Former L.A. Baptist prep star Allyson Felix might have stolen the hearts of more than a few television viewers during last weekend’s climax to the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. But the road to the London Games appears to go through Chula Vista after a star-studded showing by resident-athletes from the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center.
Ten CV-OTC track athletes qualified for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in rainy Oregon. Several more turned in tearful near-misses.
With a full complement of archers and BMX riders, the women’s field hockey and soccer teams, the men’s rowing eights and individual qualifiers in other sports, the Chula Vista training center not only will be well represented in England later this summer but expects to score a record bounty of Olympic medals in the process.
“We’re incredibly excited for the athletes who have qualified for the London Olympics out of the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center,” OTC director Tracy Lamb said. “We’ve watched them put in the long hours and hard work into their training sessions and it is exhilarating to watch them succeed. We’re very proud of them and look forward to watching them in London.”
The latest 10 Olympic qualifiers include Kara Patterson (women’s javelin), Jamie Nieto (men’s high jump), Jarred Rome (men’s discus), Brad Walker (men’s pole vault), Sean Furey (men’s javelin), Alice Schmidt (women’s 800 meters), Becky Holliday (women’s pole vault), Will Claye (men’s long jump and triple jump), Jessica Cosby (women’s hammer throw) and Amy Hastings (women’s 10,000 meters).
Hastings jump-started the CV-OTC’s run of success by timing 31:58.36 to win her event during the opening week of competition while Claye went 27-0 in the long jump and Holliday cleared 14-11 to both finish second.
Cosby threw 232-2 to finish third, thereby securing the final qualifying berth on the U.S. team.
The final week of competition was equally rewarding despite the wet and chilly weather.
Walker cleared 18-7.25 to win the men’s pole vault while Nieto, 35, set a record with his winning high jump mark of 7-5.75 to become the oldest high jumper to ever qualify for a U.S. Olympic team.
Rome knocked out fellow CV-OTC resident athlete Ian Waltz to record a second-place finish in the men’s discus throw, recording 207-10 on his final throw to move up two spots in the standings.
Patterson took second in the women’s javelin at 196-2 while Claye recorded a personal outdoor best of 57-7 in finishing second in the triple jump.
Furey finished fourth in the men’s javelin throw at 255-5 but qualified for his first Olympic team after previously meeting the Olympic “A” standard (271-5).
Schmidt (1:59.46) finished third in her event.
Walker, Patterson and Schmidt all competed at the 2008 Beijing Games; Rome and Nieto both competed at the 2004 Athens Games.
Claye becomes the first American to qualify in both the men’s long and triple jumps since 2000.
USA Olympic Track and Field Trials
CHULA VISTA OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER QUALIFIERS
•Kara Patterson (women’s javelin)
•Jamie Nieto (men’s high jump)
•Jarred Rome (men’s discus)
•Brad Walker (men’s pole vault)
•Sean Furey (men’s javelin)
•Alice Schmidt (women’s 800 meters)
•Becky Holliday (women’s pole vault)
•Will Claye (men’s long jump, triple jump)
•Jessica Cosby (women’s hammer throw)
•Amy Hastings (women’s 10,000 meters)
Padres to host U.S. Olympic Team Day Saturday at Petco Park
The San Diego Padres will help send off the 2012 United States Olympic Team to the London Games by recognizing Olympic and Paralympic athletes from the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center during interactive pre-game activities July 7 at Petco Park.
The event will allow Padres fans a chance to meet athletes who have lived and trained locally.
“Our athletes have been a part of this community throughout their training and this is a great opportunity for San Diegans to meet the athletes in person, bringing the spirit of the Olympic Movement within reach,” said Tracy Lamb, director for the CV OTC. “We are so thankful to the Padres for having the U.S. Olympic Team Day to celebrate our athletes’ accomplishments and send them off to London in style.”
An athlete meet-and-greet will be held in the Park at the Park near the wiffle ball field from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. An interactive field hockey exhibition will take place there from 6 to 6:30 p.m. while the 2012 U.S. Olympic archery team will shoot at targets in the outfield at the Olympic distance of 70 meters from home plate as part of the gala pre-game ceremonies.