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EUGENE, Ore. - Kim Conley, whose riveting run to a berth in the London Olympics four years ago vaulted her professional career, looks for repeat success beginning this weekend when she leads four former standout UC Davis runners looking to punch tickets to Rio de Janeiro for this year's Games at the U.S. Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field.
The meet will determine the team that will represent the U.S. at the Olympics that begin next month in Brazil. Conley, who earned her spot in 2012 in the 5,000-meter run, is qualified in both that event and the 10,000, the latter which she won at the national championships a year ago. Joining her in Eugene, Oregon, are Kaitlin (Gregg) Goodman, who is also in the 10K. Lauren Wallace and Raquel Lambdin, both former Big West champions in the 800, will compete in the first round of that event on Friday.
The top three finishers in each event will earn a spot on the USA team, provided they also pick up the Olympic qualifying standard. Conley, who starred for the Aggies in both cross country and track from 2004-09 before later becoming an assistant coach, did just that in 2012 when she roared from far back with less than 200 meters remaining in the 5,000 final to not only grab third place by a slim margin but also eclipse the Olympic standard.
Conley enters Saturday's 10K race ranked 11th on the entry list but just 21 seconds behind the top time of 31:37.45. She is also entered in the 5,000 where she ranks seventh. The first round of that event takes place on Thursday.
Goodman, who joined Conley in 2008 as the first Aggies to earn berths to the NCAA Div. I Cross Country Championships, also competed in the Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles in February. She has a PR of 32:09.82 in the 10k at the 2015 Stanford Invitational. Goodman, who went to nearby Davis High School, is ranked third all-time at UC Davis for the 10,000.
Wallace and Lambdin are 1-2 all-time for the Aggies and Big West champions in the 800. Wallace won the conference title in 2013 before advancing to the NCAA Final where she set the school record of 2:02.91 while earning All-America first-team honors. She carries a PR of 2:00.48 into the trials.
Lambdin won three Big West 1,500 titles before adding an 800 banner as a senior in 2015. She later earned All-America first-team accolades in the 1,500. Lambdin ran 2:02.85 in Vancouver, Canada, on June 16 for her personal-best.