Three local Olympic hopefuls fielded top finishes at the Track and Field Olympic Trials Thursday, earning them each a slot in the London Games.
Evan Jager, a Jacobs High track star, finished first in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase event with a time of 8:17.10 seconds. His win, which beat out fellow tenderfeet hopefuls Donn Cabral and Kyle Alcorn by a few seconds, earned the 20-year-old newcomer an automatic slot in the upcoming track and field Olympic events.
Jager’s Olympic excitement was shared by fellow hopeful and men’s discus thrower Lance Brooks. The Millikin University alum wasn’t taking any chances when it came to his final throw. After two foul shots dwindled his chances, he threw a personal record-breaker to beat out competitors by nearly six feet, making him an Olympic shoe-in.
Also racing for gold-medal status is Molly Huddle, former runner for the University of Notre Dame, after she qualified with a second-place finish in the women’s 5,000-meter run. Huddle, record holder for the long-distance event, ran with a time 15:14.40, less than a second behind first-place finished Julie Culley.