Let’s talk about which events happened…
First-round heats of the women’s 400 and 800 meters both happened on the track today, and both had crowd favorites! More than 20,000 people stuffed the stadium to cheer.
What about the energy in the stadium?
The energy in the stadium was unbeatable. A nearly packed Hayward Field means people are ready to fan girl (or boy), cheer and be really, really loud no matter the event. Feet were stomping on the home stretch, hands were clapping pretty much the entire time, and every fan was eager to get to their seat for all the track events.
Take us through the 400-meter first round…how did Allyson Felix do?
Felix ran in the final heat of four to qualify for the semi-finals. She’s been injured the last few months, so the crowd whispered about her ability to finish. But when the introductions came, everyone was cheering for their favorite girl. She finished second in her heat, punching a pass to the semi-finals.
What about the 800-meter first round…Alysia “Flying Flower” Montano was a clear favorite!
Clearly! The crowded formed near the start line for her first heat (shown above), and she finished second behind Molly Ludlow in what looked like an easy 2:00.56. And per usual, her flying flower didn’t budge and made it fun and exciting to spot her in lane five! In the second heat, Brenda Martinez runs away with the win, while Phoebe Wright snagged third—did you read her event predictions yet? In the final heat, there was a false start (which means someone took off a tad early before the gun, and everyone had to get back into their blocks), so that’s always an adrenaline rush cut short. Oiselle’s 800-meter poster girl, Kate Grace “gracefully” won the final heat at the line–in true 800-meter fashion–to a screaming crowd.
You also showed Baylee Miers, a Brooks Beast athlete, on your Snapchat yesterday—how did she do in her Olympic Trials debut?
She kicked butt! She finished fourth in the same heat at Martinez, looking super strong, but unfortunately she missed a qualifying time for the next round.
So who’s advancing to the semifinals?
The first two in each heat automatically advance to the semi-finals, followed by the next six fastest times in the 800 meters. For the 400 meters, the top three in each heat advance to the semi-finals, followed by the next four fastest times from each heat.
We saw the gallery of the “Fan Festival” before opening day—what’s it like now?
It’s a great place for fans to hang out, buy merchandise, get some food and drink samples and feel connected to the sport. This is exactly what the sport needs—it makes an otherwise boring meet for some feel like a complete running party.
What was the news of the day?
American 400-meter record holder Sanya Richards-Ross dropped out with about 150 meters to go in her heat and will not go on to make her final Olympic team. She walked the homestretch to a standing ovation, waving her hands in appreciation.