Olympic Trials: Former Cyclone Uhl Makes London in 10,000 Meters
Dan Tomlin, correspondent
EUGENE, Oregon - Lisa Uhl is London Bound.
The former Fort Dodge and Iowa State distance star didn’t finish in the top-3 of the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Friday night, but as it turned out she didn’t need to. Because third place finisher Shalene Flanagan will be racing the marathon, the next highest finisher with the Olympic “A” standard time is on the team.
That’s Uhl. In fact, the former Lisa Koll is one of only four women, including Flanagan, to hit the “A” standard all season. Amy Hastings continued her stellar season by breaking the tape in 31:58.36, while Uhl came in at 32:03.46.
All of this, after her shoe came untied in the first mile.
“I had to stop and tie it, I had five miles left,” Uhl said. “It was an ugly way to make it to the Olympics but I’ll take it.”
She patiently made her way back into the race, and used fellow Cyclone and former Xavier prep Meaghan Nelson to get back in it.
When back in the race, Uhl went straight to the front running in a top-3 position for the majority of the second half of the race.
“I knew if I just finished in fourth behind Shalene I would be in, but I didn’t want to think like that,” Uhl said. “I just raced hard and tried to get in the top three.”
When she finished?
“I just thought, 'Wow, I’m an Olympian,'” Uhl said. “In high school I didn’t even know professional running existed and did I think I’d be an Olympian? No way.”
Nelson ran a confident race, challenging the lead pack throughout and forcing the tempo. She made the leaders pick it up with her aggressive running.
“I tried to cover all of their moves, but I do better when I can run an even pace,” said Nelson whose splits were all over the map. “It was a good experience and I’m going to take that with me and use it to motivate me in my training. Overall though, I’m not too happy with (the race).”
The former Xavier standout finished 12th, racing to a finishing time of 32:32.45, 33 seconds away from the final podium spot.
800s were easy and hard: The Hawkeye state will be well represented in the semifinals of the 800m run Saturday after Tyler Mulder and Ashley Miller each moved on. Mulder did his going away, running the fastest qualifying time of 1:46.81.
“It felt easy, that was good,” Mulder said. “It felt good coming down the homestretch but I wanted to conserve, so I slowed down. I did make sure no one could come up from behind me.”
The former Unity Christian state champ is looking to make his first Olympic Team, after failing to make the finals at the 2008 trials.
Miller is getting her first taste of Olympic Trials racing, and did just enough to guarantee a race this afternoon. The former Tipton state champ finished fourth in her heat, and was the fourth fastest non-automatic qualifier, the final spot. She ran 2:03.34 which was right in the middle of the pack.
The field trimmed down to 16 for Saturday’s semifinal and will cut down to eight today when they race at 6:30 p.m. (women) and 6:45 p.m. CST. Out of the two heats the top three finishers plus the next two fastest times will move on to Monday night’s final.
Lolo moves on: It wasn’t her best race, but she didn’t need it to be, as Lolo Jones continues her quest for redemption. The hurdler from Des Moines Roosevelt is hoping to race twice Saturday with semifinals running at 5:15 p.m. and finals at 7:52 p.m.
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