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Tracktown12: Ducks off to a good start at the Olympic Track & Field Trials

Ashton Eaton's chasing history at the 2012 Olympic trials. Can he put his name in the record books?
Ashton Eaton's chasing history at the 2012 Olympic trials. Can he put his name in the record books?

The 2012 US Olympic Track & Field Trials are underway, and the current and former Ducks competing for a trip to London are feeling right at home.

After only two days of competition, the Ducks already have their first entrant in the Olympic field, as Galen Rupp set a meet record in the 10,000 meters, posting a time of 27:25.33, in the rain, to punch his ticket to his second Olympics. Rupp joins Dathan Ritzenhein and Oregon Track Club runner Matthew Tegankamp as the US 10,000 meter representatives.

Decathlete Ashton Eaton made history with his first day of competition Friday, setting decathlon world records in the 100 meters (10.21) and long jump (27 feet), and ended Day 1 with 4,728 points, only ten points shy of the highest first-day point total in event history. Eaton continued his historic run Saturday morning by winning the 100m hurdles, as well as the pole vault. With only the javelin and the 1500 meters remaining, Eaton currently sits at 7,438 points, only 1,454 away from Dan O'Brian's American record, and 1,558 points away from the world record held by the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle.

Sprinter English Gardner placed ninth in the prelims of the 100 meter dash, advancing her to today's semifinal. She will compete in Heat 3, racing against former Texas A&M sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh, as well as Tianna Madison, who had the fastest preliminary time of 11.10 seconds. The top 2 sprinters from each heat, plus the two fastest remaining times, will advance to tonight's final.

Current Oregon thrower Sam Crouser and former Oregon thrower Cyrus Hostletler both advanced to the finals in the javelin throw. Crouser currently sits seventh with a throw of 248 feet, with Hostetler's 245 foot, 2 inch, throw seating him right behind Crouser in eighth. The finals take place Monday night.

Other happenings today:

  • Lauren Newson begins competition in the prelims of the women's triple jump.
  • Phyliis Francis runs in the 400 meter semifinal, after placing thirteenth overall in the prelims yesterday. And as a bonus, she doesn't have to run her semifinal in the same heat as Olympic bronze medalist and world champion Sanya Richards-Ross.
  • Both Nick Symmonds and Elijah Greer are in the semifinals of the men's 800 meters, with Symmonds posting the third-fastest preliminary time yesterday.
  • Oregon junior Laura Roesler qualified comfortably for today's women's 800 meter semifinal, running in 2:03.11.
Hopefully by the end of the evening, the Ducks will have more of their own headed to London. You can follow the action online HERE, and NBC will be showing an hour of coverage tonight at 8 PM. And for those of you on the Twitters, the Oregonian's @KenGoe is constantly updating with the latest happenings from Hayward.

UPDATE (4:32 PM Pacific): Lauren Newson is 3rd after prelims, qualifies for the finals in the triple jump, English Gardner posts third-fastest time in 100 meter semifinals, into tonight's final.

Ashton Eaton sits at 8189 points with only the 1500 meter race remaining. He needs 703 points, or a 4:36.49 time, to break the American record. To get the 838 points needed to break the world record, he would need a 4:16.23, more than two seconds faster than his personal best.