Rest Days Over, Competition Heats Up Again Thursday
June 27, 2012 - 6:21 p.m.
EUGENE, Ore. - With a whirlwind week already in the books, and both athletes, staff and media well rested after a pair of off days, the 2012 USATF Olympic Trials open another exciting four-day stretch on Thursday.
The action picks up quickly for Auburn with three notable athletes competing. First at 7 p.m. CT, junior high jumper and two-time SEC champion Maya Pressley will compete in the women's high jump. After a disappointing finish at the NCAA championships in Des Moines, Pressley is ready for another chance to show her skills.
Should Pressley finish in the top 12 on Thursday, she will advance to Saturday's event finals.
At 8 p.m., former Tiger Reuben McCoy begins competition in the men's 400-meter hurdles. McCoy, who finished eighth at the 2008 trials, is back for a second go at it. Be sure to check out the video below for a closer look at McCoy and fellow 2008 graduate Ty Akins.
Lastly, Auburn volunteer coach/intern Will Conwell will compete in the finals of the discus throw. A mark of 198-10 on his first throw eased the University of Washington alum into the finals in seventh place. Conwell originally moved to Auburn in 2009 to train with renowned throws coach Jerry Clayton.
Conwell needs to finish in the top three to advance to London.
Stay tuned to AuburnTigers.com in the coming weeks for more on the talented throws group in Auburn to work specifically with Clayton.
Television coverage on Thursday begins at 8 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network.
GOOD NEWS FROM TRINIDAD: At last weekend's national track and field championships in Trinidad & Tobago, several athletes with Auburn connections got good news about the rest of their summer.
Auburn junior Kai Selvon finished first in the 200 meters with her mark of 22.96 seconds and third in the 100 meters in 11.24 seconds - marks that should get the SEC champion to London in both events. Trinidad & Tobago's 4x100-meter relay team is currently ranked in the top 16 and Selvon should also compete in that event.
Auburn alumni Marc Burns and Josanne Lucas also competed at the national championships with each coming away with positive news. While Burns did not finish in the top three in the 100 meters, he will be a part of the country's 4x100-meter relay team.
Additionally, Lucas finished first in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.07 seconds and her mark of meets the Olympic `B' standard and as the top national finisher should put her through to London. Lucas won a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2009 and finished sixth in Beijing in 2008.
SAENZ CONFIRMED: What had been widely rumored for the last couple of months was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon when sophomore Stephen Saenz got the email he had been waiting for.
On Wednesday afternoon, Saenz and his family received an email from the Mexican Olympic governing body informing him that he had been selected as a member of Team Mexico for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I was super excited to get the email," Saenz said. "It's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It's a great feeling. Feeling sure, then being unsure and now finally having confirmation is a huge lift. Now I can focus on my training and keep doing the things I need to do to be competitive in London."
Saenz is the top ranked shot put competitor in Mexico. He was the 2012 NCAA runner-up and is a back-to-back SEC champion. Stay tuned for a special video feature on Saenz's preparations for London next week on AuburnTigers.com.