June 29, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Notre Dame track and field alum Molly Huddle locked up her first Olympics appearance on Thursday night, as the 2006 graduate finished second in the 5,000m run.
Huddle (15:14.40) and winner Julie Culley (15:13.77) dominated the field to lock up the top two spots and punch their ticket to London for the 2012 games. Joining Culley and Huddle will be Kim Conley (15:19.79). The opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 27, 2012.
The Elmira, N.Y., product finds herself in elite company in Notre Dame history. She becomes the first Irish female track and field alum to qualify for an Olympic games, while she is the first American since Rick Wohlhuter in 1976. Former hurdling standout Selim Nurudeen competed for Nigeria in 2008.
In other Notre Dame Olympic Trials news, three other alums have already competed in Eugene.
Pole vaulter Mary Saxer ('09) suffered heartbreak on June 24, as she barely missed out on a spot on the Olympic team. She vaulted the same height (4.50m) as third place finisher Lacy Janson, but had more missed vaults than Janson. Saxer was named the alternate for London, and would be able to compete if one of the top three Americans had to drop out before the final American Olympic team was announced in the coming weeks.
Former middle distance specialist Daniel Clark ('09) advanced to Friday's semifinals of the 1,500m run with a 21st place finish (3:42.05) in the opening round on Thursday night. He then barely missed out on a spot in the finals with an eighth-place finish in the semis with a time of 3:42.85.
Hurdler Joanna Schultz ('10) barely missed out on qualifying for the semifinals of the 400m hurdles, finishing 19th (58.08).
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