Several Wildcats to compete at Trials

MANHATTAN, Kan. Several Wildcats, including current athletes Loren Groves and Scott Sellers, have qualified to participate in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, which begin this weekend and run until July 6 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.


The list of nine current and/or former Wildcats scheduled to compete in the Trials include Groves (hammer throw), Laci Heller (2005-08; hammer throw), Kyle Lancaster (2003-07; high jump), Amy Mortimer (2000-03; 1,500 meters), Sellers (high jump), Donniece Parrish (2006-08; 400 meters), Christian Smith (2003-06; 800 meters), Tony Thompson (2001; shot put), Kaylene Wagner (2007; high jump) and Gwen Wentland (1991-95; high jump).  Assistant coach Tom Pappas (decathlon) will also compete in the event.  

The largest national championship track meet in the world, the Olympic Trials is where the roster for Team USA will be selected for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.


Smith (800 meters) and Thompson (shot put) begin their events on Friday with the qualifying rounds, while the 800 semifinals and shot put finals are set for Saturday at 6:40 p.m. CT.  Pappas (decathlon) and Parrish (400 meters) start their competitions on Sunday.  The 400 semifinals, 800 finals and completion of the decathlon are scheduled for Monday, June 30. 

After rest days on July 1 and 2, the remainder of the Wildcats start with qualifying rounds in the women’s hammer throw (Groves and Heller), men’s (Sellers and Lancaster) and women’s high jump (Wagner and Wentland), women’s 1,500 meters (Mortimer) and the finals of the women’s 400 meters on Thursday, July 3.  The finals in the women’s high jump and semifinal round of the women’s 1,500 meters are on Friday, July 4, while the finals of the men’s high hump and women’s hammer are slated for Saturday, July 5.  The finals in the women’s 1,500 meters are set for Sunday, July 6.  


A native of Katy, Texas, Sellers is tied for the second-best mark (7-07.75) in the country in the high jump behind conference rival Dustin Jonas (7-08.75) of Nebraska.  Sellers earned All-America honors in the high jump during both the indoor and outdoor seasons this past year.  He was the runner-up at indoor nationals with a height of 7-04.50, while he finished fourth at the outdoor meet with a clearance of 7-02.50.  A six-time All-American, Sellers has earned All-America accolades in the high jump at every indoor and outdoor championship of his career, including the 2007 outdoor NCAA title. 


Groves capped one of the most impressive seasons in throwing events with her first outdoor All-America honors in the hammer with a fifth-place throw of 210-04 on June 13.  She captured both the NCAA Midwest Regional and Big 12 titles in the hammer and won seven consecutive competitions in the event from March 29 to May 30.  Groves broke the nearly 10-year-old school record of Renetta Seiler at the Ward Haylett Invitational on May 3 with a throw of 214-05.  A native of Scott City, Mo., she currently boasts the 14th-best mark in the country in the hammer with a mark of 214-5.  


For more information on the Olympic Trials, including a schedule of events, results and a photo gallery, visit