EUGENE, Ore. – North Carolina A&T Aggies Trevor Stewart and Randolph Ross Jr. are still seeking to become Olympians.
Aggies hurdler TeJyrica Robinson and Aggie sprinters Christopher Belcher are also still alive for an Olympic spot. Meanwhile, Aggies Rodney Rowe, Kayla White and Cambrea Sturgis were eliminated on Saturday at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
It was Day 2 of the Trials, where Ross Jr. and Stewart competed in the same men’s 400-meter semifinal heat with an opportunity to compete in Sunday’s final.
Both men had to face Michael Norman, the former four-time NCAA champion from the University of Southern Cal, in the second heat. Norman and Wil London took the lead down the stretch before Ross Jr. made his move over the final 80 meters.
Ross Jr. came from fifth place to put pressure on Norman before Norman crossed the line 44.73. Ross Jr.’s late surge helped him cross in 44.85. It was the third-fastest qualifying time on Saturday as Ross Jr. finished second in the heat to become an automatic qualifier into the finals.
The top three finishers are automatic qualifiers in the 400m semifinals. Stewart finished fourth in the heat behind London’s third-place 44.92. However, Stewart’s 45.05 did qualify as the fifth-fastest time, which was good enough to get him into the final.
Nike’s Michael Cherry, a three-time silver medalist at the World Championships, finished with the fastest qualifying time in the 400m on Saturday at 44.50.
Sunday’s 400m final will take place at 10:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The 100-meter hurdle semifinal is also on Sunday as Robinson will participate in it at 9:03 p.m. EST. The men’s 100m semifinal is at 9:19 p.m. Sunday. Belcher, who runs for Nike, qualified out of the first round with a season-best 10.01. He had the eighth-fastest qualifying time. He finished second in his heat to earn the automatic qualifier into the semifinal.
Robinson qualified from the 100mh first round on Saturday by finishing in the top-4 of her heat with a time of 12.93. Robinson finished 16th overall and fourth in the second heat.
Aggie Madeleine Akobundu was eliminated from Olympic consideration in the 100mh after running a 13.70. Rowe did not advance to the 100m semifinal after running a 10.22. Sturgis failed to qualify for the women’s 100m final after running an 11.05 in the semifinals. White did make the Olympic team as 100m runner.
After running a 10.99 in the 100m first round on Friday, White ran a 10.98 to finish fourth in her semifinal heat as she advanced to Saturday’s 100m final. She finished seventh overall in the semis.
In the 100m final, White did get eliminated from Olympic consideration in the 100m after running an 11.22. The three athletes who did advance to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are Nike athletes Sha’Carri Richardson, Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels.
Courtesy: N.C. A&T Athletics