EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Brenda Martinez was laying on the track, her head buried in her hands.
She seemed prepared for heartache again at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials. She tripped after she charged around the final turn of the 800 meters on Monday, missing out on a top-three finish and a coveted spot on the Olympic team for Rio.
She had one more chance to make the team in the 1,500 meters. Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury grabbed the top two spots, and Martinez and Amanda Eccleston leaned for third before collapsing.
Martinez appeared to sob, unable to look at the results on the scoreboard at Hayward Field. But Simpson was watching intently.
Once it was official, Simpson ran to Martinez and scooped her into her arms.
“I’m so proud of you,” Simpson said. “I’m so proud of you.”
Martinez had edged Eccleston by .03 seconds.
“Maybe that can be my story,” Martinez said about finally making the team. “If I can help someone along the way: Don’t give up on your dream.”
Later, Matthew Centrowitz made his second Olympic team with a victory in the men’s 1,500 meters. Centrowitz finished fourth at the London Games.
Runner-up Robby Andrews and third-place finisher Ben Blankenship also are headed to Rio. Leo Manzano, the silver medalist in the London Olympics, finished fourth and did not make the team.