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Spearmon Punches Ticket to Beijing

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Spearmon Punches Ticket to Beijing

EUGENE, Ore. – Former Arkansas Razorback and Fayetteville’s own Wallace Spearmon will represent Team USA at the 2008 Olympics, it was decided on Sunday, the final day of the U.S. Olympic Trials at Oregon’s Hayward Field.

Spearmon finished third in the 200-meter finals. He clocked a time of 19.90 to secure his spot in Beijing. Spearmon will be a member of Team USA at the Olympic Games for the first time in his career.

“I’m very excited,” Spearmon said. “Words can’t describe what I feel right now. My family was in the stands and they were all crying. In the first 100 meters, I didn’t know where I was because everyone was on the inside of me and Xavier Carter was gone. I kept looking around me because I was basically running blind. When we came off the turn everyone was ahead of me and I thought, ‘Oh no here I am again. I’ve got to catch up.’ I dug deep to catch everyone and unfortunately for Rodney Martin, I caught him.”

“I plan to run more 400’s before the Olympics to touch up the last part of my race and to get stronger,” Spearmon said. “This is the first time I’ve doubled, even though I only ran three rounds of the 100 meters, so I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. All I know is I’m going to Beijing.”

Andy McClary concluded a stellar outdoor season with an eighth-place finish in the 1,500-meter finals. He clocked a time of 3:42.40. The 2008 event marks the second-straight season that McClary has advanced to the 1,500-meter finals at the USA Championships. He finished fifth at the 2007 USA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

“The race started really slowly so you knew the time wasn’t going to be there but we went fast at the end,” McClary said. “There was a lot of jostling for position. When they all took off, I just tried to stay with them. There were some pretty big gaps but if you could gain a step, you could’ve passed someone. Races like that are a lot more tactical. There were 10 guys in that race that could have gone to the Olympics. The top three deserve to be there. When you have that many great runners in one race, you won’t always get the times but there will be the kick at the end. I didn’t quite have it at the end but I managed to pass a few guys.”

Also in the 1,500-meter finals was former Hog, All-American and SEC Champion Said Ahmed. He finished seventh with a clocking of 3:42.20.

Former Arkansas spear chucker and NCAA runner-up Eric Brown competed in the javelin finals. He finished 11th with his best throw of the day measuring 219-0.

For complete results, an updated list of entries and a television schedule from the U.S. Olympic Trials, visit www.usatf.org. For information on the Razorbacks at the Olympic Trials, visit www.hogwired.com.



Sports Category : Track & Field (M)