June 25, 2012
The first four days of U.S. track and field Olympic Trials have been busy for Golden Gopher alumni. Three former Minnesota athletes have competed in finals in Eugene, Ore., and another qualified for a final tonight. In addition, former volunteer assistant coach Amanda Smock (who attended North Dakota State) won the triple jump with a mark of 45-9 (13.94m) on her first jump.
With a new personal record, former All-American Jamie Cheever (2009) earned a berth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final. Her time of 9:51.42 was sixth in her heat, but among the next four fastest marks. The final will take place on Friday at 6:45 p.m. Central Time.
Also competing in a final tonight was Heather (Dorniden) Kampf (2009). She posted a time of 2:02.86 in the 800m, finishing seventh. Kampf is qualified to compete in the 1,500m later this week (first heats on Thursday), along with fellow All-American Gabriele Anderson (2010).
Liz Podominick (2008) came close to a spot on Team USA, finishing fifth in the discus final on Sunday. The four-time Big Ten champion's best mark of the final was 194-11 (59.42m). Podominick's best throw of the Trials came two days earlier--her toss of 196-7 (59.92m) ranked third among all competitors in prelims.
Former Gopher All-American Samantha Sonnenberg (2011) participated in the pole vault final on Sunday, but did not clear the opening height.
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