Former Cal Poly star Ben Bruce fell short Thursday in his bid to make the Olympic team in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Meanwhile, former Mission Prep star Jordan Hasay qualified for the semifinals in the women’s 1,500 with her performance in the preliminaries.
Bruce, who made the U.S. team for last year’s world championships, finished in fifth place Thursday in 8 minutes, 29.61 seconds.
The top three finishers, provided they have the A Olympic qualifying standard, advance to the London Olympics.
The top three finishers in Thursday’s race all have the A standard.
Evan Jager won the event in 8:17.40, Donn Cabral was second in 8:19.81 and Kyle Alcorn finished third in 8:22.17.
Jager, who trains with the Oregon Track Club, competed at the 2009 world championship in the 5,000, but recently switched to the steeplechase.
Hasay, who just completed her junior season at Oregon, is in her second Olympic Trials.
Hasay had a memorable Olympic Trials in 2008 when, as a high school junior, she broke the national prep record with a time of 4:14.50 in the semifinals and advanced to the finals, where she eventually finished 10th.
On Thursday, only four of the 28 runners in the 1,500 didn’t advance to today’s semifinals. Hasay finished fourth in her prelim heat in 4:16.06 to automatically qualify for the semifinals.
Hasay’s heat was won by Alice Schmidt in 4:15.70. Schmidt was followed by Anna Pierce in 4:15.86 and Amy Mortimer in 4:16.02.
“I felt comfortable the first 800 meters,” Hasay said in a USA Track and Field news release. “It’s exciting to have the whole town behind me.”
The top qualifying time of 4:14.07 was turned by Morgan Uceny.
Hasay said she’s confident she can move on to Sunday’s 1,500 final.
“I think I will do better with a faster pace,” she said. “It will definitely be faster (today).”
Today, former Cal Poly star Sharon Day begins the first day of the heptathlon where she is the favorite. Day competed in the world championships in the heptathlon in 2009 and 2011. Day was a 2008 Olympian in the high jump.
In other events Thursday, Allyson Felix glided to an easy heat win in the women’s 200 meters.
Minutes later, appearing just as smooth and expending just as little of energy, Jeneba Tarmoh cruised to a victory in her heat as well.
If controversy was weighing the sprinters down, they didn’t show it on the track.
Five days ago, the training partners crossed the finish line in a tie for the third and last Olympic spot in the 100.
Now, everyone is waiting to see what they will choose to break the dead heat — a runoff, coin flip or if one of them simply gives the spot to the other.
After the race, Felix and Tarmoh might have gotten more of a workout than on the track — trying to make it through the media without saying a word.
Felix and Tarmoh have already said they won’t announce any sort of decision until after the final Saturday.
Judging by their performance on a slick track, they should each have a lane on that day.
In a thrilling finish to end the night, Galen Rupp caught Bernard Lagat in the 5,000 final, a scintillating race that came down to a sprint at the end.
Rupp finished in a time of 13:22.67, significant because it broke meet record set by the late Steve Prefontaine nearly 40 years ago.Around these parts, Pre’s a folk hero, rising to fame in this very stadium.
Julie Culley (women’s 5,000), Lance Brooks (discus) and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Brad Walker (pole vault) also won.