June 29, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Junior Marcus Rowland and alumni Ty Akins secured spots in Saturday's semifinals of the 200 meters and 110-meter hurdles with solid performances on Friday at the 2012 USATF Olympic Trials at Hayward Field.
"Marcus and Ty both did a great job," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. The good thing about rounds is that you get to come back tomorrow with a clean slate. Not everyone is ready to come back the next day. Marcus is ready to come back and run a good time on Saturday. Ty's time wasn't what he is capable of. The wind affected that, so he can really run faster than what he did [Friday]. I'm looking for another solid race from him on Saturday. He's been here before and understands what he needs to do."
Rowland advanced to his second semifinal of the trials with a solid showing in the men's 200 meters. The junior from Spartanburg, S.C. finished second in the third heat in 20.51 seconds - the eighth-fastest preliminary time. The mark was just .02 off his career high of 20.49.
In his second career trials, Akins picked up right where he left off with a strong third-place performance in the first heat of the men's 110-meter hurdles. Running into a 1.6 headwind, Akins recorded a mark of 13.50 seconds to advance to Saturday's semifinals.
Akins' mark was the 12th-fastest overall.
Another former Tiger hurdler, Reuben McCoy, finished fifth in the second heat of the men's 400m hurdles semifinal race and narrowly missed out on a spot in Sunday's final. The top four from each heat advanced and his time of 49.90 was ninth overall in Friday's event and the top mark to not advance.
In the women's 200-meter semifinals, Joanna Atkins saw her Olympic bid end with a sixth-place finish in the third heat. She posted a mark of 23.28 seconds and was 18th overall.
After resting on Friday, Maya Pressley competes in the women's high jump finals beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Also on Saturday is Akins in the 110m hurdles semifinals at 6:20 p.m. CT and potentially the finals at 8:40 p.m. CT with Rowland running in the 200 meter semifinals at 8 p.m. CT.
Saturday's live television window on NBC begins at 8 p.m. CT. For the latest on Auburn track and field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter.