Hawkeyes on Eve of Olympic Team Trials

June 21, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior Erik Sowinski begins pursuit of a spot on Team USA when the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials begin tomorrow at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Sowinski is one of four Hawkeyes to earn an automatic qualifying berth at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Junior Justin Austin and seniors Jeffery Herron and Troy Doris will also compete for a trip to the 2012 London Olympics.

Sowinski earned an automatic qualifying time in the 800 meters at the finals of the NCAA Championships. He’ll take a personal-best 1:45.90 to the start line of the 800 meters Friday at 7:20 p.m. (CT).

Herron is one of 24 athletes competing in the high jump beginning Saturday at 6:20 p.m. (CT). Herron hit the qualifying mark and set a school record with a jump of 7-4 ¼ (2.24m) at the LSU Invitational.

Doris, a four-time Big Ten triple jump champion, set a school record and qualified for the trials with a leap of 54-8 (16.66m) at the 2012 Big Ten Championships. He’ll compete in the opening round June 28 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

Austin, a school record holder and 200 meter Big Ten Champion, will toe the start line of the 200 meters June 29 at 3:45 p.m. (CT). Austin qualified for the Trials with a time of 20.65 at the 2012 Big Ten Championships.

Ethan Holmes (110-meter hurdles) and Matt Byers (javelin) earned provisional “B” qualifying standards in their respective events. Both athletes could potentially compete at the Trials depending on the number of qualified athletes declaring in their respective events.

The top three finishers in each respective event earn a spot on Team USA and a chance to compete for the United States at the 2012 London Olympics.

Former Hawkeye Diane Nukuri-Johnson has already qualified to compete in the Olympic Games. The former Big Ten champion and three-time All-American will compete in the Olympic Marathon for her home country Burundi. Nukuri-Johnson qualified for the Olympics following a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon.