Hayes to participate at U.S. Olympic Trials this weekend
SAN ANTONIO — Sophomore Keyunta Hayes will look to keep his outstanding second campaign going this weekend when he is scheduled to compete in the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Qualifying gets underway at 8 p.m. (CT) on Thursday at historic Hayward Field and 16 members of the 28-man field will advance to Friday's semifinals (5:35 p.m./CT). Following a day off, the eight-man final will be contested at 6:12 p.m. (CT) on Sunday and the top three finishers will represent Team USA at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London, England (Aug. 3-4 & 6). The qualifying heats and semifinals can be seen on NBC Sports Network, while Sunday's final will be broadcast by NBC (check local listings for channel numbers).
Coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Tyler native met USA Track & Field's "A" standard with his program-record time of 49.38 on June 8 in the national final and that has him ranked ninth coming into the meet. That mark stands as the third-fastest clocking in Southland Conference history (best league mark in 21 years) and he has finished no worse than second in nine of his last 11 races, including six victories, and 11 of his last 15 overall dating back to his freshman campaign.
Hayes helped UTSA post its third Southland indoor/outdoor sweep in the last five years this spring and the Roadrunners have won a total of three conference titles (two indoor/one outdoor) during his two-year career. A two-time Southland Champion in the 400-meter hurdles and four-time league gold medalist overall (he also won 60m hurdles indoors and 110m hurdles outdoors this past spring), his NCAA placing three weeks ago was the second-best national performance in school history and he became the ninth All-American in program annals (eighth under head coach Aaron Fox/first hurdler). The 6-foot, 160-pounder also owns UTSA's record in the 110m hurdles (13.67w) and he ranks second in the outdoor 400m (46.73) and third in the 60m hurdles (7.89).
Returning to one of the most hallowed sites in the sport, the U.S. Olympic Trials have returned to the campus of the University of Oregon for the fifth time in its history (previous: 1972, '76, '80 & 2008). The country's most prestigious pre-Olympic event, it is the largest national championship track meet in the world, as USA Track & Field hosts more than 1,000 athletes. Dubbed "Track Town, USA" for its rich history and the community's appreciation of the sport, Hayward Field is one of the most prestigious track & field venues in the world.