Hatch Moves on to 800-meter Semifinals at Olym
BY ANDRES FOCIL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The opening day of the 2004 United States Olympic Team Trials saw two Razorback athletes compete. Junior James Hatch took to the track in the first qualifying round of the 800 meters and with his second-place finish he advanced to the semifinals. The two-time All-American recorded a time of 1:48.40, while the heat-winner Derrick Peterson ran 1:47.83. Hatch was going head-to-head against a talented field of competitors, including NCAA champion Jonathan Johnson of Texas Tech, and held his own to make it to the next round.
“It felt good out there,” Hatch said. “Everything set up nicely and I’ve got two more rounds. The first 600 meters was pretty slow and I tried to stay near the front and out of trouble, but I figured that’s how most of these early rounds go.”
After not having the opportunity to fully recover from a sore hamstring pole vaulter and school record holder Jeremy Scott was unable to clear a height in the event and did not advance to the finals. Scott was entering the Trials with a mark of 18-8.50 from the 2003 USA Indoor Championships and was hoping to make a strong impression, but his injury proved too much to overcome.
The long jump with former Razorbacks Melvin Lister and Erick Walder was set to start later Friday evening at 10 p.m. Junior Jason Sandfort was also going to take to the track later tonight in the 10,000 meters at 11:25 p.m. CT.
On the schedule for Saturday is the 100-meter dash with NCAA champion junior Tyson Gay. The qualifying and semifinal rounds will take place at 5 p.m. and 7:22 p.m. CT, respectively. Gay has the fifth fastest American performance (10.06) and he will look to post more excellent times as he goes up against top professionals such as former world record holder Maurice Greene, Shawn Crawford and Justin Gatlin. The semifinal round of the 800 meters will start at 8:10 p.m., with the top four finishers from each heat advancing to the finals.
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