Posted: Jun 30, 2012 6:39 PM by Andrew Masuda
Updated: Jun 30, 2012 10:47 PM
San Luis Obispo resident Sharon Day clinched a spot in the London Olympics with a second place finish in the women's heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.
The former Cal Poly All-American finished with a new personal-best 6,343 points overall. She finished 76 points behind national champion Hyleas Fountain, a Silver Medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"It feels really good. I'm so happy. That was the goal this weekend was to come here and make the team and I did it. I know there's definitely a lot more in there," said Day during a phone interview with KSBY Saturday night. "We've been working on a lot and sharpening up the high jump and long jump and javelin and all 3 of those events went really well. So I'm happy with that. It was a really good tune-up for London so I feel like I'll be ready to go."
After the first four events on Friday, Day had earned 3,797 points and trailed Fountain by 151 points. Day, a 2008 Olympian in the high jump, started the second day of competition with a personal-best mark in the long jump of 20 feet and half an inch to earn 883 points. Fountain won the long jump with a mark of 20-8 to add 60 points to her lead over Day. Sharon narrowed the gap to 123 points after the sixth overall event. Day recorded a top mark of 147-9 in the javelin throw compared to Fountain's 132-7.
That set the stage for the seventh and final event, the 800 meter run. Day won her heat with a time of 2:14.55, while Fountain finished ninth at 2:17.90. The time difference was worth 47 more points for Day.
UCSB's Barbara Nwaba finished fifth out of 20 women in the field. The 2012 NCAA runner-up started the day in fourth place, 212 points behind Fountain. Nwaba set a new PR with 5,986 total points.
Chantae McMillian finished third with 6,188 to meet the Olympic A Standard and earned the third and final spot on the USA Olympic Team.
Earlier in the evening, Paso Robles native Chaunte Howard Lowe won the women's high jump final. The 28 year old cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to win her fifth national outdoor title. The now-three-time Olympian finished sixth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
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