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London calling: U.S. Olympic Trials beckon to OTC athletes Phillip Brents | Fri, Jun 15 2012 02:44 PM

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for BMX racing will take center stage at the U.S. Olympic Training Center-Chula Vista this Saturday. The overall winner of the men’s competition will earn an automatic nomination to the 2012 U.S. team headed to the London Games.

But for many resident athletes at the sprawling complex perched on a hillside overlooking the Lower Otay Reservoir, just getting a chance to showcase their talent at an Olympic trials event has been the object of years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication.

Track and field athletes will get their chance starting next Thursday as the U.S. Olympic Trials officially get under way in Eugene, Ore. They extend through July 1.

Eugene is affectionately known in track circles as Track Town, USA, the home training site of the late Steve Prefontaine. Events will take place at legendary Hayward Field.

“The fans up there are very knowledgeable — there are 20,000 people watching track every day (of the trials),” said OTC-CV resident athlete Kara Patterson. “It’s amazing.”

Patterson hopes to feed off that energy when the women’s javelin throw is contested June
June 29 to July 1. She made Team USA in the event in 2008 and competed in Beijing.

“It looks good for me right now,” she said, oozing confidence.

Patterson, who holds the American record in the women’s javelin throw at 66.67 meters (218-8.75), has been in residency at the CV complex since 2009. She credits the OTC’s expansive training fields in part for helping her reach the top of her game.

“The weather is awesome,” she said. “There aren’t too many dedicated fields where you have plenty of room to throw the javelin. A lot of football and soccer teams are very protective of their fields.”

Patterson won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials at 53.93 meters but finished a disappointing 41st in Beijing with a mark of 54.39. She set the new American record in 2010, surpassing the previous record of 64.19 set in 2007 by Kim Kreiner.

The pole vault competition in Eugene is scheduled June 22-28. The Chula Vista venue has been hosting on-site competitions every week since early May for athletes attempting to meet the qualifying standards to compete in the actual U.S. Olympic Trials.

On any given Thursday, Olympic hopefuls from China, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Great Britain and the United States made use of  the pole vault pit.

Nick Frawley made the qualifying height of 5.50 (18-0.5) with a vault of 5.53 (18-1.75) in a meet held June 7. He has been training 12 years to finally qualify for his first Olympic Trials.

“My goal is to make the final and give it my best shot ... and hope luck falls my way,” said Frawley, who is a member of the U.S. Air Force’s World Class Athletes Training Program.

Meanwhile, April Steiner Bennett will be attending her third U.S. track and field trials. The 32-year-old made the 2008 U.S. squad and placed eighth in Beijing by clearing 4.55 meters (14-11). Her personal best height is 4.63 meters (15-2.5), set in 2007.

“It’s looking better than the last time,” said Steiner Bennett, whose notoriety includes a winning performance on TV’s “Fear Factor.” “It seems every time an Olympic year comes around, I feel like my body decides it’s ready to go for it. I feel that I have some momentum — anything can happen.”

BMX Trials
The eight competitors in the men’s field include Connor Fields (Las Vegas, Nev.), Nic Long (Lakeside), Mike Day (San Diego), Barry Nobles (Menifee), Corben Sharrah (Tucson), Donny Robinson (Napa), Joey Bradford (Monterey) and Josh Meyers (Treasure Island, Fla.).

David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) secured an automatic Olympic team berth by finishing as the overall leader of the 2012 USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings. He solidified his spot after finishing fifth at the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships the last weekend in May in Birmingham, England.

Competition will take place on the OTC’s new London Games replica track.

A total of five individuals will qualify for Team USA’s BMX contingent — three men and two women.

Arielle Martin, a long-term OTC resident athlete like Fields, grabbed a berth after finishing No. 1 in the U.S. women’s power rankings.

The final nominations — one male and one female— will be announced on Monday by USA Cycling subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Fields (second), Long (third), Day (fourth) and Nobles (fifth) earned nominations to the Olympic Trials based on their top five finishes in the U.S. men’s power rankings.

