Last year, a worldwide television audience caught a glimpse of the World Track championships, broadcast from Daegu, Korea. Amazingly, three of the female athletes who earned airtime during the NBC and Universal Sports television coverage of the meet have a common bond in that they are all graduates of Hampton University in Southeastern Virginia. Although running more for personal glory than Pirate pride these days, there is still a connection of sorts among the three – Kellie Wells, Francena McCorory and Yvette Lewis, that being the dream of representing their country and winning an Olympic gold medal. The trio didn’t all compete together for Coach Maurice Pierce at Hampton (Wells and Lewis were teammates from 2003 – 2006, Lewis and McCorory in 2006-07, the year after Wells graduated), but do bump into each other occasionally at track meets in America and Europe. As a followup to last year's profile of the three young ladies, here's an update of their progress, coupled with the initial entries. The Olympic track and field trials began today at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, a town affectionately called "Tracktown USA."
Update: Francena comes to the Trials in a great position. Last year, at Daegu, she placed 4th in the open 400, while lowering her time to 50.26. However, given a second chance on the world stage, the Hampton native shined, anchoring the 1600-meter relay to a gold medal. Sanya Richards-Ross was her relay teammate in Daegu and will now be the top seed in Oregon with an impressive clocking of 49.39. However, McCorory is the second seed at 50.06, which she accomplished less than two weeks ago while winning the New York Grand Prix meet (shown to a national audience on NBC). With Allyson Felix opting out of the open 400, there is a great chance for Francena to make the Olympic team in the open 400. She is a shoo-in to make the 1600-meter relay team