Saunders & Hackworth Advance in Long Jump on Day One at U.S. Olympic Trials


EUGENE, Ore. – Kentucky track and field’s Sha’Keela Saunders and Kenyattia Hackworth both advanced in the long jump to start the Wildcats’ 2016 United States Olympic Team Trials campaign off strong on Friday before 20,987 at Oregon’s Hayward Field.

They will be among the 12 who contest the long jump final at 2:45 p.m. ET on Saturday. The top-three finishers will qualify for Team USA.

Saturday’s action will be broadcast on NBC. The early-going of the completion will be shown on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Saunders needed just one jump on Friday as she soared to a mark of 22'3.5"/6.79 meters aided by a +5.0 wind. Although the mark was a lifetime all-conditions best, it cannot be considered for records because the wind was more than 2.0 meters per second.

Saunders’ mark was the second best of the qualifying. She landed comfortably past the automatic qualifying mark of 21’11.75”/6.70m meaning Saunders was able to pass on her next two attempts.

Hackworth – who entered Friday as the No. 2-ranked American this season – took a slightly more stressful path to the final, although all that mattered in the end was making it to Saturday as the marks will be wiped clean to begin the final.

She fouled on her first attempt, and then took off behind the board on her second attempt, eaving her outside the top-12 qualifying places entering the final round of the prelims.

Hackworth took care of business on her third attempt, though, reaching a mark of 21'6.25"/6.56m (+2.3) – 10th best of qualifying.

Indeed Friday was a good day for Wildcats who have trained for these trials in Lexington under head coach Edrick Floréal’s direction. Leah Nugent made the Jamaican Olympic team in the 400m hurdles

Beckie Famurewa also turned in a strong showing in the discus. 

She placed 14th in discus qualifying - two spots from advancing - with a mark of 181'4"/55.28m.

NBC’s family of networks will broadcast the 10-day trials. 

Saunders placed fifth and Hackworth ninth in the long jump at last season’s USATF Championships, which were also held at Hayward Field and served as the qualifying meet for the IAAF World Championships.

How to qualify for the Olympics
The top three finishers in each event, so long as they have the Olympic qualifying standard which was established by the International Association of Athletics Federation months ago, will automatically earn spots on Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

UKTF at the Olympic Trials
Kentucky has four members of its 2016 women’s team and Nick Anderson from the men’s team entered in the Olympic Trials.

Additionally, Keni Harrison and Hackworth – professionals who train in Lexington under head coach Edrick Floréal – are competing. 

A few more UK alumni are entered in the meet and will be covered as they compete. 

Olympic team trials and their equivalent meetings are taking place across the world in the coming weeks. For example UK junior Ariah Graham (800m) is competing at the Jamaica Championships this weekend.

Leah Nugent made the Jamaican Olympic Team on Friday night, placing second in the 400m hurdles final with a personal best time of 55.44.

Alumni Rondel Sorrillo, a UK volunteer assistant coach who trains in Lexington, and Mikel Thomas both qualified for the Olympics last weekend at the Trinidad and Tobago trials. 

Freshman Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico – 100m hurdles)  and Luis Orta (Venezuela – marathon) are also already qualified for the Olympic Games.

Live Results | Complete Meet Schedule
Meet Schedule and Results (Times ET)

Friday, July 1

Women’s Discus Qualifying

14. Beckie Famurewa: 181'4"/55.28m

Women’s Long Jump Qualifying

2. Sha’Keela Saunders (Q): 22'3.5"/6.79m (+5.0)
10. Kenyattia Hackworth (q): 21'6.25"/6.56m (+2.3)


Saturday, July 2

2:45 p.m.

Women’s Long Jump Final

Sha’Keela Saunders, Kenyattia Hackworth


Television Broadcast Schedule


Time (Network)


Saturday, July 2nd (Day Two)

12:45-2 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Saturday, July 2nd (Day Two)

2-5 p.m. (NBC)


Saturday, July 2nd (Day Two)

5-6:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)


Sunday, July 3rd (Day Three)

1-7 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Sunday, July 3rd (Day Three)

7-9 p.m. (NBC)


Monday, July 4th (Day Four)

6:30-7 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Monday, July 4th (Day Four)

7-9 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)


Thursday, July 7th (Day Seven)

6:30-8 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Thursday, July 7th (Day Seven)

8-11 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)


Friday, July 8th (Day Eight)

6-8 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)


Friday, July 8th (Day Eight)

8-9 p.m. (NBC)


Saturday, July 9th (Day Nine)

6:30-8 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Saturday, July 9th (Day Nine)

8-9 p.m. (NBC)


Sunday, July 10th (Day Ten)

4:45-6 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra)


Sunday, July 10th (Day Ten)

7-8:30 p.m. (NBC)



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