June 21, 2012
BEAVERTON, Ore. --- Former Georgia thrower Kibwe Johnson punched his ticket to his first Olympic Games after winning the hammer on the first day of the Olympic Trials at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., on Thursday.
This is the only event of the Trials that will be held outside Eugene, Ore. The rest of the Trials will be at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
Johnson, who is now competing for Nike/New York Athletic Club (NYAC) after suiting up for the Bulldogs in 2000, launched an opening attempt of 244 feet, 1 inch, which would have also clinched the victory, before letting go of his top throw on his fifth attempt. Johnson's fifth throw measured 245-11 to top Chris Cralle (243-11) for the win.
Expected to join Johnson in London at the Games is AG Kruger instead of Cralle. Kruger, like Johnson, had an “A” qualifying mark going into the Trials and finished third with a mark of 242-6 on Thursday.
Georgia also had another former thrower as well as a current thrower compete in the hammer on Thursday. Lucais Mackay, who won the 2003 NCAA title for the Bulldogs, advanced to the finals and took ninth with a best throw of 225-11 after reaching that distance on his first throw.
Sophomore Justin Welch, who completed 2012 with the seventh-best mark in school history and with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, fouled out of the Trials in three throws.
On Friday, senior Michael Ayers (decathlon), senior Torrin Lawrence (400-meter dash) and freshman Morgann Leleux (pole vault) will join former UGA team members David Dickens (400) and Kat Majester (pole vault) in action in Eugene.
Live results and a recap from the Olympic Trials will be posted at georgiadogs.com.