Aggie Track And Field Crew Ready For Various Olympic Trials Ventures

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EUGENE, OR -- Nearly 20 athletes with ties to Texas A&M track and field embark to various locations around the world the next couple of weeks to compete in qualifying meets for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Texas A&M will have six current athletes competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials, which begin Friday at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Meanwhile, another four Aggie athletes will be in action at the Jamaican Olympic Trials this weekend in Kingston, Jamaica.

Selection meets are also upcoming for another set of four A&M athletes who are seeking selection for their respective Olympic teams in Canada, Great Britain and Nigeria.

At stake in the Olympic Trials held in Eugene is a berth on the United States Olympic team that will compete in the Olympic Games during the month of August. The top three finishers in each event qualify for the squad.

The Aggie crew competing at this year’s Olympic Trials includes: Chris Dykes (Houston, Texas), Porscha Lucas (Plano, Texas), Justin Oliver (Stone Mountain, Georgia), Nick Robinson (Texarkana, Texas), Jennifer Williams (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Jessica Wingfield (Richardson, Texas). In addition Aggie volunteer assistant coaches Muna Lee (100, 200) and Aries Merritt (110 hurdles) will contest events at the Olympic Trials.

Robinson will be the first A&M athlete to compete as the 400 hurdles begin on the first day, Friday, June 27. Wingfield will contest the qualifying round of the javelin on Saturday, June 28, while Oliver runs the first round of the 400 on Sunday, June 29.

The following weekend will have Dykes and Lucas running the opening rounds of the 200 on Friday, July 4, while Williams contests the 100 hurdles on Saturday, July 5.

Following is a list of the Texas A&M athletes scheduled to run in the Olympic Trials with the date of their first competition.

U.S. Olympic Trials Entries

Men
Event
First Round

Chris Dykes
200
Friday, July 4

Justin Oliver
400
Sunday, June 29

Nick Robinson
400 hurdles
Friday, June 27

Women
Event
First Round

Porscha Lucas
200
Friday, July 4

Jessica Wingfield
Javelin
Saturday, June 28

Jennifer Williams
100 hurdles
Saturday, July 5

Jamaica National Champs & Trials

Also undergoing the selection process for the Olympic Games this weekend are A&M athletes from Jamaica, who are in Kingston for the Jamaica National Champs & Trials.

Simone Facey, an 11-time NCAA All-American and the 2008 NCAA 200 champion, will lead a contingent of Aggies attempting to qualify for the Jamaican Olympic team. Facey will be joined by Julian Reid, the NCAA long jump bronze medalist; Clora Williams, the 2006 NCAA 400 champion and Tresha Henry, a member of the A&M NCAA 4 x 100 championship team in 2007.

Facey, who set the Aggie school record in the 100 with a 10.95 clocking, was runner-up in the event at the NCAA Championships. She competes in the opening round of the 100 on Friday, June 27. Also competing on the first day will be Williams in the 400 and Henry in the 400 hurdles.

Saturday’s action will include the semifinal and finals of the 100 meters along with round two action in the 400 and the finals of the 400 hurdles.

Reid, who won Big 12 titles in the long jump during the indoor and outdoor seasons, will compete in the triple jump on Friday, June 27 and then contest the long jump on Sunday, June 29. The last day of the three-day Trials will also include the finals of the 400 along with the semifinal and finals of the 200.

Jamaica Rankings

Athlete
Event
2008 Rankings

Simone Facey
100
10.95 – second

200
22.45 – fourth

Tresha Henry
400H
58.09 – fifth

Julian Reid
Long jump
7.90 – sixth; 7.97w – third

Triple jump
16.55 – first

Clora Williams
400
51.65 - eighth

Canada, Great Britain, Nigeria Championships

Another group of Aggies will compete in various national championships that will determine the Olympic team for their respective country.

Richard Adu-Bobie travels to Windsor, Ontario, for the Canadian Trials in the 100 and 200 on July 3-6 while Kasey Onwuchekwa takes a trip to Aduja, Nigeria, for her national championships that are being held from June 30 to July 3. Tyrone Edgar and Yasmine Regis contest the British National Championships on July 11-13.

Aggie sprinter Allison George and Texas A&M volunteer assistant coach Alleyne Francique, both of Grenada, have meet the Olympic Games standards in their respective events.

George surpassed the Olympic A standard with her 22.72 in the 200 during the Big 12 Championships and has the Olympic B standard in the 100 from her 11.34 clocking at the conference meet. Francique, who placed fourth in the 400 at the 2004 Athens Olympics with a 44.66, has a season best of 46.17 this season after running 44.95 during the World Championships last summer.

This coming weekend Regis will be involved with the UK Athletics Jump Fest in Birmingham, England. Regis tops the British triple jump list with her winning mark from the Big 12 Championships, a 45-5.25 (13.85) that established an Aggie school record. The mark also set a British under-23 national record.

During the past weekend Edgar assisted England with a men’s team title in the European Cup by winning the 100 meters (10.20) and running first leg on the winning 4 x 100 relay (38.48). England scored 112 points to place ahead of Poland (98), France (96) and Germany (95).

Edgar has led the British 100 meter list since the end of May when he posted a 10.06 in Geneve. He has also run 20.98 this season to rank ninth in the 200.

Adu-Bobie, who set a personal best of 10.25 during the 100 final at the Midwest Regional, ranks fourth among Canadian sprinters. In the 200 meters, Adu-Bobie ranks eighth with a season best of 21.08.

This past weekend, running in the Ontario Championships, Adu-Bobie finished third in the 100 final with a 10.39. He posted marks of 10.40 and 10.43 during the first round and semifinals. In the 200 final, Adu-Bobie placed second with a 21.21 after running a 21.70 in the prelims.

Onwuchekwa, who served as a volunteer assistant coach with A&M this season, has a best of 56-2 (17.12) in 2008, which ranks second to Vivian Chukwuemeka, who produced a 59-6.75 (18.15). Onwuchewka made her mark placing third at the CAA meet in Nigeria earlier this week.