Minnesota All-American Liz Roehrig finished fifth in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday. Roehrig finished with a score of 5,819 points.
Three-time U.S. champion Hyleas Fountain cruised to the title with an impressive total of 6,667 points, recording personal bests in five of the seven events along the way. The other heptathletes to make the U.S. Olympic Team was four-time NCAA champion Jacquelyn Johnson (6,347) and Diana Pickler (6,257).
Roehrig began the second day of the beptathlon with the long jump, where she landed a leap of 19-9 for 856 points. The performance moved her into fifth place. Roehrig maintained that position with a throw of 122-3 in the javelin to score 615 points. She completed her Olympic Trials with a time of 2:25.51 and 750 points.
Ruby Radocaj, the most recent Minnesota graduate at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, advanced to the final in the javelin. Radocaj landed her best throw on her third attempt - 175 feet, 9 inches to collect one of 12 spots in Monday’s final field. Her throw tied for the fourth-best of the qualifying round.
The javelin is an event with the Olympic team spots open for the taking. American record holder, 2004 Olympic Trials champion and four-time USA champion Kim Kreiner advanced to the final with a throw of 177-5. The only automatic qualifier for the final was 2007 U.S. champion and former NCAA champion Dana Pounds, who throw of 187-10 top the qualifying round performances. Radocaj is definitely in the mix with two other collegians, Rachel Yurkovich (172-5), the 2008 NCAA champ from Oregon, and Kara Patterson (175-9), the 2008 Big Ten champ from Purdue.
Heather Dorniden competed in the semifinal of the 800-meter run but finished seventh in her heat with a time of 2:05.76 and did not advance to the final. Dorniden’s time was faster than the fourth qualifying time in the first heat. The top four finishers from each heat advance to the final, regardless of time. Ty Davis, who finished fifth in Dorniden’s second heat, ran a time of 2:03.22, a mark that would have won the first heat and easily advanced, but she too is on the outside of the final field.
Sunday is a big day for Gopher fans as alum Shani Marks goes after an Olympic berth and her third consecutive U.S. title in the triple jump.