Clayton natives Keni Harrison and Johnny Dutch will go for their spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics this week as the competition in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, rolls through Sunday. The 11-day event started on June 30.
Harrison, a Clayton High and University of Kentucky graduate, will run in the women’s 100-meter hurdle field, beginning Thursday (8:02 p.m. EST). She is the top qualifier for the field with a run of 12.24 seconds earlier this spring. The semifinal and final rounds will be on Friday, July 8. The semis run at 6:58 p.m. and the final is at 8:58 p.m.
The first round will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and the semifinals and finals will be on NBC channels (WRAL-TV 5 locally).
Dutch, a Clayton High and University of South Carolina grad, is in the men’s 400-meter hurdle field. He has the second-fastest qualifying time at the Trials with a run of 48.10 this year, just one-hundredth of a second behind the top qualifier, Bershawn Jackson.
The men’s 400-meter hurdles opening round is at 9:53 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, while the semifinals come on Friday, July 8, at 7:31 p.m. Competitors who make the final heat will have a day off before the final push for an Olympics spot. The finals are at 7:51 p.m. on Sunday, July 10.
The Thursday opening round will be streamed digitally by NBCSports.com, the Friday semis will be on NBCSN and the final round is on NBC Sports.
The top three finishers in each track and field event earn spots on the U.S. Olympic team, as long as they meet the Olympic qualifying standard time in that event. That is usually not a factor for Team USA members, since they’re typically among the best track and field athletes in the world.
Additionally this year, the Olympic Committee has decided to have the option to invite additional competitors to fill out the fields of some events. The determination of those potential qualifiers will be made based on the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) world rankings on July 12.
The Rio de Janeiro Games are set for Aug. 5-21. The track and field portion of the Olympics is Aug. 12-21.
Local Carolinas Amateur qualifying: Pine Hollow Golf Club in Clayton hosted a sectional qualifier for the 102nd Carolinas Amateur Championship on Thursday, sending 23 players to the Carolinas Amateur to the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.) for the event July 14-17.
Three Johnston County golfers were among the qualifiers, led by Cleveland High product Patrick Schweitz, who tied for sixth with a 70. Mark Germann, a Clayton High grad, carded an even-par round to tie for ninth and Patrick Stephenson of Four Oaks tied for 15th with a 72. It took a score of 72 or better to qualify.
Sanford’s Walter Brinker and Coats’ Brett McLamb shared medalist honors with rounds of 6-under-par, 65.