North Carolina women’s gymnast Ashton Locklear came close Sunday night but did not make the U.S. Olympic team.
At the conclusion of the U.S. Olympic Trials, the five women who will go to Rio were announced. Simone Biles, as the all-around winner, captured the only automatic berth. The other four “coach’s choice” members were Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian.
Locklear, 18, is from Hamlet and trains five days a week in Huntersville. A member of the Lumbee Tribe, she has serious enough back issues that she was the only young woman among the 14 in the competition not to compete in all four events. Locklear instead competed in only the uneven bars and balance beam, as usual. Locklear had a stellar night Sunday on both those rotations after she fell off the beam on Friday. Locklear’s uneven bars routine earned the second-highest score – Kocian had the best uneven bars score and likely was the one Locklear had to unseat if she were to make it – Sunday night.
But it wasn’t quite enough, as the coaches decided to go with five women’s gymnasts who have the capability to do all four events to give the U.S. team more versatility in case of injury or illness. Locklear was named as one of the three “replacement” athletes to the Summer Games, but will be a non-competing alternate unless one of the five athletes is hurt between now and the start of the Games in early August. Replacement athletes usually travel to the site of the Games with the team, however, and do continue training as if they are going to be on the team.
Women’s 400-meter hurdles: New Jersey prep star Sydney McLaughlin became the first 16-year-old in 40 years to make the U.S. Olympic track team with a third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles on Sunday at the U.S. Track and Field Trials.
McLaughlin joins winner Dalilah Muhammad and runner-up Ashley Spencer on the team headed to Rio. Muhammad, the silver medalist at the 2013 world championships in Moscow, finished in 52.88 seconds.
McLaughlin’s time of 54.14 was a junior world record. She will be a senior at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, N.J., next fall.
The last 16-year-old to make the team was 100-meter hurdler Rhonda Brady in 1976.
Men’s high jump: Charlotte 49ers high jumper Trey McRae did not make the U.S. Olympic team, finishing fifth out of the 13 jumpers who had advanced to Sunday’s final. McRae cleared 7-foot-3 in the competition, but then missed three times at 7-foot-5.
“I gave it my all and left everything out there,” McRae said. “It has been amazing to be among the best high jumpers in the United States.”
Men’s 400 meter hurdles: Beijing Olympics silver medalist Kerron Clement won the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Track and Field Trials to earn a spot on the team for the Rio Games next month. Runner-up Byron Robinson and third-place finisher Michael Tinsley, the silver medalist at the London Olympics, also earned spots on the team.
Women’s 200 meters: Allyson Felix’s chance at the Olympic double is over. She was beaten out for third place by .01 seconds by a diving Jenna Prandini in the 200-meter final at U.S. Track and Field Trials on Sunday.
Felix was shooting for the 200-400 double, made possible when Olympic organizers changed the schedule after a request that originated in the United States.
Prandini will be joined by Tori Bowie and Deajah Stevens, who finished 1-2.
Women’s 5,000 meters: American record holder Molly Huddle earned a spot on the Olympic team by winning the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Trials. Shelby Houlihan and Kim Conley also made the team for the Rio Games
Women’s Pole vault: Jenn Suhr will get to defend her Olympic gold medal in the pole vault after winning the event at the U.S. Track and Field Trials. Runner-up Sandi Morris and third-place finisher Alexis Weeks also qualified for a spot.
British agency probes doping: The UK anti-doping agency has sent investigators to Kenya to probe allegations that four British athletes used the banned blood-booster EPO in a well-known high-altitude training region, claims that could increase the scope of the problem in the East African nation and show foreign runners are also doping there.
Russian jumper can compete: The IAAF said U.S.-based Russian long jumper Daria Klishina meets the “exceptional eligibility criteria” to take part in international competition as a neutral athlete.
France gets last hoops spot: France earned the final basketball spot in the Olympics, beating Canada 83-74 in the championship game of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines.
Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs scored 26 points for the French, who pulled away in the fourth quarter.