Aries Merritt
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Aries Merritt misses Rio spot by .01 seconds; Oregon WR wins Olympic Trials

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Most guys clear 10 hurdles. Devon Allen took an extra leap.

The University of Oregon receiver and hurdler for the Ducks track team became a U.S. Olympian on Saturday.

Allen won the 110-meter hurdles at trials and celebrated by racing over to the seats and jumping into the stands to hug his family.

“It was a really exciting moment for me,” said Allen, who became the first man to win the 110 hurdles at trials and NCAA championships since 1956. “It’s something I wanted to share with my family. I’m glad they could be here.”

Allen won in a school-record time of 13.03 seconds, holding off runner-up Ronnie Ashand Jeff Porter. The rest of the results were as surprising as the three qualifiers for Rio.

Defending Olympic champion Aries Merritt finished fourth, falling just short of making the team after a kidney transplant. Jason Richardson, 2012 Olympic silver medalist, was fifth, and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Oliver withdrew just before the final with a tweaked left hamstring.

“It seemed like age didn’t give you the experience factor that you’re used to,” the 30-year-old Richardson said. “It seemed like it was more of a handicap. Tried to will myself to this last Olympics.”

Merritt won a bronze medal at the 2015 world championships in Beijing on a kidney that was working at 10 percent capacity. After receiving a new one from his sister in September and going through another surgery because of complications in October, he hurt his groin five weeks ago and wasn’t in top form.

“For me to be where I am is a miracle,” said Merritt, the world-record holder in the event. “It’s a pity that I’m not going to the Games. I know in six weeks times I’ll be in much better shape and probably pull off something similar as I did in Beijing. However, that’s not the case.”

Still, his doctor said what Merritt pulled off is a medical marvel. To run so quick after the transplant was amazing. To run that quick and almost make the team? Indescribable.

“Every time Aries does something else, somehow gets to the next round, is one more thing to stand back and just say, ‘Wow,'” said Dr. Les Thomas, who treated Merritt at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and was on hand for the trials. “Just for him to be here is unbelievable.”

Oliver was understandably disappointed, issuing a statement after the race: “Devastated I couldn’t run the final, hurt left hammy in the semi, but that’s part of the game. Hats off to the great guys we’re sending!”

Indeed, in Oregon, where the fans love track as much as football, the day’s final race was all about the Ducks.

The cheers by the Hayward Field crowd were so loud that Allen almost felt like he was playing down the road at Autzen Stadium. It’s the sort of roar reserved for football games.

“Can’t hear yourself talk,” Allen said.

After the race, he tossed T-shirts into the stands that had a picture of Allen on the front and the words “Team Allen” on the back.

Could be a valuable souvenir someday, if the Olympics turn out as good as the trials.

More than likely, Allen will miss the start of football camp to make the trip to Rio. He had nine catches for 94 yards last season as he eased back into action after tearing a ligament in his right knee during the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.

Asked if he’s now a hurdler who plays football or the other way around, he just laughed.

“I’m just an athlete who likes to play football and run track,” Allen said. “Keep doing that while I can.”

Track and Field Trials: Results Daily Schedule | TV Schedule

How to watch U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

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As part of unprecedented coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials, NBC and NBCSN will broadcast 19.5 hours of live action from the U.S. Diving Trials in Indianapolis. The primetime coverage begins Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

NBCSN will continue coverage each night through Thursday before a day off. NBC will take over on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June. 26, after which the entire U.S. Olympic diving team will be known.

All the diving action can also be seen on NBC Sports Live Extra.

On the men’s side, the U.S. earned two Olympic berths in the individual 10m platform event, one berth in synchronized platform, two berths in individual 3m springboard, and one berth in synchronized springboard. These spots will be filled through trials.

The U.S. women, meanwhile, earned two Olympic berths in the individual 10m platform event, one berth in synchronized platform, and then at least one and maybe two berths in individual 3m springboard. They did not earn a berth in synchronized platform.

MORE: Five men to watch at diving trials | Five women to watch

Here is the complete telecast schedule (all times ET):

Sat., June 18 – NBCSN 8-10 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Springboard and Women’s Platform Synchronized Semifinals

Sun., June 19 – NBCSN 8-9 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Platform Synchronized Semifinal

Mon., June 20 – NBCSN 7-10 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Springboard and Women’s Platform Semifinals

Tues., June 21 – NBCSN 7-11 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Platform and Women’s Springboard Semifinals

Wed., June 22 – NBCSN 9-11 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Springboard and Women’s Platform Synchronized Finals

Thur., June 23 – NBCSN 7-8:30 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Platform Synchronized Final

Sat., June 25 – NBC
Men’s Springboard Final – 4:30-6 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Women’s Platform Final – 8-9 p.m. — STREAM LINK

Sun., June 26 – NBC
Women’s Springboard Final – 4:30-6 p.m. — STREAM LINK
Men’s Platform Final – 7-8 p.m. — STREAM LINK

MORE: Full NBC Olympic Trials broadcast schedule

Magnificent Seven to highlight Parade of Olympians at gymnastics trials

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Earlier this year, USA Gymnastics invited all 198 of its living Olympians and Olympic alternates to convene for a reunion at the U.S. Olympic women’s team trials July 8-10 in San Jose, Calif. Around 130 are expected to attend.

Featured among that group will be the Magnificent Seven: Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug. The darlings of the 1996 Atlanta Games, they were the first female gymnasts from the U.S. to capture the Olympic team gold medal.

Many of the women became household names around the country, especially Strug. Her vault performance on an injured ankle remains etched in many minds, including many Olympians’.


Borden and Strug said earlier this year that they don’t think all seven of their teammates have been together since 2008, when the Magnificent Seven was honored during a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame induction. They were hoping to reunite at least once in 2016 to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their triumphant achievement, and now they will.

A Parade of Olympians will take place in San Jose on July 9, and is expected to also include past Olympic champions Tim Daggett, Mary Lou Retton, Paul Hamm, Carly Patterson, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team will be announced July 10.

MORE: First gymnasts named to U.S. Olympic team