English Gardner, Nia Ali and Marielle Hall lead a dozen South Jersey athletes who will compete over the next week and a half for Olympic berths at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
The action will begin later Friday, so here’s a quick guide to the South Jersey athletes and when they’ll be in action, plus some important links for you.
First, here are the 12 South Jersey we know of who are scheduled to compete in Eugene. It’s possible some won’t compete and it’s possible others who aren’t listed will. We will try to update the latest South Jersey entries on this site as more information becomes available.
All times are EST, which is three hours later than the time in Eugene.
Curtis Thompson, Florence, Javelin
Thompson is the No. 5 seed in the javelin with a PR and season-best of 265-10. The first round of the javelin is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. EST Saturday, and the final is 7:25 p.m. Monday, July 4.
Isaac Williams, Willingboro, 110 Hurdles
Williams is the No. 11 seed in the high hurdles (and No. 3 among New Jersey high school graduates) with a season-best of 13.43 at Mt. SAC in April. First round of the 110 highs is 6:02 p.m. EST on Friday, July 8. Semifinals and finals are the next day, July 9, with semis at 7:25 p.m. and the final at 8:52 p.m. EST.
Holland Sherrer, Cumberland Reg., 800
Sherrer qualified with a career-best 1:47.13. The 800 first round is at 7:15 p.m. tonight, Friday, July 1, the semis are at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the final is at 8:51 p.m. on Monday, July 4.
Ford Palmer, Absegami, 1,500
Palmer is the No. 9 seed in the 1,500 with a big PR this year of 3:36.98, the metric equivalent of a 3:54.27 mile. First round in the 1,500 is 10:21 p.m. EST Thursday, with the semis at 7:12 p.m. EST on Friday and the final scheduled for 8:20 p.m. Sunday, July 10 – the final event of the final day of the Trials.
Chris Mirabelli, Holy Cross, Javelin
Mirabelli, Thompson’s rival since their early days of high school, also qualified in the javelin with his 240-3 at the Big 10 meet in May. The first round of the javelin is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. EST Saturday, and the final is 7:25 p.m. Monday, July 4.
James Plummer, Egg Harbor, Discus
Plummer PR’d this year with a 201-2 in a meet in Ewing Township in April, two inches farther than his college PR at Rutgers in 2013. He finished at Clemson. The discus opens with trials at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, with finals at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 8.
Marielle Hall, Haddonfield, 5,000, 10,000
Hall is the No. 1 seed in the 10,000 at 31:37.45 and the No. 6 seed in the 5,000 at 15:06.45. The 10,000 is a one-race final at 2:04 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. The 5,000 semis are at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, with the final at 7:28 p.m. on Sunday, July 10.
Erin Donohue, Haddonfield, 800
Donohue has remarkably overcome several years of severe injuries to race close to her PR at 800 meters. Donohue raced in the 1,500 in the 2008 Olympics so is trying to make the team eight years later in a different event. Donohue ran 2:02.17 this year, only about a second off her lifetime 800 PR of 2:01.12, set nine years ago. Generally, runners move up in distance as they get older, but Donohue didn’t get a 1,500 qualifier during the open qualifying period. She did run 4:11.22 and missed qualifying by about a second. The women’s 800 first round is set for 7:45 p.m. EST on Friday, July 1 – tonight. The second round is 2:43 p.m. Saturday, tomorrow, and the final will be at 8:42 p.m. Monday, July 4.
Gabrielle Farquharson, Williamstown, 100, 200, LJ
The amazing Farquharson, a rising Rutgers senior, is the only collegiate woman to qualify for the Olympic Trials in three events. She set season bests of 11.32 in the 100, 23.02 in the 200 and 21-5 1/2 in the long jump. The long jump is probably her strongest event, although the way she is improving in the sprints makes her kind of unpredictable. If Farquharson elects to compete in all three races, here’s what her stay in Eugene could look like:
5:10 p.m., Friday, July 1 – Long Jump trials
11:45 p.m., Saturday, July 2 – Long Jump finals
3:33 p.m., Saturday, July 2 – 100-meter dash trials
7:02 p.m., Sunday, July 3 – 100-meter dash semifinals
8:44 p.m., Sunday, July 3 – 100-meter dash finals
6:30 p.m., Friday, July 8 – 200-meter dash trials
8:03 p.m., Saturday, July 9 – 200-meter dash semifinals
8:11 p.m., Sunday, July 10 – 200-meter dash finals
Jessica Woodard, Cherokee, Shot Put
Woodard, who just finished her sophomore year at Oklahoma, PR’d at 58-8 when she placed third at NCAAs, earning All-America status for the first time. She’ll throw at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, and again at 9:15 p.m. if she qualifies for the final.
Nia Ali, Pleasantville, 100 Hurdles
Ali is ranked ninth in the world at 12.72 but has a PR of 12.48 from 2013, which is No. 32 in world history. She is the No. 9 seed overall but was the world indoor champ this past winter for the second time so she’s obviously capable of beating anybody in the field. Hurdles trials are 8:02 p.m. EST Thursday, July 7, with the semis set for 6:58 p.m. Friday and the finals at 8:54 p.m. Friday.
English Gardner, Eastern, 100
Gardner, No. 15 in world history, No. 2 American this year and No. 3 in the world, has run 10.81 this year, just 2-100ths off her PR of 10.79 from nationals last year. Gardner races at 3:33 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 2, with semis at 7:02 p.m. Sunday, July 3, and the final following at 8:44 p.m. Sunday.
Trials schedule: http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/images/stories/tfn_pdfs/OTsched.pdf
Heat Sheets: Are posted the previous night at http://www.usatf.org/Events—Calendar/2016/U-S–Olympic-Team-Trials—Track—Field/Start-Lists.aspx
Live Results: http://trialsresults.usatf.org
USATF’s History of the U.S. Olympic Trials (last updated by the USATF in 2008): https://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf
Track and Field News’ History of the U.S. Olympic Trials: http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php/archivemenu/26-news/1145-ot-history-2012
List of college qualifiers: http://www.ustfccca.org/2016/06/featured/list-of-collegians-at-2016-u-s-olympic-trials-track-field
Schedule of NBC live streaming: http://stream.nbcolympics.com
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field News Form Charts: http://trackandfieldnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2972