There are only three and half weeks left until the beginning of the track and field – or as they say across the pond, Athletics – portion of the Olympic program on August 3rd. The opening ceremonies are only two weeks away. Until then, the majority of our focus will be on the European continent as many Ivy athletes will be competing there the next few weeks.
First up, the World Junior Championships are currently underway in Barcelona, Spain. Cornell’s Stephen Mozia will compete in the shot put final on Wednesday afternoon (today) as he posted the fourth best throw in the preliminary rounds, while Princeton’s Eddie Owens will run in the steeplechase trials on Friday morning. Both athletes have a chance of finishing in the top 5 according to ESPN’s event previews. You can watch the action at the live stream available at this link and this link.
Many of our “London Eight” will be traveling to Europe in the next few days in order to resume training and compete in a few meets to fine tune their performance. We know that Harvard alum Samyr Laine will set his base training camp in Paris, France at the L’Institut National du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP) – France’s primary training facility for their elite athletes. Laine will be writing special Olympics features for the Caribbean Journal, talking about his Olympic journey and what it means to represent Haiti. His first blog entry is available. He may also cover non-athletic topics from time to time, like how his freshman year roommate was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Princeton alum Donn Cabral will also be in Europe, competing in a few races in Italy and Sweden prior to the Olympic Games, according to his interview with Writing About Running. He also plans to stay in Europe after the Olympics in order to compete in a few more meets. Cornell alum Morgan Uceny is scheduled to compete in London at the Crystal Palace Diamond League matchup this Friday in the 1500m, where she will race her current training partner and Brown alum Anna Pierce. Ashley Higginson (Princeton) is scheduled to compete in the steeplechase.
Although he did not get an Olympic berth this summer and is currently dealing with Lyme’s Disease, Dartmouth alum Ben True is not going to end his season quite yet. He is hoping to run a 5km race in London this Friday and then jump in a few more meets during the summer. True will be at the Olympics though: his girlfriend, Sarah Groff, will be competing in the triathlon.
Another notable alumnus who will be in London but not competing: Harvard’s Chris Lambert. Lambert has been very involved in the planning for the 2012 Olympic Games as he is a budget analyist for the Games. Lambert has previously represented Great Britain in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece (check out our previous interview with Lambert about the experience), and since May, Lambert has been writing special features for the South London Press newspaper in order to share the preparation mindset for British athletes. You can read the articles through his blog.
And for anyone who is involved with the IAAF Fantasy Athletics League: the Crystal Palace Diamond League event in London is this Friday. Don’t forget to pick your teams! In the Fantasy League competition, Phillip Cawkwell (aka P-Cawk) is in the lead after 7 Diamond League matchups, while Hepstrack writer Mary Boggs and Conor Crogan are behind him.