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Johnson places second in heptathlon to earn Olympic Games berth

June 28, 2008
Jacquelyn Johnson punched her ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on Saturday afternoon as the only four-time NCAA heptathlon champion scored 6,347 points to finish second overall in the heptathlon and earn her first berth into the Games following another strong performance at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The former Arizona State University star and seven-time national champion entered the day in third place and needed to remain in the Top 3 at the end of the day to make the U.S. National Team. The Yuma, Ariz., native scored 2,630 points in the final three events and moved up to second with Hyleas Fountain taking the title with 6,667 points. Former Pac-10 rival Diana Pickler (Washington State) earned the final of the three Olympic berths as she scored 6,257 points, edging fourth-place finisher GiGi Johnson by just 10 points (6,247).

Johnson opened the day with a leap of 6.45m (21-02.00) to not only score 991 points, but also set an ASU heptathlon long jump record, bettering the previous mark of 6.30m that she set earlier this year. She then threw the javelin 47.71m (156-06) to pick up 816 points before closing the day with a time of 2:20.07 in the 800m run to collect the final 823 points of her 6,347-point total, surpassing her previous best total of 6,307 points set at the Pac-10 Championships. Johnson's score is the ASU and Pac-10 record in the heptathlon.

Two others competed on the day including one in the finals and one in the semifinals. Ryan Whiting, only a sophomore on the Sun Devil squad, hit a toss of 20.36m (66-09.75) in the shot put to place sixth, finishing three spots out of the Top 3 and a berth into the Games.

On the track, Latosha Wallace competed in the semifinals of the 400m hurdles and clocked a time of 56.18. Her time was good enough to place her eighth overall and give her the final spot in the eight-athlete final.


Sunday will see five more Sun Devils try to earn berths into the Olympic Games, including three men and two women. Matt Turner, Trevell Quinley and defending Olympic champion Dwight Phillips, who enter third, fifth and eight, respectively, will compete in the long jump finals while Tai Battle will compete in the finals of the women's discus. Wallace will be the lone track event competitor as she will run in the finals of the 400m hurdles.

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field - Day Two (Saturday, June 28)
Women's Heptathlon - Day 2
2. Jacquelyn Johnson - 6,347 points - earns berth to Olympic Games
    2. Long Jump - 6.45m (21-02.00) - 991 points - 4,708 points (2nd overall)
    2. Javelin - 47.71m (156-06) - 816 points - 5,524 points (2nd overall)
    7. 800m Run - 2:20.07 - 823 points - 6,347 points (2nd overall)
* Johnson's point total is a Pac-10 and ASU record

Women's 400m Hurdles - Semifinal
8. Latosha Wallace - 56.18 - advances to final

Men's Shot Put - Qualifying
6. Ryan Whiting - 20.36m (66-09.75)