Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials Preview
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MGOBLUE
CANADIAN TRACK AND FIELD OLYMPIC TRIALS
Thursday, July 3-Sunday, July 6
University of Windsor Stadium Windsor, Ontario

U-M AT THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS

The Canadian Track and Field Championships (July 3-6) at the University of Windsor Stadium in Windsor, Ontario will serve as the nation's Olympic Trials for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Wolverines will send a six-member group of track and field athletes -- five former standouts and one outgoing senior -- from the men's and women's programs.

The trials will feature track, field, road and combined events for both the Olympics and Paralympics. A maximum of three athletes in each event may be selected to the Olympic squad. The top three finishers will be selected provided they all exceed the International Association of Athletics Federations' 'A' standard. Should none of the finishers meet the standard in a given event, then the country will be allowed one participant who exceeded the 'B' standard.

WHEN TO CATCH THEM

Michigan will see its first action beginning on day two of competition in back-to-back events. Courtney Babcock (1992-96) and senior Nicole Edwards(Winnipeg, Manitoba/Vincent Massey) will kick things off at 6:10 p.m. in the women's 1,500-meter heats. The maize and blue duo of Nate Brannen (2002-05) and Kevin Sullivan (1994-98) will follow in the men's 1,500-meter heats at 6:25 p.m.

Events with Wolverine Competitors

Thursday, July 3
No U-M competition

Friday, July 4
6:10 p.m. Women's 1,500m C Heats
6:25 p.m. Men's 1,500m C Heats

Saturday, July 5
5:30 p.m. Women's 1,500m C Final
5:40 p.m. Men's 1,500m C Final
6:10 p.m. Men's 800m - Semifinal
6:30 p.m. Men's Hammer Throw C Final (Flight 1)
7:30 p.m. Men's Hammer Throw C Final (Flight 2)

Sunday, July 6
1 p.m. Women's High Jump C Final
2 p.m. Men's Discus C Final (Flight 1)
3 p.m. Men's Discus C Final (Flight 2)
3:15 p.m. Men's 800m C Final

HOW TO CATCH THE ACTION

Results of the trials will be posted on www.canadiantrials.ca and www.athletics.ca, the official website of Canadian athletics.

Ticket prices for the Olympic Trials range from $8 for a daily admission ticket to $25 for a four day all-event pass. There is also a "Super Saturday" ticket on sale for $10 which grants you access to the Olympic Trials for Saturday's (July 5) events. Tickets can be purchased online from Game Day Sports at www.gamedaysports.ca or by calling the University of Windsor at (519) 253-3000 ext. 2477.

THE WOLVERINE REPRESENTATIVES (MEN)

Nate Brannen (2002-05) C Brannen enters the trials as the third seed in the 1,500-meter race. While training for his Olympic bid, Brannen has served as a volunteer coach at Michigan. The 11-time All-American in cross country and track was on pace for Athens in 2004, but finished fourth in the 800-meter at qualifying while missing the 'A' standard. He won a gold medal at the 2006 Canadian Championships and a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Andrew Ellerton (2003-06) C Ellerton is part of a triumvirate of runners that hold a two-second advantage over the rest of the 800-meter field. The eight-time NCAA Track All-American is coming off two strong 800-meter races in which he finished second at the Victoria Track Classic (June 19) and led the pack in the American Miler's Club High Performance Series meet. At the latter race, he topped his personal best with a 1:46.07, missing the Olympic A standard by seven-hundredths of a second. Ellerton won four Big Ten titles between indoor and outdoor and won three NCAA titles (distance medley relay, 2004-05; outdoor 800-meter run, 2007) at Michigan.

Kevin Sullivan (1994-98) C Sullivan holds the Canadian record and is the top-seeded runner in the 1,500-meter race. He is seeking his third Olympic bid in the 1,500 meters after finishing fifth in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and advancing to the semifinals in Athens at the 2004 Olympics. Sullivan won four indoor mile and four outdoor 1,500m Big Ten crowns at U-M and was a three-time NCAA champion (indoor mile, 1995, 1998; outdoor 1,500m, 1995).

THE WOLVERINE REPRESENTATIVES (WOMEN)

Courtney Babcock (1992-96) C Looking for her second Olympic berth, Babcock enters the 1,500-meter trial with the eighth seed. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, she ran in the 5,000- and 1,500-meter races. In the 1,500-meter, she missed advancing past qualifying by only two spots, finishing 26th. She was an NCAA champion on the 1994 outdoor distance medley relay and was an eight-time All-American at Michigan.

Nicole Edwards C Edwards wrapped up a decorated career at U-M with sixth-place finish in the 1,500-meter outdoor at the 2008 NCAA Championships and enters the trials with the fifth-fastest time in the event. A six-time NCAA All-American, her name peppers the U-M track record book as her school records include the mile mark and the 1,500-meter run. At the 2007 Canadian Track and Field Championships, she finished third and set a personal best (4:15.42) in the process.

Nicole Forrester (1996-99) C Forrester is looking to defend her high jump title from the 2007 Canadian Track and Field Championships as she seeks her first Olympic trip. To claim her title at the 2007 championships, she used a score of 1.92 meters. At the 2008 Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway (June 6), she cleared 1.90 meters to finish eighth. She earned five All-America honors, five Big Ten Conference titles and a Big Ten Indoor Athlete of the Year award in 1999 at U-M. She served as a volunteer strength coach for U-M last season.

U-M GUEST PARTICIPANTS

Sean Pruitt C Michigan junior/sophomore Pruitt will take part in the discus throw and hammer throw as an international guest participant not seeking an Olympic bid. He set a new school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 197-11 (60.34m) at the Big Ten Championships (May 16-18).

   

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