Dixon Advances in 400 Meters on Day One of U.S. Olympic Trials
June 22, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. – Kansas sophomore Diamond Dixon stormed down the home stretch of her 400-meter qualifying heat Friday afternoon to advance to the next round at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at historic Hayward Field. Her finish earns her a spot in the semifinals, which will take place Saturday at 7:15 p.m. (CT).
Dixon, who claimed the junior national championship in the event on the same track a year ago, saw her first action in Olympic Trials competition on a soggy and cool day in Eugene. She entered the meet as the sixth-ranked American this season with a personal-best time of 51.09. Running in the fourth and final heat of the first round of the 400 meters, Dixon got out to a slow start. The junior needed a finish in the top three of her heat or to run one of the next four fastest times to advance to the next round, however it wasn’t looking good through the first 300 meters of the race. As Dixon came around the final curve, she sat in last place with only 100 meters to go.
Dixon quickly began picking off those in front of her one-by-one, sprinting down the home stretch with her signature strong closing kick. She ran down veteran sprinter Monica Hargrove in the final 10 meters to place third in the heat and notching a time of 52.66. Her time was 11th among the 24 competitors.
The finish gave Dixon an automatic pass to the 16-person semifinal heats, which will run Saturday at 7:15 p.m. (CT).
Also in action Friday was junior Kyle Clemons in the men’s 400 meters. Clemons was coming off the best month of his KU career, running to the second-fastest time in school-history and claiming second team All-American honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Friday at the Trials, Clemons finished sixth in his first-round heat, crossing the finish line in 46.61. The Rowlett, Texas native placed 23rd overall and was unable to move on to the semifinals.
Jessica Maroszek kicked off the day for the Jayhawks in the qualifying rounds of the women’s discus throw. Maroszek had recently broken the school record in the event at the Wisconsin Throwers Pentathlon two weeks ago, which vaulted her to the 17th-ranked thrower in the U.S.
In less than ideal conditions Maroszek was able to get off two legal throws, improving and her third and final attempt with a mark of 49.85 meters (163-06 ft.). The throw elevated her to a 20th-place finish, however she was unable to advance to the finals.
More KU Track & Field action is in store from Hayward Field and the 2012 Olympic Trials on Saturday, June 23. Junior Andrea Geubelle will hit the runway for the triple jump qualifying flights which a slated to begin at 5:20 p.m. (CT). Dixon will then try to sprint her way into the 400-meter finals at 7:15 p.m. (CT). Stay updated on all the news and results from the Olympic Trials by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on twitter at KU_Track.