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Aggies make the cut, head to London

Published: Monday, July 2, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

Texas A&M student-athletes competing in the Olympic trials are steps away from reaching their goal: making it to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

So far, A&M will be represented by at least five athletes who have qualified for London.

For Team USA, sophomore Breeja Larson won the 100-meter breaststroke by .07 seconds over reigning two-time champion Rebecca Soni.

Larson said in her post-swim interview that every fiber in her body was burning but she was going to make them burn more just to keep going. Larson also finished sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Fellow A&M sophomore, Cammile Adams, joins Larson on Team USA as she won the 200-meter butterfly.

Adams, who during the race fell behind to eventual runner-up Kathleen Hersey, pulled away in the final 50 meters to secure the victory by more than a second.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Adams said. “I just feel so blessed for this experience, and to be part of Team USA. I think I’ve made five junior teams and you get to a point where you say, am I ever going to make a National Team, and so this will be my first one, for sure.”

In the Track and Field Olympic trials, junior agricultural leadership and development major Sam Humphreys set a school record when he threw the javelin for 268 feet, 7 inches to capture the victory at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. Although Humphreys won the event, he was 5 inches short of the minimum qualifying distance — 269 feet.

“I’m a little upset, but I have a lot more room for improvement,” Humphreys said. “There is always the next four years to get that mark.”

Over on the track, Jeneba Tarmoh and Prezel Hardy advanced to the 200-meter final and semifinal, respectively. Tarmoh won her heat with 22:30 seconds, tied for second best time.

Hardy won his heat to advance into the semifinal with a finish time of 20:51 seconds, ninth best time out of 16 runners.

“Tie,” like a repeating nightmare, has not been an unfamiliar word to Tarmoh during these Olympic trials. At the 100-meter dash, Tarmoh apparently won the third and final spot for Team USA only to find out from reporters she had actually tied with Allyson Felix with an exact finish of 11.068 seconds. There was no protocol in place and USA Track and Field officials were scrambling to make a tie-breaker, which could have been a coin flip or a runoff. It was decided the women would compete in a runoff.

According to ESPN, Tarmoh was uncomfortable with the decision to compete in a runoff and subsequently decided to give the spot to Felix. Tarmoh told ESPN she earned her spot from the beginning.

“In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot,” Tarmoh said. “I almost feel like I was kind of robbed.”

While the Aggies are setting the tone in their respective races for Team USA, fellow Aggies are advancing to the Olympics for other countries.

Sophomores Erica Dittmer and Rita Medrano, along with senior Liliana Ibanez made the Mexican Olympic swimming team.

Dittmer advances to the London Games and will be competing in the 200-meter individual medley after claiming two victories, one in the 200-meter individual medley and the other coming from the 100-meter breaststroke.

Ibanez took the victory in 50-meter freestyle event with Dittmer finishing in second. For Ibanez, her performance at the Mexican Olympic trials are nothing short of spectacular, considering she was out of the pool for six weeks including rehab time after she cracked three vertebrae in a bike accident shortly after returning from the Pan American Games. Her results show she has healed and is ready to show the world her speed in the water come August.

Medrano, a senior this past year, won four events during the Mexican Olympic trials, including victories in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly, as well as in the 50-meter freestyle.

The 2012 Summer Olympics start July 27 in London.


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