Track & Field
9th (W), 2nd (M)
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Natosha Rogers second in Olympic Trials 10,000

June 22, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
EUGENE, Oregon - Texas A&M junior Natosha Rogers challenged the best American long distance runners and placed second in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31 minutes, 59.21 seconds at the United States Olympic Team Trials on Friday evening at historic Hayward Field in front of 20,936 fans.

"I'm very overwhelmed right now, it's so surreal," exclaimed Rogers after the race. "It's very exciting. I'm just so excited for my future and what I have ahead of me.

"This is a huge step for me compared to last year and previous years. I'm very thrilled with my performance."

Rogers, running her fourth 10k of the season and her career, broke her school record of 32:41.63 she set in winning the NCAA championship earlier this month. However, Rogers needed to better the Olympic Games A standard of 31:45.00 in order to make the US team going to London.

The winner of the race was Amy Hastings in 31:58.36 while Shalane Flanagan finished third in 31:59.69. Flanagan is on the U.S. team in the marathon and will not run the 10,000 in London. So the other two spots for the 10k team go to Lisa Uhl, who placed fourth in 32:03.46 and seventh place Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, who ran 32:17.06.

"I was just going to race today and compete," noted Rogers. "I wanted to try to get into the top three and hope the Olympic A standard would come with it. It didn't happen today, but the next four years hold a lot of promise.

"This season I found a passion within myself. I've enjoyed the satisfaction I've experienced in racing 10,000 meters, having my work pay off. I just love running so much."

As the field of 24 runners approached the first mile with Rogers in fourth place, she was tripped. After stumbling for a couple of strides Rogers fell to the track. The whole field passed her as she got back up. Then with a burst she moved back into sixth place.

"When I fell that actually sparked me," noted Rogers. "It made me want to compete and push a little harder."

Rogers fluctuated between third and fifth place over the course of the race, reaching the halfway point at 16:15.9 for 5,000 meters. Then Rogers clipped of the next set of 5,000 meters with splits of 3:14.7, 3:12.0, 3:12.8, 3:09.1 and 2:54.8.

During the last two laps Rogers produced splits of 71.51 and 65.88. She took over the lead with 200m remaining. When Hastings claimed the lead going into the homestretch Rogers still challenged and held off a late rush by Flanagan.

"I felt a cramp coming on in the last lap," said Rogers. "I just wanted to keep going and finish the race. I had that extra kick and it got me second place."

Amid a day of steady rain qualifying had a mixed result for the Aggies involved with events on the first day of the Olympic Trials. Four of eight A&M athletes competing in qualifying moved on to the next round.

Shelbi Vaughan had a discus toss of 193-9 (59.05) in the third round of the first flight of throwers. That mark placed Vaughan second among the first flight of 12 throwers and fourth overall once the second flight of 12 was completed.

Vaughan now moves onto the final, which will be held on Sunday. Vaughan opened with a foul, and then hit a mark of 183-3 (55.86) in the second round.

The top three marks in the discus included a 206-1 (62.83) by Stephanie Brown Trafton, a 197-6 (60.21) by Aretha Thurmond and a 196-7 (59.92) from Elizabeth Podominick.

In the 400 meters Aldrich Bailey had a solid showing by finishing third in his heat with a time of 45.59 to earn an automatic qualification to the Saturday's semifinal. Bailey finished behind LaShawn Merritt (45.36) and Byshon Nellum (45.58).

Of the 16 who qualified for the 400 semifinal Bailey had the fifth best time. Merritt turned in the leading time with Josh Mance (45.38) and Tony McQuay (45.41) supplying the second and third best times.

Michael Preble claimed an automatic qualifying spot in the men's 800 by placing third in his heat with a time of 1:48.20.

Charles Jock won the heat Preble ran in with a time of 1:47.90 while Michael Rutt finished second in 1:47.99. Preble finished ahead of LSU alum Richard Jones, who placed fourth in 1:48.29 and did not advance on time.

Jeneba Tarmoh finished second in her heat of the 100 meters with a time of 11.16 behind an 11.10 from Tianna Madison to reach the semifinal. They recorded the two fastest times in the qualifying round over a pair of 11.19 from Allyson Felix and Alexandria Anderson in separate heats.

Not advancing on time in the 100 were Dominique Duncan (11.46) and Ashley Collier (11.57) as they finished fifth and seventh in their respective heats.

Donique' Flemings placed sixth in her heat of the women's 100 hurdles with a time of 13.30 and did not advance on time.

The men's long jump had Bashir Ramzy placing 13th and Tyron Stewart finishing 18th as the top 12 jumpers advanced to the final. Ramzy missed the 12th position by half an inch with a mark of 25-2 (7.67). Stewart's best effort of the day measured 24-7.25 (7.50).

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