The 2016 Track & Field Olympic Trials began on June 30 and continued through July 10 in Eugene, Oregon, where a number of former CCCAA student-athletes competed for a spot in the Rio Olympics.
Former Cerritos College standout discus thrower, Whitney Ashley, won the Olympic Trials discus with a distance of 62.25. Ashley is a former CCCAA state champion from 2008 as a freshman, and claimed fourth as a sophomore.
Another former CCCAA student-athlete who competed on Wednesday in the hammer throw is Moorpark College alum, Kibwe Johnson. In the Olympic Trials Johnson placed second overall with a distance of 75.11. He'll be moving onto the Rio Olympics in the event. Johnson competed at Moorpark College 2002 winning the state title in the hammer throw. He also had the state's furthest throw in discus that year.
Former state champion in 2010 for Riverside City, Chris Benard, competed over the weekend in the triple jump, placing 3rd overall and earning himself a spot on the Olympic team. While at RCC, Benard took the state title in both the long jump and triple jump, was selected as the team MVP, and ended his stint there ranked second all-time in school history for the triple jump. Also competing in the triple jump finals was San Joaquin Delta alum, Eric Sloan, although he does not advance. Sloan was a state champion in the event during the 2014 season. College of the Canyons alum, Tim White, also competed in the triple jump but fell short of qualifying for the final round. White was a state champion in the event for COC during the 2013 season in addition to being a star wide receiver for the Cougars.
Also earning a spot to the Rio Olympics over the weekend was former Cerritos College standout sprinter, Ameer Webb, who placed third overall in the 200m dash. Webb competed in the CCCAA over the 2010 & '11 seasons, winning the 200m dash state title both seasons and taking the 100m title his Sophomore year. Mt. San Antonio's Cravon Gillespie competed in the 200m last week but did not advance to the weekend's final heat. Gillespie just won a pair of 2016 CCCAA state titles in the 100m and 200m dash, as well as being a part of Mt. SAC's state winning 4x100m relay team. He posted the 2016 fastest times in the nation for community colleges in both the 100 & 200m. However, Gillespie did not qualify to advance in the 200m.
Former El Camino College thrower, Jason Harrell, placed fourth overall in the men's discus final on Friday. Another former ECC alum, Ben Woodruff, competed in the Javelin qualifying round the previous weekend, placing 19th.
One of the top 400m hurdle competitors in CCCAA history, Chaffey College's Khallifah Rosser, made his way to the semifinals placing seventh. During his time at Chaffey Rosser won the 400m hurdles state title in both the 2013 & '14 seasons.
A former CCC alum, now competing in Oregon is Nick Christie, who was a decathlete at Cuyamaca College. During his time at Cuyamaca, Christie's cross country coach introduced him to the sport of runwalking, which he picked up quickly and competed in at the Olympic Trials over the weekend. Christie claimed third in the 20km Race Walk with a time of 1:27:43.30.
Also at the trials was the two-time former 800m state champion, Chris Low, from College of the Canyons. Low placed 15th in the first round of the 800m race. During his time at Canyons, he won back-to-back state titles in 2011 & 2012, was named two-time Western State Conference Athlete of the Year and left COC with five school records. Riverside City College alum, Brandon Johnson, also competed in the 800m, making it to the final round where he placed 8th overall.
Another former CCCAA student-athlete who competed at the Olympic Trials is Deejah Stevens, former runner at College of the Sequoias. Deeajah made it to the 100m semifinals in Oregon where she placed 9th. She also competed in the 200m where she took second place overall and will be advancing to Rio in the event. In 2015, Stevens claimed state titles in both the 200m and 400m and was runner up in the long jump. She has since transferred to the University of Oregon.
Competing in the 10,000m event in the beginning of the month was former San Diego Mesa state champion, Ben Bruce. Bruce placed 13th overall with a time of 29:12.11. Bruce attended SD Mesa in 2002 where he won the state title in the 3000m steeplechase.
Complete results in the Track & Field Olympic Trials can be found at http://trialsresults.usatf.org/.