Three women make the U.S. team in the hammer throw

Posted: June 22, 2012

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Amber Campbell had a meet-record throw of 235 feet, 6 inches in the hammer at the Olympic trials to earn a spot on the U.S. team in London.

Amanda Bingson, who just wrapped up her senior year at UNLV, threw just shy of Campbell's mark to reach the Olympic "A" standard and make the team, along with third-place finisher Jessica Cosby at 232-2.

The event Thursday was held at Nike's headquarters, about 110 miles north of where the rest of the Olympic trials will start Friday at Eugene's Hayward Field.

Campbell, who also competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, jumped up and down in the circle and squealed for joy after her long throw. At 71.80 meters, it just bested Bingson's throw of 71.78 meters.

"I knew as soon as I let it go and I hit it that it was going to be a good one," she said.

Keelin Godsey, who was vying to become the first transgender to make the U.S. team, finished fifth at 231-3. Godsey was born a woman but identifies as a man.

Local hopefuls

A number of athletes with local ties will compete in Eugene for a spots on the national track and field team over the next few days. They include:

Penn State's Brady Gehret in the men's 400.

LaTavia Thomas, formerly of West Catholic and LSU; Chanelle Price of Tennessee, who went to Easton Area High and as a teen trained with United Stars track club of Philadelphia; and Rebecca Simko of Penn State in the women's 800.

Penn State's Casimir Loxsom in the men's 800.

Shericka Ward of Villanova, and Nia Ali, formerly of Pleasantville High and Southern California, in the women's 100 hurdles.

English Gardner, of Eastern High and the University of Oregon, in the women's 100 meters.

Brian Chaput, formerly of Penn, in the men's javelin.

Penn State's Joe Kovacs in the men's shot put.

Penn's Maalik Reynolds in the men's high jump.

Bridget Franek, formerly of Penn State, and Ashley Higginson, formerly of Princeton, in women's steeplechase.

Temple's Travis Mahoney and Princeton's Donn Cabral in the men's steeplechase.

Two former Villanova stars, Jen Rhines and Frances Koons, in the women's 5,000 meters.

Coach K: LeBron on team

Mike Krzyzewski said Thursday he expected LeBron James to play for the U.S. Olympic team.

Speaking less than two weeks before the candidates for the Olympic team begin practice in Las Vegas, Krzyzewski said matter-of-factly: "I know LeBron will play."

James, whose Miami Heat are battling the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, was part of the Krzyzewski-led team that won Olympic gold at the Beijing Games four years ago.

Injuries, including to Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, and LaMarcus Aldridge, have thinned the pool of players available for the U.S. roster.

Furthermore, the combination of the condensed NBA season, late playoffs, and an earlier Olympics has eliminated the buffer between the events and means "you're going to have a mentally different team and a physically different team," Krzyzewski said.

Penn swimming aspirants

Penn will have six swimmers in the Olympic trials that begin Monday in Omaha, Neb.

Penn grad Brendan McHugh (St. Augustine Prep) will compete in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke; junior Rhoads Worsters (La Salle High) in the men's trials in the 100 butterfly; and junior Shelby Fortin in the women's 400 freestyle.

Also competing will be incoming freshmen Annie McCotter from Bishop Eustace (women's 200 butterfly); Bradley Wachenfeld of Basking Ridge, N.J. (men's 400 freestyle); and Chris Swanson of Tampa, Fla., (men's 1,500 freestyle).

Inquirer staff writer Joe Juliano contributed to this report.

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