EUGENE, Ore. – The 2012 USA Olympic Trials got underway for the University of Arkansas women’s track and field team Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Stephanie Brown made her return to competition with a 24th-place finish in the first round of the 800 meters. In other action Friday, former Razorback LaShaunte’a Moore qualified for the semifinal round of the 100 meters.
Running in her first outdoor 800-meter race since the 2011 NCAA Championships, Brown finished in 24th place overall. She crossed the finish line in a time of 2:06.36 to finish eighth in heat three, the fastest heat of the first round. Brown’s last run at 800 meters was at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She redshirted the 2012 outdoor season.
“Today was a little harder than I expected,” Brown said. “I’ve been back training now for about four weeks. I went out last week and had a (personal best) in the 1,500 so I came out here and thought maybe something special might happen but when I came through the first lap, I just didn’t have it yet. I’ll go back now and keep working.”
Brown is a provisional entry for the 1,500 meters and will be notified later in the event whether or not she will be added to the field. The first round of the 1,500 meters is set to run next Thursday, June 28.
Moore, the 2004 NCAA champion at 200 meters, secured an automatic spot in the next round of the 100 meters with a third-place finish in heat four. The crossed the line in a time of 11.37 and was the 16th-overall qualifier for the semifinal. Both the semifinal and final will be run Saturday with the first race scheduled for 7:40 p.m. (CT).
Three former Razorbacks were scheduled to compete Friday in the pole vault but the qualifying round was cancelled due to rain. All 29 entries will advance to Sunday’s final. Arkansas will be represented in the field by former standouts April Bennett, Janice Keppler and Katie Stripling.
In the first event featuring former Razorbacks, Jessica Cousins and Shelise Williams finished in 18th and 19th place, respectively, in the first round of the 400 meters. Cousins crossed the finish in a time of 53.54 in heat three while Williams ran to a finish of 53.64 in heat two. The top 16 advanced to the next round, neither will move on to the event semifinal.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
800 Meters (first round)
24. Stephanie Brown – 2:06.36
100 Meters (first round)
16. LaShaunte’a Moore – 11.37Q
400 Meters (first round)
18. Jessica Cousins – 53.54
19. Shelise Williams – 53.64
Pole vault (qualifying)
--. April Bennett – cancelled (weather), advanced to final
--. Katie Stripling – cancelled (weather), advanced to final
--. Janice Keppler – cancelled (weather), advanced to final