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USF's Matthew O’Neal Advances at U.S. Olympic Trials


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USF ATHLETICS

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Web Link: http://www.gousfbulls.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=7700&ATCLID=211058089

MEET: U.S. Olympic Trials
DATE: July 9 | 7:15 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Eugene, Ore. | Hayward Field
TV: NBC
TRIPLE JUMP STREAM: nbcolympics.com
FOLLOW: Schedule | Results

O’Neal Advances at U.S. Olympic Trials

The former USF student-athlete had the top jump in the field on Thursday

 

EUGENE, Ore., JULY 7, 2016 – Recent USF graduate Matthew O’Neal qualified for the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials with the top triple jump distance in the field on Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The Jackson, Miss., native recorded the second-best jump of his life with a wind-aided (+2.9) distance of 55 feet, 8.25 inches (16.97m) in his third and final attempt of the qualifying round. One month after fouling four of six attempts en route to a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at the same historic facility, O’Neal was on top of his game Thursday. After fouling his first attempt, O’Neal jumped 55-0 (16.79) in his second try. His top jump was half of an inch better than Donald Scott, who finished second on the day (55-7.75, 16.96m).

“Coming in I felt a little more comfortable not being the number one guy in the competition,” said O’Neal, who was the favorite to win the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 10. “I like having something to looking forward to. Coach (Kiamesha Otey) worked on my approach and getting more consistent in hitting the board so I won’t foul. I also worked with Greg (Byrd) our trainer in getting healthy.”

Despite O’Neal winning the 24-person qualifying round, the goal Thursday was to be one of the 12 to qualify for Saturday’s finals which begins at 7:15 p.m. ET (TV: NBC, online). None of Thursday’s jumps carry over to Saturday. It will be a new competition, with the goal of a top nine finish in order to receive three more jumps later that same day. The top three finishers, who also meet the Olympic qualifying standard of 16.85 meters, will represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

“Most of the people take it easy and just try to get in to Saturday,” said O’Neal. “Saturday is when people turn it on and go for it.”

Among the talented field vying for Rio is Christian Taylor, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2015 World Champion. Taylor landed an opening jump of 55-4.25 (16.87m) and passed on his next two attempts. Also advancing was the 2012 Olympic silver medalist Will Claye.

“I am thankful to god that I made it through to the next round and it definitely gives me some confidence,” said O’Neal. “It give me confidence to run faster down the runway. It’s going to take a better jump to qualify so I’m looking forward to competing again. I’m going to rest my legs and hydrate. With God anything is possible so I’m going out there with that mind set.

USF’s last Olympian in track and field was Damu Cherry who placed fourth in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

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47 minutes ago, Who'sYourData? said:

Good showing, but O'Neal came up 5th.

Bummer.

Very tough field in the finals.

Top three represent the USA at the Olympics.

Perhaps, he will continue to compete as a professional in T & F and get another opportunity to make the USA team in 2020.

Best of luck to him in the future.

 

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USF ATHLETICS 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Web Link:http://www.gousfbulls.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=7700&ATCLID=211060689

 

Results
 

O’Neal Finishes Fifth at U.S. Olympic Trials

The former USF student-athlete met the Olympic standard, but finishes fifth in the triple jump

 

EUGENE, Ore., JULY 9, 2016 – Recent USF graduate Matthew O’Neal finished fifth in the triple jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday.

The Jackson, Miss., native reached the Olympic standard of 16.90 meters and placed fifth, two positions shy of third place and a top three finish which included an Olympic bid. O’Neal’s top jump of 55 feet, 9.75 inches (17.01m) came in his third attempt but with a wind-aid of +2.8, over the legal limit of +2.0. His wind-legal distance came in his fifth attempt at 55-6.25 (16.92m).

O’Neal qualified for the finals on Thursday with a wind-aided (+2.9) distance of 55-8.25 (16.97m) in his third and final attempt of the qualifying round. In Saturday’s final, he was in fourth after the first three jumps with a top jump of 55-9.75 (17.01) in his third attempt, although it was wind-aided (+2.8). That fourth-place finish gave him three additional jumps where he eventually reached the Olympic standard of 16.90 meters.

Those who finished in the top three and secured their spot on the U.S. Olympic team included 2012 silver medalist Will Clay (57-11), 2012 gold medalist Christian Taylor (57-0.75) and Arizona State alum Chris Benard (56-5.75). 

This ended the collegiate career of O’Neal who was a six-time conference champion and six-time NCAA All-American in the triple jump. He was vying to become the first Olympian that attended USF since Damu Cherry, who finished fourth in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

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