For the next week plus, the United States Track & Field Olympic Trials will take place at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. It is the same venue where last month's NCAA Outdoor Championships took place. Rutgers will have three athletes competing at the Olympic Trials this weekend, including two recent graduates who leave the banks as two of the most accomplished track athletes in school history. Rutgers also has another athlete competing at the Olympic Trials for a South American country this weekend. Here is a preview.
Gabrielle Farquharson - Long Jump
The recent graduate of Rutgers is competing tonight in the qualifying round of the Long Jump. The final round takes place Saturday afternoon. Farquharson finished in 7th place in the Long Jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in early June, making her a two-time All-American in the event. Overall, she finished her Rutgers career as a seven-time All-American between the Long Jump, 100m, and 200m events. She was also recently nominated for the NCAA's Woman Athlete of the Year. Only the top two finishers will make the Olympic team, so she is an underdog heading into tonight's qualifying round. However, she isn't used to competing in just one event, so perhaps focusing on just the Long Jump will help her performance.
Corey Crawford - Long Jump
Crawford is a four-time Big Ten champion in the Long Jump and finished in 4th place at last month's NCAA Outdoor Championships. The four-time All-American and Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient will be competing for one of two spots on the Olympic team Saturday afternoon. If he advances through the qualifying round, the Finals will be Sunday night. Tara Sullivan of the Bergen Record had a great feature on Corey today.
Chris Mirabelli - Javelin
The Big Ten Outdoor champion and honorable mention All-American in the Javelin will compete Saturday afternoon in the qualifying round. If Mirabelli can advance, he will compete in the Finals on Monday night. Regardless of how Mirabelli performs this weekend, he is primed for a big junior campaign next year at Rutgers.
Jermaine Griffith - 400m
Griffith is actually competing in the 400m at the Guyana Olympic Trials in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Friday afternoon. If Griffith advances past the preliminary round, he will compete in the Finals on Sunday. Griffith finished as a second team All-American in this event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. Results for Griffith's Olympic Trials event can be found here once it is completed. Griffith will return for his senior season at Rutgers next year.
Good luck to all four of our track & field athletes from Rutgers as they pursue their Olympic dreams. As the weekend progresses, results for the Olympic Trials can be found here. The 2016 Summer Olympics take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5th through 21st.