full schedule of events and catch live streaming coverage from NBC.
You can also follow along on Minneapolis Running and on social media for live tweets, athlete interviews, and photographic evidence of one rockin’ good running time. We hope you’ll join us in cheering on our Minnesota athletes!
*Athletes who were born, raised, or who are currently residing in Minnesota.
Other competing athletes include Emma Bates (10,000 meter), Will Leer (1,500 meter), Maddie Van Beek (3,000 meter Steeplechase), Mason Ferlic (3,000 meter Steeplechase), Goaner Deng (800 meter), Rilwan Alowonle Jr (400 meter), Rachel Longfors (Discus Throw), Harun Abda (800 meter), Liz Podominick (Discus Throw), Sarah Boyle (3,000 meter Steeplechase), Amanda Smock (Javelin), Maggie Ewen (Discus Throw/Hammer Throw), Rachel Longfors (Discus Throw), Jess Lehman (Heptathlon), Nicolle Murphy (Javelin), Sean Donnelly (Hammer Throw), and Zach Siegmeier (Pole Vault).