BOULDER - The University of Colorado track and field team will have a huge presence at the 2012 U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials June 22-July 1 in Eugene, Ore.
The Buffs will have current and former student-athletes, as well as current assistant coaches competing for a spot on the U.S. team for the London Olympics. One of the most notable athletes competing for the Buffs this year is Emma Coburn, the reigning USATF 3,000-meter steeplechase champion. Earlier this season she recorded a time of 9:25.28 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic, the fastest time ever run on American soil. The time placed fifth overall and Coburn was the top American in the field.
Her teammate, Shalaya Kipp, is fresh off of winning the 2012 NCAA Steeplechase Championship. She ran a PR of 9:43.09 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite in April and never lost a collegiate steeplechase race during the season. Her time is the fourth best by an American this season.
Aric Van Halen and Joe Morris are the other Buffs heading to nationals. Aric Van Halen finished 10th at the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase and Joe Morris will compete in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes.
Assistant coach Casey Malone is no stranger to this meet as he is making his fifth trip. He is a two-time Olympian, qualifying in 2004 and 2008. Malone participated in the trials in 1996 and 2000 before earning a spot on the 2004 roster. Malone is a two-time U.S. Champion in the discus.
Billy Nelson, another assistant coach for the Buffaloes, is looking to make his second Olympic team as he competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Nelson won the 2011 USA Steeplechase crown and has a time of 8:21.42 this season.
Volunteer assistant coach Emily Pearson will also compete at the trials in the heptathlon.
The Buffs also have a decorated group of former athletes competing. One of the most notable alum is Jenny (Barringer) Simpson. She ran the steeplechase at the 2008 Games in Beijing, but shifted gears to the 1,500 after graduation. Simpson is the current 1,500 world champion. Other former Buffs competing at the trials include Renee Metivier Baillie (5,000m), Jeremy Dodson (100m, 200m), Lesley Higgins (steeplechase), Kenyon Neuman (5,000m), Stephen Pifer (1,500m), Dathan Ritzenhein (5,000m, 10,000m), Laura Thweatt (5,000m), Brent Vaughn (5,000m, 10,000m) and Sara Vaughn (1,500).
No matter what happens at the trials, CU will have at least one representative in London. Kara Goucher has already qualified in the marathon after she placed third at the U.S. Women's Marathon Olympic Trials.
Declarations for each event have to be made 48 hours prior to each event. The size of the field for each event ranges from 18-34. Selected events at the championship will be televised live on NBC and NBC Sports Network at the end of each day. Please check your local listings for times. The 2012 Olympic Games in London commence on August 3 and run through August 12.