June 22, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Ashley Hearn, whose third-place finish in the discus at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships vaulted her to All-America status earlier this month, officially completed her outstanding UC Davis career on Friday during qualifying at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Hearn, who finished her eligibility this season by capturing her second Big West Conference championship in the event and later establishing a school record (190 feet, 1 inch) at the national championships, fouled on each of her three attempts at Hayward Field on Friday.
The top 12 competitors in the 24-person field advanced to Sunday's final. Stephanie Brown-Trafton led the way with her mark of 206-1 (62.83 meters).
Despite her finish, Aggie head coach Drew Wartenburg said the opportunity to compete for a berth in this summer's London Olympics was a tremendous achievement for Hearn who was in Aggie uniform on Friday.
"Although the outcome, on paper, was not what we had hoped for, Ashley's experience of throwing on the highest national stage is incomparable," he said. "Regardless of whether they are applied in the throwing ring or in the 'real world,' the learning moments from today will provide valuable lessons for Ashley."
Hearn is one of several current or former Aggie athletes and coaches competing at Eugene. Ugo Eke, the school record holder in the 400-meter dash who finished her UC Davis career in 2011, advanced to the next round of the event after placing third in her heat and 15th overall in 53.12 seconds. She'll compete in the semifinals on Saturday.
Former standout Kim Conley (5,000) and current assistant coach Jonathan Tipton (discus) are also competing at this year's track and field trials. Jonathan Peterson (5,000), who finished his eligibility with the Aggies this spring, is hoping to secure a spot in that field when declarations are completed.
The meet continues through July 1.