UH alumna misses Olympic spot
All that prevented Ebonie Floyd from a shot at competing for the U.S. Olympics track and field team was a difference of 0.02 seconds.
The former UH sprinter finished fifth in her heat of the women’s 200-meter semifinals at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Saturday in Eugene, Ore., just one spot short of qualifying for the finals. Floyd finished the race in 22.63 seconds, but couldn’t hold off Carmelita Jeter (22.61) for fourth place.
Allyson Felix, Muna Lee and Shalonda Solomon finished 1-2-3 in that heat to advance to Sunday’s finals. Felix and Lee took home the gold and silver medals, respectively, and will compete at the Beijing Olympics in August.
It was a disappointing end to the Olympics trials for Floyd, who ran with Nike’s team, and fellow former UH sprinter Preston Perry, who failed to make it out of the preliminary round of the men’s 100-meter-dash.
Still, Floyd, the daughter of Olympians Stanley Floyd and Delisa Walton-Floyd, walked away with a solid showing in the 200-meter and 400-meter trials. She had her best finish in the 400-meter, finishing sixth in that final.
Floyd reached success quickly at UH, winning both the 200 and 400-meter-dash at the C-USA Indoor Championships as a freshman in 2003. She repeated her success in the 400 at the C-USA Outdoor Championships and was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year.
Floyd continued to compete well and earned back-to-back C-USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year awards with the Cougars in 2006-07. After her senior year, Floyd was the first member of a track and field team to win the Conference USA Athlete of the Year award in 2007.
Floyd got off to a good start in the 200 at the Olympic Trials, finishing second in her preliminary heat (23.49 seconds) and first in her quarterfinal heat (23.05) before ending her run in the semifinals.
Earlier in the trials, Floyd tried to earn a spot on the Olympics team via the 400. She finished second in her preliminary heat (51.37 seconds) and slipped into the finals with a fourth-place finish in her semifinal heat (51.49).
Floyd, however, found no relief in the finals, in which she faced Nike teammates Sanya Richards, Mary Wineberg and Natasha Hastings.
Richards and Wineberg had sprinted to victories in the preliminaries and semifinals and continued that momentum in the finals, finishing in first and second, respectively, to earn a berth on the Olympics team along with third-place finisher Dee Dee Trotter.
Richards (49.89 seconds) won the race by nearly a second over Wineberg (50.85). Floyd’s 51.26-second run was good only for sixth.
Perry, who was an All-American with the Cougars in 2006, had a tough task from the beginning. He was slotted in a preliminary heat with eventual 100-meter-dash winner Tyson Gay and never got off to a good start, finishing seventh in 10.28 seconds.