Day, the winner of the 2008 U.S. BMX trials in Chula Vista, was the highest placing American (silver) when BMX made its debut at the Beijing Games.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3 p.m. General admission is $10.



But for many resident athletes at the sprawling complex perched on a hillside overlooking the Lower Otay Reservoir, just getting a chance to showcase their talent at an Olympic trials event has been the object of years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication.

Track and field athletes will get their chance starting next Thursday as the U.S. Olympic Trials officially get under way in Eugene, Ore. They extend through July 1.

Eugene is affectionately known in track circles as Track Town, USA, the home training site of the late Steve Prefontaine. Events will take place at legendary Hayward Field.

“The fans up there are very knowledgeable — there are 20,000 people watching track every day (of the trials),” said OTC-CV resident athlete Kara Patterson. “It’s amazing.”

Patterson hopes to feed off that energy when the women’s javelin throw is contested June
June 29 to July 1. She made Team USA in the event in 2008 and competed in Beijing.

“It looks good for me right now,” she said, oozing confidence.

Patterson, who holds the American record in the women’s javelin throw at 66.67 meters (218-8.75), has been in residency at the CV complex since 2009. She credits the OTC’s expansive training fields in part for helping her reach the top of her game.

“The weather is awesome,” she said. “There aren’t too many dedicated fields where you have plenty of room to throw the javelin. A lot of football and soccer teams are very protective of their fields.”

Patterson won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials at 53.93 meters but finished a disappointing 41st in Beijing with a mark of 54.39. She set the new American record in 2010, surpassing the previous record of 64.19 set in 2007 by Kim Kreiner.

The pole vault competition in Eugene is scheduled June 22-28. The Chula Vista venue has been hosting on-site competitions every week since early May for athletes attempting to meet the qualifying standards to compete in the actual U.S. Olympic Trials.

On any given Thursday, Olympic hopefuls from China, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Great Britain and the United States made use of  the pole vault pit.

Nick Frawley made the qualifying height of 5.50 (18-0.5) with a vault of 5.53 (18-1.75) in a meet held June 7. He has been training 12 years to finally qualify for his first Olympic Trials.

“My goal is to make the final and give it my best shot ... and hope luck falls my way,” said Frawley, who is a member of the U.S. Air Force’s World Class Athletes Training Program.

Meanwhile, April Steiner Bennett will be attending her third U.S. track and field trials. The 32-year-old made the 2008 U.S. squad and placed eighth in Beijing by clearing 4.55 meters (14-11). Her personal best height is 4.63 meters (15-2.5), set in 2007.

“It’s looking better than the last time,” said Steiner Bennett, whose notoriety includes a winning performance on TV’s “Fear Factor.” “It seems every time an Olympic year comes around, I feel like my body decides it’s ready to go for it. I feel that I have some momentum — anything can happen.”

BMX Trials
The eight competitors in the men’s field include Connor Fields (Las Vegas, Nev.), Nic Long (Lakeside), Mike Day (San Diego), Barry Nobles (Menifee), Corben Sharrah (Tucson), Donny Robinson (Napa), Joey Bradford (Monterey) and Josh Meyers (Treasure Island, Fla.).

David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) secured an automatic Olympic team berth by finishing as the overall leader of the 2012 USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings. He solidified his spot after finishing fifth at the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships the last weekend in May in Birmingham, England.

Competition will take place on the OTC’s new London Games replica track.

A total of five individuals will qualify for Team USA’s BMX contingent — three men and two women.

Arielle Martin, a long-term OTC resident athlete like Fields, grabbed a berth after finishing No. 1 in the U.S. women’s power rankings.

The final nominations — one male and one female— will be announced on Monday by USA Cycling subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Fields (second), Long (third), Day (fourth) and Nobles (fifth) earned nominations to the Olympic Trials based on their top five finishes in the U.S. men’s power rankings.

Day, the winner of the 2008 U.S. BMX trials in Chula Vista, was the highest placing American (silver) when BMX made its debut at the Beijing Games.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3 p.m. General admission is $10.

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