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Eight Big 12 Track & Field Athletes Qualify For U.S. Team And 2012 London Olympics

A handful of current and former Big 12 athletes are on their way to the London Summer Olympics as members of the U.S. Track and Field team.

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School has been out for the summer for over a month throughout the Big 12 Conference, but there has been plenty of action going on the past nine days involving athletes from Big 12 schools. It's an Olympic year and that means qualifying competition for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials concluded Sunday in Eugene, Ore., on the campus of the University of Oregon.

A total of 38 current and former Big 12 track and field athletes were in the Far Northwest in pursuit of their Olympic dreams, and at least eight (not counting alternates) will shortly be on their way to London representing the U.S. team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Only one of the nine qualifiers from the Big 12 earned her way in a running event. The other seven finished in the top three in five different field events. Three of the eight Big 12 Olympians are men, and five are women athletes.

Three members of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team are from the University of Texas and two are from Oklahoma. Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State are represented with one each.

Texas senior Marquise Goodwin, who also plays wide receiver on the Longhorn football team, finished first at the trials in the men's long jump with a distance of 27 feet, 4 inches. Former Longhorn sprinter Sonya Richards-Ross captured the women's 400-meter run and added the 200 meters to her London agenda with a third-place finish in Sunday's final. The 200-meter final featured seven of the top-10 200-meter runners in the world.

Another former Texas field champion, Michelle Carter, came in second in the women's shot put, which will have two entrants in London from the Big 12.

Representing Oklahoma in London will be senior Brittany Borman, who won the women's javelin with a throw of 201 feet, 9 inches, surpassing the Olympic A standard for the first time in her career on her sixth and final attempt. Borman, who is the two-time defending NCAA champion in the event, was in third place coming into her final throw. Borman will join fellow Sooner Tia Brooks in London. Brooks, who will be a senior this fall, finished third in the women's shot put.

Erik Kynard of Kansas State cleared a height of 7 feet, 5 ¾ inches on his first attempt to finish second in the men's high jump. Kynard is the 2012 NCAA men's champion with a winning leap of 7-feet, 8 inches.

Andrea Geubelle of Kansas captured third in the women's triple jump. Her winning jump of 45 feet, 3 inches was eight inches better than the fourth-place finisher in the event.

Former Missouri Tiger Christian Cantwell will be making his second consecutive Olympics appearance after finishing third in the men's shot put. Cantwell, who graduated from Missouri in 2003, was the silver medalist at the 2008 Games in Bejing.

All of the U.S. Track and Field team participants with ties to the Big 12, except for Cantwell, will be making their first Olympics appearance.

Two Texas A&M athletes finished in the top three in the finals of their respective events, but neither will be making the trip to London as a member of the U.S. team because they failed to achieve the Olympic Games standard in their event. Junior Sam Humphries was the trials winner in the men's javelin, but his winning throw of 268 feet, 7 inches was five inches shy of the qualifying standard.

A&M junior long-distance runner Natosha Rogers crossed the finish line second in the women's 10,000-meter run. Her time of 31:59.21, however, also did not achieve the Olympics A standard, which will leave the A&M junior and 2012 NCAA 10,000-meter champion off the team.

Several other Big 12 track and field athletes narrowly missed out on making this year's U.S. team. Shanay Briscoe of Texas finished fourth in the women's high jump. Shelbi Vaughn, a freshman this year at Texas A&M, came in fourth in the women's discus, and sophomore Diamond Dixon of Kansas was fifth in the women's 400-meter final.

The top three finishers in each event qualify for the U.S. Olympics, as long as met the international qualifying standard.

The 2012 Summer Olympics will get under way in London, beginning July 27.

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