Runners fall short at Olympic trials

Gabriele Anderson placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run, and Hassan Mead placed eighth in the 5,000 meters.

by Megan Ryan

The Minnesota contingent finished its run at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., on Sunday. No current or former Gophers athletes made the U.S. Olympic team.

Former women’s team runner Gabriele Anderson had a dramatic journey to the final of the 1,500-meter run Sunday. Anderson qualified second in her heat and seventh overall in the semifinal. But fellow runner Amy Mortimer lodged a complaint, alleging that Anderson impeded her.

USA Track and Field disqualified Anderson from the final and promoted Nike’s Alice Schmidt in her place. But Anderson and her coach filed an appeal, and within a few hours Saturday, USA Track and Field reinstated her to the final.

In the final, Anderson, a two-time cancer survivor, placed fourth with a time of 4:07.38, missing the cutoff by one place.

She also fell short of the Olympic “A” standard time by a little more than a second.

Another former Minnesota runner Heather (Dorniden) Kampf advanced to the semifinals but didn’t move on to the final with Anderson.

Alumna Jamie Cheever finished 12th out of 14 athletes in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 9:56.51 and didn’t make the Olympic roster.

Hassan Mead ran his last race in maroon and gold Thursday in the 5,000-meter final. Mead placed eighth out of 16 runners and crossed the line in 13:30.21. The recent graduate needed a top-three finish and time of 13:20 or lower to realize the Olympic dream.