The excitement of the 2012 Olympic Trials is certainly hitting home amongst Mountaineer Nation.
Former West Virginia track athletes Chelsea Carrier-Eades and Karly Hamric represented the program well Friday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Carrier-Eades stands in sixth place in the heptathlon with 3,624 points after competing in the first four events. She placed third in the 100-meter hurdles in 12.96 seconds for 1,130 points, 13th in the high jump (1.69 meters, 842), 13th in the shot put (11.86 meters, 652) and second in the 200-meter dash (23.80, 1,000).
"Chelsea had a very strong day with a lifetime heptathlon best in the hurdles," says WVU coach Sean Cleary. "It was her first time under 13 seconds in multis competition. The high jump came with some scary moments as she missed her first two attempts before sneaking over the final attempt. Had she missed, her trials would have been over."
The final three heptathlon events occur Saturday with the long jump (6 p.m.), javelin throw (7:15 p.m.) and 800-meter run at 9:20 p.m. The top three finishers advance to represent the United States at the London Olympic Games in August.
"It is essential that Chelsea come out tomorrow and nail the long jump, one of her strongest events," Cleary says. "We'll see how good she really is."
Nike's Hyleas Fountain is currently in first place with 3,948 points followed by Asics' Shannon Day (3,797) and Chantae McMillian (3,762). UC Santa Barbara's Barbara Nwaba (3,736) and Nike's Bettie Wade (3,680) finished just ahead of Carrier-Eades, who leads the 14 other heptathletes competing.
Despite a lifetime best 4:12.52 in the 1,500-meter run semifinals, Hamric's Olympics pursuit came to a close as she placed 12th in her heat and 19th in the field. The top 12 runners advanced to the finals as a result of finishing in the top five in each heat as well as the top two remaining athletes.
Morgan Uceny of adidas came in first in 4:08.90 followed by Jenny Simpson (4:09.12) and Margaret Infeld (4:09.38). The top three finishers at Sunday's finals (7:23 p.m. ET) advance to London.
"Karly has had a very turbulent spring while trying to manage a few injuries," Cleary says. "To run a lifetime best in this pressure cooker was very exciting to watch. Should she decide to spend the next four years to relive this moment, I see her as a legitimate contender for the U.S. Olympic team."
A full schedule can be found at gotracktownusa.com. A schedule of TV coverage by NBC and the NBC Sports Network can also be found at gotracktownusa.com.
Live results of the events can be found at usatf.org.